How Many People Bet in the UK?

When you are sat at home placing your bets, the only thought on your mind is that it is you against the bookmaker. However, it isn’t just you trying to beat the bookmakers on a daily basis, a huge number of people in the UK place bets on a regular basis.

During a survey conducted in December 2017 by the Gambling Commission we found out the facts and figures surrounding how many people bet, and which groups are the most likely to do so.


How Many People Gamble

In total, 45% of adults said on the survey that they had gambled within the last four weeks. The same survey reported that 48% of men had gambled during that time period, while for women the percentage was 41%. This is overall gambling, and includes anyone who plays the National Lottery.

When the lottery is excluded from the survey, participation drops from 45% down to 31%. Men still have the advantage over women, with 34% of men gambling and the figure for women going down to 28%.

How Many People Gamble

What People Gamble On

The most popular gambling activity in the UK remains the National Lottery, despite a decrease in numbers playing this. 27% of those gambling do so on the National Lottery, and the second most common form of gambling is other lotteries and scratch cards, which is at 11%.

When it comes to placing bets with a bookmaker, 13% of people have taken part in these activities, 20% of those were men and 6% were women.

Why Do People Gamble

When asking gamblers why they take part, the reports show that nearly half of people, 46% do so because they want to win. The next group are those who do it for fun, and it is reported that 34% of people do it for this reason.

Elsewhere, other reasons given for gambling were to win a life changing sum of money, to support good causes, as a hobby, to socialise and to earn money to get by day to day.

How People Gamble

Those that have gambled in the four weeks before this report was commissioned have done so mainly in person. 80% of the people said they had gambled in person during that period, while just 42% had gambled online.

Every method of gambling with the exception of spread betting has seen an increase in the number of people participating online, despite only 42% of people saying they had placed a bet online during that time period.

How Often People Gamble

The figures show that the most common gambling frequency for any type of gambling is once a week. The second largest group of people are those that bet less than once a week, but more than once per month. Then comes the group of people that gamble two or more times a week, and lastly those who only gamble less than once per month. This is the smallest group, and consists of 17%, while 33% of people bet once a week as the biggest group.

How Often People Gamble

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