UK charity Gambleaware has published its interim report on the betting habits of a a total of 139,152 active online gambling accounts from the seven largest online operators in the UK.

The research was carried out by researchers from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) on behalf of the charity and is based on data collected between July 2018 and June 2019. The study was led by Professor David Forrest and and Professor Ian McHale from the University of Liverpool and was designed to provide regulators and stakeholders in the online casino and betting industries with deeper insights into how players interact with online games.

The results showed that the vast majority of accounts were used infrequently with around 85 per cent of betting accounts spent less than £200 on betting over the year between July 2018 and June 2019, and 90 per cent of gaming accounts had either an overall win or loss of less than £500 for the same period.

However, the reverse side of the same equation demonstrates the the value of a small number of players to the profitability of online gambling outlets, with around five per cent of online accounts with the highest losses generated at 70 per cent of the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in each of betting, live casinos, virtual casinos, and slots games. Only 0.7 per cent of sports betting accounts and 1.2 per cent of gaming accounts lost more than £5,000 over the year, and just 0.1 per cent of accounts lost more than £20,000 during the period.

According to the study, sports betting was the most popular form of gambling with 86 per cent of all the accounts surveyed used for betting at some point during the year. This is similar to the findings of the Health Survey for England (2018), which found that of everyone who had gambled online in the past year, 83 per cent did so through online betting with a bookmaker, and compares to around 39 per cent used for gaming, which includes bingo, casinos, slots, and poker.

Presenting the findings, 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. 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.”

The study gives one of the most detailed and granular picture of the way different groups and demographics choose to gamble and will likely be cited by governments and regulators in their efforts to maintain reliable and safe gambling markets.

GambleAware, which funded this research, is an independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help to reduce gambling-related harms in Great Britain. Its logo is easily recognisable and shown on the websites and advertisements for gambling operators in the UK from casinos like SpinCasino to bookmakers like PaddyPower as part of their efforts to promote safer gambling.

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