In a recent study conducted by the CT Group on behalf of Entain, the gambling giant has undergone an investigation about the gambling behavior among a group of 2,000 British residents.
One of the main takeaways of the survey highlights that majority of people consider gambling as a social activity that can be shared with friends and do so in a safe and responsible manner. There has also been an increasing wish to freely decide how to spend their free time and money.
The study has been published at a time when online activities in the UK have increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions in the country such as lockdowns. It comes as no surprise that people have instead used online betting platforms from the comfort of their homes.
Sports betting and online poker operators with a UK license responded with stricter enforcement of deposit limits and affordability checks across the board.
“In every aspect of life and leisure, respondents report increased online activity during the pandemic, led by banking and shopping, “ Entain noted in response to the study.
Meanwhile, the government is currently also exploring further potential changes to the UK betting laws in the ongoing review of the Gambling Act 2005.
John Whittingdale, Conservative MP for Maldon and Minister for Media and Data since 2020, has been put in charge to oversee the process. His appointment caused some concerns among those seeking a more thorough gambling reform due to the MP’s voting record on issues concerning the gambling industry.
The survey concluded that 78% of its respondents place a bet at least once a week. Among those, an overwhelming majority (94%) clarified their belief that they should be “free to decide for themselves how to spend their spare time and money”. This represents a notable increase from 79% in December 2020.
More than nine out of ten people as part of the survey consider themselves as sports fans and 83% like to bet on the outcomes of the sports matches. Among the surveyed people, 58% categorized themselves as savers and 84% stated that they own a savings account. Around half of the participants are in favor of the industry supporting grassroots and lower league clubs.
While the majority regards gambling as a social activity, most of them also noted that they typically spend twice as much at pubs and restaurants than they do on gambling. More than one out of four respondents acknowledged that they “made good friends” through betting and gaming.
Further stereotypes were also negated as part of the study as well. Most notably, only 38% of the participants clarified that they enjoy spending money on gambling activities.
The majority of the surveyed bettors were working people and 40% of them have an education degree. Only 9% of them were aged from 18 to 24 while more than one out of four (28%) were aged 55 and older.
Another aspect of the study revealed that the increased online activity is not solely reduced to the gambling industry but all other aspects of daily life and leisure. It comes as no surprise that a plethora of businesses has ramped up their online presence and offer in general, which seems likely to continue beyond the pandemic.
The responsibilities of the UK operators for safer gambling in the gambling industry has certainly undergone more scrutiny during the ongoing pandemic. Further measures may be implemented once the review of the Gambling Act 2005 has concluded.