Gambling Commission publishes statistics on participation in remote gambling

Feb 27/07

The Gambling Commission publishes today the first of a new statistical series which will provide a snapshot of participation in remote gambling, including online gambling, in Britain.

The improved measure allows the Commission to distinguish between the full range of remote gambling methods, personal computer, mobile phone and interactive TV. It also allows participation in the full range of gambling activities available through these remote methods to be measured, access to which have all increased in recent years.

The document entitled ‘Survey Data on Remote Gambling Participation’ is available on the Gambling Commission’s website here.

Key findings include:

In 2006 nearly 8% of adults said they took part in at least one form of remote gambling, including the National Lottery, in the previous month. This falls to under 6% if those only gambling on the National Lottery are excluded. The remaining 92% of respondents said they had not participated in any form of remote gambling.
The National Lottery is the main activity for remote gambling, with over 5% of respondents saying they had gambled remotely on the Lottery in the previous month, which is around two and half times the next most popular activities of on line poker and remote betting (horses, football etc).
Those participating are more likely to be male than female and aged 18-34.
Remote gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device was most popular (5.2% of all adult respondents gambling this way in the previous month), followed by gambling via mobile phone (2.2%) and interactive/digital TV (1.7%).
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of UK households with internet access has risen from 39 per cent in 2001 to an estimated 57 per cent in April 2006 and UK businesses reported a fivefold increase in the value of internet sales between 2001 and 2005.

Gambling Commission Chairman Peter Dean said:

“This new series is an important part of the Commission’s monitoring. The figures reflect the uptake of new technology with people choosing to gamble via the internet as well as through mobile phones and interactive television.

“From September 2007, for the first time, the Gambling Commission will have the power to regulate remote gambling in Great Britain and to protect children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

“Under the Gambling Act all British-based operators will be required to prevent access to gambling by children by providing strict age verification procedures, to provide information about responsible gambling to their users and to have other measures in place to protect those at risk.”