Find Out What The UK’s Gambling Habits Were in 2020?

Are you a typical Brit? Find out if your gambling habits match up to the rest of the nation. You might be reading this in a toilet in the middle of the Sahara, but if you see yourself in some of these statistics, you might just belong here too!

All of the statistics below are from the Gambling Commission’s most recent analysis of gambling habits in the UK.

If you gambled in 2020, you’re more likely to be a man…

A picture of statistics. It's white writing with a purple background (these are our site colours) and the only image is of the logo. The writing says 29.8% of men and 26.6% of women gambled in the past 4 weeks

If you gambled in the last four weeks, you’re statistically more likely to be a man than a woman, but only slightly more likely. 29.6% of men and 26.7% of women gambled in the previous 4 weeks at the time of the survey. (These figures exclude gambling on the National Lottery).

Interestingly, this is down on previous years, meaning fewer people gambled in 2020 than in 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016. E.g., in 2019, 35.6% of men and 29.5% of women gambled in the previous 4 weeks.

I’m a little surprised by this because there were many articles about the increase in online gambling during the lockdowns. We even wrote a few ourselves!

The logical conclusion is that overall betting fell because covid forced the bookies to close. Naturally, people moved online, but not as many people moved online as people who only use the bookies.

You’re probably aged between 45-54 years old…

A image in the same style as the previous one, but this time it says 31% of 45-54 year olds gambled in the past 4 weeks.

This is another interesting statistic that’s different from other years. Normally, the 45 to 54-year-olds are in the lowest three age groups for gambling, with only people older than them being less likely to gamble.

Typically, it’s the younger demographics that gamble more, with 25 to 34-year-olds gambling the most. This has been consistent for the past 5-years. 2020 really was an unprecedented year!

In 2019, 40.5% of 25 to 34-year-olds, but in 2020, it dropped to 29.5%. That’s quite a hefty difference!

No idea what could account for the difference. Maybe a lack of money? Maybe younger people are more interested in sports betting, which saw a big decline this year with the cancellation of many sporting events.

I bet you gambled in-person!

Same style as previous images with purple background and white writing. This time it has the statistics for in-person gambling vs online-gambling which I cover in the paragraphs below

Another bizarre statistic in my opinion given that we were locked up for much of the year. Surprisingly, you were more likely to gamble in-person – i.e. at the bookies or at a casino – than you were to gamble online.

So despite the increase in online gambling in 2020, it’s still not as popular as real-world gambling.

But comparing the 2016 statistics to the 2020 statistics, you can see that online gambling is catching up. In 2016, 38.2% of people gambled in-person, whilst only 17.3% gambled online.

Between 2019 and 2020 there was a 9% drop in in-person gambling (35.1% in 2019, 26% in 2020), but there wasn’t an equivalent rise in online gambling. Online gambling only increased by 2.5% (21.1% in 2019 to 23.6% in 2020).

I doubt you trust the gambling establishments

The same appearance as the other images, but this time the text reads, "Only 31.9% of gamblers trust the gambling establishments.

It’s common knowledge that people tend not to trust the casinos and the bookmakers. From match-fixing to fake RTPs, gambling makes most of us feel like we’re on the back foot.

But trust seems to have plummeted over the past 5 years. Amongst gamblers, 37.7% said they trusted the gambling establishments in 2016 and that dropped to 31.9% last year.

And gamblers tend to have a more positive view of the gambling establishments. Only 24.9% of non-gamblers trusted gambling establishments in 2020.

This is why sites like ours are so important. We try to provide impartial reviews and we regularly report on gambling news, including any scandals we might hear about that we think will help you make the right choices when gambling.

We’re also lucky to live in the UK, where our gambling establishments are heavily regulated and we’re well protected. Make sure you understand your rights and how to stay safe online.

Harvey Dickenson

Safe Gambling Specialist

Harvey Dickenson is our safe gambling specialist. Harvey is a recreational poker player and an expert in online casino safety, cons, and scams.

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