How Does the UK Gamble? | Number-Crunching the Biggest Trends of 2018

As a nation, we seem to love a cheeky bet or spin of the slots. In fact, the UK boasts one of the biggest gambling industries in the world. Moreover, as the industry grows so does the amount of choice. UK gamblers are now treated to a wealth of different games and betting opportunities, and can enjoy these whenever and wherever they want.

So with so much choice available to us, what do we actually pick?

Here at GoWin, using data collected by the United Kindgom Gambling Commission, we've crunched the numbers on the biggest UK gambling trends of 2018. In our handy infographics below, you can learn about the most common behaviours of UK gamblers, including where, how and what they choose to play.

UK Gambling 2018: Key Trends

In the gambling world, things are constantly changing. New games and platforms mean that gambling is more accessible and more convenient than ever before, and so the UK gambling demographic has evolved massively over the past few years.

As such, some of the facts below may surprise you. Here's the biggest take aways from last year's gambling reports:

  • 46% of Brits have gambled in some way in the past four weeks
  • Gambling is a young persons game – the majority of Brits who gamble are aged 25-34 (excluding National Lottery players)
  • Sports betting has enjoyed the biggest surge of popularity in the past few years – 3.1% increase since 2015
  • Almost all UK gamblers choose to do so from the comfort of their own home – 96% of those who were asked
  • Smaller portable devices are replacing both laptops and PCs as the preferred way to play, with over half of people gambling from their mobile or tablet.


Gambling Behaviours Infographic

Is Gambling a Young Person's Game?

Although gambling, in general, is most popular among 55-64 year-olds, when you exclude the National Lottery from the figures, the data shows that gambling is actually quite a young person's hobby.

In 2018, 75% of UK gamblers were aged between 16 and 34 – which is a huge majority. This explains why software developers are clearly aiming their products towards the younger generations.

Slots and table games are now taking more inspiration from video games and boast blockbuster branded themes which appeal to a younger audience. Moreover, sportsbook sites also gear their efforts towards younger people, with celebrity ambassadors and controversial, viral marketing ploys.

This shift in focus also explains why both the sports betting market and the online slots market have enjoyed an increase in players in the past year. Whilst the amount of National Lottery players has decreased by 4% since 2015, sports betting is now more popular than it has been for years (3.1% increase in players), and the video slots demographic continues to grow, with a 1.9% increase in those who played slots.

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The Unstoppable Rise of Mobile Gaming

The mobile gambling industry has been expanding for years, and it seems that all their efforts have paid off. In 2018, most people chose to gamble via a portable device. Last year, 55% of people chose to log in to casinos and sportsbooks via their mobile and tablets, in contrast to only 23% of people who decided to gamble via their PC.

What's more, 44% of gamblers in 2018 had gambled on mobile, which was a 5% increase from the previous year.

There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. First of all, mobile gaming is incredibly convenient. It allows you to play from wherever you are, whenever you want. However, other data shows that this may not be the main reason why mobile gaming reigns supreme.

96% of UK gamblers play at home. So, if they aren't benefiting from the portable nature of mobile devices, why is mobile gaming so popular?

Mobile devices are super-fast, reliable and very handy. Although it appears not many people are choosing to play when they're out of the house, mobiles do allow you to play from the comfort of the sofa, the toilet, even the bath. What's more, since 2012, desktop computer and laptop sales have slumped across the world in favour of much-loved handheld devices.

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