The UK Gambling Commission has released its latest industry statistics and insights report revealing that online gambling participation in the UK is now at the same level as in-person betting.
15 million people gamble in the UK — the same number that visited a museum or gallery in the last year
According to the data, online gambling participation during September 2022 was 18% of the eligible adult population while participation in retail or in-person betting was the exact same. However, despite growing steadily, online gambling participation has yet to reach in-person betting pre-pandemic levels of 24.4% which were recorded in 2019.
The shift towards online betting has been driven mainly by women as opposed to men. The stats reveal that women’s participation in online gambling grew from 13.2% in September 2019 to 17.2% in the latest reporting period of September 2022. Meanwhile, male participation remains consistent over the last four years.
The report also reveals that there has been an increase in Gross Gaming Yield (GGY) directly attributed to online gambling. This grew from 42% in 2105-16 to 61% in 2021-22. This has been driven mainly by a significant increase in GGY from online slots which grew from £1.6 billion in 2015-16 to almost £3 billion in 2021-22.
Despite the increase in GGY, the UKGC reports that the overall percentage of the adult population that gambles regularly (28%) is still lower than it had been pre-pandemic when it was stable at around 32% from 2017-19. The commission also notes that younger age groups are participating more in retail gambling activity particularly 16-24 year old males. This is also the same age group that has become more prone to problem gambling over recent years with those aged 20-21 found to be the most likely to fall into problem gambling activity.