Home NewsCasino Lottery is the most popular gambling game in Great Britain, according to GC’s Gambling Survey

Lottery is the most popular gambling game in Great Britain, according to GC’s Gambling Survey

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Lotteries are a popular form of gambling in Great Britain, according to the first results from Gambling Survey for Great Britain’s (GSGB), compiled by the Gambling Commission (GC).

In the last four weeks, 48% of all respondents gambled. However, this figure drops to just 27% if you exclude lottery players. More than a fifth (25%) of respondents only participated in lotteries.

This 48% number of respondents who gambled within the last four weeks represents a small decrease from the 49.5% figure stated at the end of the experimental phase of the study, which was released in November.


Drop-off in participation without lotteries is the same online and on land

Online and offline gambling followed the same pattern. The same number of participants (38%) used the Internet to gamble during the four previous weeks as the data from November, but the figure fell to 16 % when the lottery-only players were excluded. When lottery players are excluded, the number of people who gamble in person also drops from 29% down to 18%.

Last week, the first phase of the GSGB survey was published. It will consist of an annual poll of 20,000 participants. It is one of the world’s largest research projects on gambling.

Around 4,800 respondents participated in the first round of this survey, which focused on gambling. The data was collected from 31 July to 16 November of last year.


GSGB highlights the prevalence of lotteries

National Lottery is the number one form of gambling, according to the GSGB. The National Lottery tickets were bought by 31%, 24% online and 17% personally. National Lottery Scratchcards are also bought by 12%.

In the previous four weeks, 16% of lottery players bought tickets. Online, 14% bought them while only 6% did so in person.

Lotteries are particularly popular among older people, according to the GSGB. When lottery players are excluded, 39% of people aged 75 or older gamble. This number drops to just 12%. Comparatively, the participation rate of 18-24-year-olds dropped from 39% down to 33% after excluding players who played only lottery.

In-person gambling was higher (18%) than online (16%) when lottery players were excluded. When lottery players are excluded, land-based gambling is almost equal between men and women. 19% of males gamble in person compared with 18% females.


Other products As per the GSGB

Online instant-win games are also popular, and 7% of players have played them over the past four weeks. National Lottery also played a part in it, as 6% of participants gambled on its instant-win games online.

In the last four weeks, 10% of those surveyed gambled online on sports. Only 3% of respondents had bet in person on sports.

Football was the top market for sports betting with 7 % of respondents having placed bets on this sport. In-play betting was the most popular market with 4%, and horse racing by 4%. 1% of respondents had wagered on live events.

Only 3% of those surveyed had used online slot games. This is despite the fact that they are in high demand at this moment, after an increased PS5 limit in February and a PS2 maximum for people under 25. Only 3% of respondents had gambled on casino games. Only 1% had gambled in a casino. This is the same as those who bet on machines and terminals at pubs, bookmakers, or other venues.

Online and offline participation was 3%. Football pools and private bets were also popular activities, with participation rates of 2% and 3 % respectively.


Male participation 10% above female levels

In a gender-split analysis, 43% of females and 53% men had played in the last four weeks. The males’ participation remained the same as in November, but the female participation dropped by 4% from 47% at the time of the experiment.

In younger age groups, the disparity between men and women is greater. Males between the ages of 18-24 who bet on games other than lottery during the previous four weeks were 42%. Females of this age group made up 25%.

The highest overall participation rate was among men aged 45-54, with 59%. The segment that led in online betting was the 45-54 year old males, with 52%. The age group with the most female participants was the 55-64-year-old range, with 52%.

Men are more likely to bet on the internet than women, with only 11% betting online. In the last four weeks, men were more likely to have gambled on the internet, including the lottery. Women are less likely.

Online participation among 25-34 year olds was at its highest when lottery players are excluded. When excluding lottery-only players, the GSGB discovered a substantial drop in online gambling participation. The figures for males and women aged 55-64 were rounded down to 0%.


The main reason for playing is to have the chance to win big.

Participants who said that they gambled to win big money accounted for 86%. The men and women were split evenly between the 88% males who said they gambled to “win big money”. This response was most prevalent in those between 45 and 54 years old, where 90% of them cited it as the reason they gamble.

The percentage of people who use gambling to “escape” boredom was the highest for 25-34-year-olds, at 38 percent. This dropped to 12 percent among those 55-64 years old. The gender gap was significant, with men selecting this response at 28% and women choosing 20%.

The second most popular answer was “for fun”, with 70% of the respondents saying that this is one of the reasons they gamble. It was cited by 82% of the 25-34 year olds as their main reason for gambling. The gender split was roughly the same, with 70% of males and 71% of females.


Uncertainty about gambling – a study

The GSGB asked for people’s opinions on gambling in the last 12 months. The respondent who gave a rating of 10 “loved” it, while 0 indicated that they “hated”.

The GSGB exhibited a general ambivalence. The majority of respondents (37%) chose a rating of 5. Seven was the second most popular choice, with 14%, followed by 6 (12%).

4% of respondents at both ends of the spectrum said that they had “hated” playing games in the last 12 months. The percentage who “loved” gambling was 4%.


What has been the GC’s approach to data collection for the GSGB since it was overhauled?

The Commission is working to improve the data collection and processing processes since 2020. This has been done through surveys, consultations, workshops, etc.

The GC published a paper on evidence gaps and priority areas in May 2023. This document covers the period between 2023-2026. The document outlined the Commission’s intent to conduct evidence-based studies on topics like gateway gambling products, and the effects of gambling harms.

The GSGB uses a “push-to-web” method in which the users are first encouraged to complete a questionnaire online, before a printed version is made available as an alternate. This replaces previous GC survey methods that collected data via telephone.

The GC outlined in the GSGB’s first-wave technical report the research’s strengths and weaknesses, the latter including cost-efficiency of the Push-to-Web methodology. Rolling data helps to reduce the effect of major sporting events on important variables. It was noted that the survey’s lengthy development phase improved its accuracy.

The lower response rates of the Push-to Web method compared with face-toface surveys were among the limitations. Gambling-centric nature of survey may also attract those that gamble and lead to an overrepresentation.

The first wave of data did not use the Problem Gambling Severity Index. PGSI is an assessment of the gambling behavior that estimates potential gambling harm.

Three experimental phases were carried out with the National Centre for Social Research’s (NatCen), before conducting first-wave research. The project used the learnings of previous tests to improve and refine the survey.

The GSGB was also subjected to an independent evaluation by Professor Patrick Sturgis of the London School of Economics. Sturgis called the study “exemplary” in every way.


Critique of the GC

Sturgis endorsed GSGB but also gave seven recommendations. Sturgis encouraged the GC, among other things, to conduct further research into the possible oversampling and bias in questions that were only administered online.

In the past, the GC was criticized for its statistics. David Brown, a UK veteran in the industry for 50 years, highlighted misrepresentation by the Commission of statistics on affordability checks during a 2023 interview.

After Sturgis reviewed the GSGB, Regulus Partners, a gambling consulting business, stated that there had been “little done” to alleviate the concern over statistical inaccuracies. They believed the “inconvenient fact” was glossed over.


When is the next wave of the GSGB coming out?

After the initial release of GSGB, there will be three waves in the coming year. Each wave is expected to have around 5,000 responses from British adults. Next, on the 27th of June, we will release data that will look at gambling behaviour and participation. The responses will be collected from 6 November to 7 March.

The GC is releasing an annual report that compiles the results of all four waves. The annual report will not only summarize the data collected quarterly, but also highlight the positives and negatives of gambling. The GC is hoping that the large number of samples will enable it to analyze gambling behavior among certain segments of respondents. In July 2023 will be covered in the next report.

In the report’s technical section, it is noted that the survey aims at collecting data about gambling behavior and providing a data collection program for the GC. According to the guidelines of the Government, the Commission hopes that the results will also be made public as official statistics.

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