Percentage of gamblers in England declines

Viktor Vangelov | Published 4 Dec 2019, 10:20 a.m.

Discussions on gambling and various gambling-related issues have been ongoing and the more interest there is from the public, the more data will be collected. Surveys, statistics and other research into the matter is conducted on a regular basis. These figures enable authorities to plan policies and actions.

Of course, operators and other industry players also benefit from detailed statistics as it allows them to understand the market and its expectations. Lately, figures have been used by anti-gambling advocates to push for more restrictive legislation. Yesterday we did an analysis of the positions on gambling in 2019 party manifestos, and it seems that all major parties are going to adopt a more restrictive approach if they are to form the next UK government. So, it is safe to predict that we will have a new Gambling Act in the near future, seen as both Labour and Tories feel that the current act of 2005 doesn’t reflect the modern reality.

The latest survey shows that more than 50% of English people gambled in the past year and according to health authorities that is a worrisome figure.

More than 50% of all people in England placed a wager in 2018

The Health Survey for England for 2018 has just been released and it is this report that shows that over 50% of all people over 16 in England placed at least one wager in 2018. The survey also highlights other health problems such as weight problems, alcohol problems and lack of exercise.

We said that more than 50% of all people gambled in 2018, and the exact figure is 53%. However, it should be noted that buying a single lottery ticket is also considered gambling. While the figure for men was slightly higher (56%), it was actually less than half of all women in the country who have gambled (49%).

It may seem like a high figure, but it is actually a decrease compared to earlier years, but the NHS boss for England, Simon Stevens has already stated that the decrease in the number of people who gambling should not be taken as a sign that the problems have disappeared.

Stevens particularly warned of the dangers of online gambling, adding that the NHS will roll out new services to help people who have a gambling problem. Companies, according to the NHS boss are not doing enough to protect people who have a gambling problem, and according to him, that is something that has to change.

Older people tend to drink more

We already mentioned that the figures have fallen compared to recent years, but let’s just see at the degree of the decrease. In 2016 the percentage of people in England who gambled was 56%, whereas the figure in 2015 was 62%. Back in 2012, the percentage of men who gambled was 68%, whereas the figure for women exceeded 60% (61%), whereas now is below 50%.

The figures, as we mentioned are gathered via interviews (survey). This year, a total of 8,178 adults were interviewed, as well as over 2,000 children. A total of 10% of all men in England drink alcohol almost every day, as opposed to 5% of all women. Older people are more likely to drink every day.

People aged 16 to 24 are least likely to drink on five or more days of the week, just 3%, whereas the percentage of those aged between 65 and 74 is 21%.

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