According to the latest industry statistics provided by the gambling commission, around 15 million people are actively gambling on licensed products in Great Britain. Coincidentally, that number coincides with the number of people who have visited a museum at least once in the past year. 

The report encapsulates a wide array of consumers engaging with different products, both in person and online. 

The gradual trend in online gambling continues to grow

The most notable change in the gambling landscape is the shift from physical to online play, which nowadays reflects people’s lifestyles. With almost 100% of adults in the UK having access to the Internet, it is a no-brainer that people would gradually prefer online platforms rather than brick-and-mortar venues.

According to the Gambling Commission, online gambling has been a gradual trend throughout the pandemic. Even though the number of adult gamblers in the UK dropped compared to pre-Covid data, a consistent growth in online play has been detected.

If we were to compare the gambling habits of adults gambling online over the years, in-person rates doubled the online gaming rates five years ago. This year’s quarterly telephone survey by the Gambling Commission showed that the proportion of people gambling online equals the one of in-person gambling.

During the pandemic, the UK noted a drastic shift from retail to online play for the National Lottery. However, when it comes to products concerned with the Gambling Act of 2005, we have to emphasize that the trend is a gradual increase rather than a spike. 

Interestingly, the increase during this period is powered mainly by women. Male online participation has been static for several years now.

What does the future of retail gambling look like?

Whilst online gambling has marked a steady rise, the popularity of retail gambling has seen a decline over the years.

The most popular activities in the UK were always slot machines and horse racing. Still, by 2018, the Health Survey for England showed that people’s in-person betting participation was lower than 8 percent for horse betting and 6 percent for slot machines. Along with these betting activities, retail gambling and bingo have also decreased.

In addition, even though there were some serious concerns in the industry, the pandemic would severely change the gambling landscape. So, in-person participation has increased in September 2022 compared to last year.

The popularity of retail gambling has declined over time. However, it remains an important part of the sector, especially since it shows signs of a comeback after the pandemic.

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