London UKGC

Online gambling has hit its highest ever rate in the UK, with one in four Britons placing bets online, according to newly released figures by the Gambling Commission.

Figures released earlier this week indicate that 25.7 per cent of 4,018 respondents aged 16 or over have gambled in the past four weeks, up from 23.8 per cent over the same period in the previous year and 18.5 per cent in the previous five years.

The survey asked respondents about gambling on four occasions between June 2021 and March 2022.

More broadly, 43 per cent of gamblers had gambled in general in the previous four weeks, representing a drop from the pre-pandemic participation rates of 47 per cent in March 2020.

The biggest increase in overall gambling was in the 16 to 24 age group, according to analysis of the data conducted by the UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT).

This analysis also revealed that those in the moderate risk of addiction category has also risen, with women at moderate risk of addiction jumping from 0.4 per cent to 0.9 per cent in the year before March.

The most popular form of online gambling was sports betting, particularly football, outside of the National Lottery and other lotteries.

The Gambling Commission’s report revealed that in person gambling rates have increased by three per cent from last year, reflecting beginning signs of a post-pandemic recovery.

It also suggested the increase in in-person gambling was driven by a return to sports betting, horse betting, bingo and fruit and slot machines post-pandemic.

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