According to research conducted by GambleAware, the vast majority of successful online gambling accounts in the United Kingdom invested relatively small sums and were used infrequently during the year, whereas a small percentage were said to be “used extensively and generated substantial losses.”
The National Centre for Social Research published a study called ‘Exploring Online Patterns of Play,’ which looked at the usage of 140,000 registered gaming and betting accounts between July 2018 and June 2019.
Increase awareness of the online gambling industry
Seven “major” online gambling operators agreed to provide data for the study, which was undertaken to increase awareness of the online gambling industry. It is reported that these companies control over 85 percent of the online betting industry in the United Kingdom and over 37 percent of the casino market.
During the one-year study period, 86 percent (110,211) of the 139,152 accounts were used for betting, with 84,572 used for at least one type of gaming
The main results indicate that 85 percent of betting accounts invested less than £200 during the study period, while 90 percent of gaming accounts had an average win or lose of less than £500 during the same time period.
In each of gaming, virtual casinos, live casinos, and slots, the 5 percent of online accounts with the highest losses were found to have produced at least 70 percent of GGY.
The most money was spent on pre-match baseball, in-play football, and horseracing, while slots and casino sports accounted for 93 percent of GGY from igaming.
A total of 72.2 percent of gaming-active accounts play at least some slots, accounting for 60 percent of GGY, with 53 percent playing simulated casino games and 19.5 percent playing live casino games. The latter two together accounted for 33 percent of GGY for operators.
Bingo participation was seen in 15 percent of gaming accounts, despite the fact that per account spend was poor and only 3.6 percent of GGY was distributed.
Usage of safer gambling methods
Furthermore, researchers looked at the usage of safer gambling methods, discovering that about 4 percent of people got contact from an operator for the purpose of ‘social responsibility,’ with 84 percent of those communications being made by email.
Around a third (36 percent) of accounts that lost more than £2,000 over the year got a “social responsibility” contact, while 0.84 percent received a phone call from an operator.
Deposit limits were the most used safer gambling option among account holders. Around a quarter (21.5 percent) of accounts had deposit caps, while 2.3 percent of accounts had self-exclusion.
Dr. Sokratis Dinos, NatCen’s director of research, explained: “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.”
The study only looks at the gambling behaviour of one single online account, so it can’t tell whether a person has multiple accounts with different operators.
In the summer, a group of account holders will be approached and asked to participate in a survey in order to better understand the context of their gambling conduct.