The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published its latest Gambling Participation Report covering the year of 2017.
The report provides a unique and comprehensive update on gambling trends across the UK, examining the rates of participation, at-risk gambling and the effectiveness of self exclusions.
Breaking down overall gambling participation, the report revealed that in spite of online participation in gambling increasing in most activities, overall participation in gambling has decreased by 3% from the previous year to 45%.
There was significant growth in the use of mobile phones and tablets to gamble, with 51% of online players reporting to have gambled on a mobile or tablet in 2017, in contrast to just 43% in 2016.
Detailing levels of problem gambling in the UK, the report revealed that just 0.8% of people identified themselves as problem gamblers, as few as 6% of bettors have opted to self-exclude in the last year. However, the awareness of self-exclusion amongst those who have never excluded remained at a stable a level of 35%.
With regards to marketing and operator use of social media, gambling operators still retain a powerful advertising presence as 26% of online gamblers follow a gambling company on a social media platform with rates highest among 18-24 year olds. Additionally, 51% of people have seen a gambling advert on the television in the past week and 46% of people have seen or heard a gambling sponsorship on the television or radio in the past week.
Ben Haden, programme director at the Gambling Commission commented: “Our new three year strategy sets out our role in developing a strong evidence base and improved understanding of the impact gambling has on society. Today’s report makes an important contribution to that work as it presents a comprehensive view on how the British public is choosing the gamble and their attitudes to the current market.
“Our research shows the main factor that influences where someone gambles, is a company with a reputation for being fair and trustworthy. The message from that is clear – gambling companies that treat their customers well and act responsibly will be at an increasingly competitive advantage.”