GambleAware study recognises deep contrasts of UK online gambling

By | March 12, 2021

GambleAware has published the findings of its ‘interim research’ conducted by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) on the gambling habits of ‘close to 140,000 active online gambling accounts’.

The research undertaken between July 2018 and June 2019 was commissioned to provide gambling stakeholders with a greater understanding of online gambling customer behaviours and habits.

The intelligence, gathered in collaboration with Professors David Forrest and Ian McHale of the University of Liverpool, is branded as the deepest dataset on online gambling transactions made available for research purposes.

Conducting research on ‘seven major online operators’, the headline findings show that the majority of online gambling accounts were used infrequently and showed low amounts of spend throughout the research period.

“85% of accounts used for betting spent less than £200 on betting over the year between July 2018 and June 2019, while 90% of ‘gaming’ accounts had either an overall win or loss of less than £500 for the same period,” NatCen findings detailed.

The report also highlighted a significant contrast against the gambling spend and habits of a small proportion of accounts that were used extensively and generated substantial player losses.

The trend of high wagering activity by a small proportion of accounts has had a significant impact on how UK gross gambling yield (GGY) is measured.

The research reflected that 0.7% of accounts used for sports betting and 1.2% of accounts used for gaming lost upwards of £5,000 or more over the course of the year. 

Providing a breakdown of ‘largest spending accounts’, NatCen revealed that “more than £20,000 was lost during the period by 0.1% of accounts, whilst £10,000 to £19,999 was lost by 0.2% of accounts and £5,000-£9,999 by 0.4% of accounts”.

Meanwhile, a breakdown of market activity saw that 5% of online accounts with the highest losses generated a minimum of 70% of Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in each of betting, virtual casinos, live casinos, and slots.

The NatCen report detailed further insights on safer gambling interactions, in which around 4% of accounts received a personal contact from customer care for the purpose of social responsibility.   

Whilst for players tracking upwards of £2,000 in losses, the research stated that around 36% of accounts had been contacted during the year, with 0.85% receiving a personal phone call from customer care teams.  

The setting of deposit limits was recognised as the most widely used safer gambling tool by account holders with around 22% of accounts accessing the feature, whereas self-exclusion functionalities were applied by just 2.3% of accounts.

NatCen research further provided a breakdown on UK gambling demographic trends in which “every age group analysed the median male bettor placed between two and fives times as many bets as the median female bettor”.

Further stark contrasts were recognised with regard to ‘player patterns’, for which NatCen underlined that ‘late night play’ was associated with much greater spending intensity (average loss-per-minute) across all casino formats.

Commenting on the research, Dr Sokratis Dinos from NatCen said: “This research was able to analyse and assess an unprecedented source of information on how people in Great Britain gamble and opens up numerous opportunities to further understand people’s gambling habits.

“These interim findings are just the first stage and future research will provide a greater opportunity to understand the risk factors associated with gambling behaviour.”