GambleAware and NatCen find majority of betting accounts are used infrequently

The findings of an ‘interim study’ conducted by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) have been published by GambleAware, revealing most online accounts are used infrequently and large-scale losses are also often rare.

NetCen provided a breakdown of the ‘largest spending accounts’ identified by the survey, revealing ‘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’.

This trend of high wagering by a small proportion of accounts has had a major impact on the way in which the UK’s gross gambling yield (GGY) is measured. 

Overall, the findings show that the majority of online gambling accounts were used infrequently and also revealed low spending throughout the research period of June 2018 to June 2019.

The researchers explained that: “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.”

Additionally, only 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.

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,” remarked Dr Sokratis Dinos of NatCen.

“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.”

In addition, the report – conducted in cooperation with Professors David Forrest and Ian McHale of the University of Liverpool – has contributed further insights on safter gambling interactions, in which around 4% of accounts received personal contact with customer care for the purpose of greater social responsibility.

Furthermore, the study detailed that around 36% of accounts which had lost over £2,000 had been contacted during the research period, with 0.85% receiving a personal phone call.

The setting of deposit limits was also recognised as the most widely utilised safer gambling method by account holders, with around 22% of accounts accessing the feature, whilst self-exclusion tools were used by only 2.3% of active accounts.

Finally, the research identified demographic trends, particularly with regards to gender, noting that in “every age group analysed the median male bettor placed between two and fives times as many bets as the median female bettor”.

Finally, the research identified major differences in ‘player patterns,’ finding that ‘late night play’ was associated with much greater spending intensity with regards to an average loss per minute across all casino platforms.

The study follows GambleAware’s inaugural survey tracking how customers utilise its National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) across Scotland and Wales, which found that 54 per cent of Scottish participants classified as ‘problem gamblers’ were no longer registered in the category by the end of their treatment.