Gambling Activities Yet to Surpass Pre-pandemic Levels, UKGC Report

Details from new research, published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), reveal that participation in gambling activities in the country is yet to reach the pre-pandemic levels.

GC Releases Report about the Gambling Activities in the UK

The survey was conducted by Yonder Consulting. The participants included adults aged 16 and over that are interviewed by telephone every quarter. Some 4018 adults participated in the recent survey that was conducted in March 2022, December 2021, September 2021 and June 2021. The recently released data reveals that while participation in gambling activities increases, it still hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels.

According to the whitepaper, year-to-March 2022 results show that 43.3% of the respondents participated in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks. This result marks an increase when compared to the 40.0% recorded for the year-to-March 2021. However, the result is still behind when compared to the year-to-March 2020 results, when 46.7% of the respondents admitted to gambling in the past four weeks. Similarly, for the year-to-March 2019 period, 46.3% admitted to gambling in the past four weeks while for the year-to-March 2018 period that number was 44.7%.

In-Person Gambling Decreases, Online Gambling Increases

Not unexpectedly, the number of respondents that admitted to participating in in-person gambling for the past four weeks until this March remains lower when compared to pre-pandemic levels. The whitepaper shows that 25.5% of the respondents participated in in-person gambling activities for the year-to-March 2022 period. This marks an increase when compared to the 22.8% of the respondents from the same period in 2021. Without any doubt, the COVID-related closures from last year contributed to that result. The recent report reveals that pre-pandemic levels for in-person gambling for the year-to-March 2020 were 34.8%.

While there’s a notable decrease when it comes to in-person gambling, the report reveals that the number of people participating in online gambling has been continuously increasing. For the year-to-March 2022 period, 25.7% of the respondents in the survey participated in online gambling. This marks an uptick when compared to the 23.8% from the same period in 2021. Similarly, for the year-to-March 2020 period, 21.1% of the respondents participated in online gambling, while the percentage of participants in 2019 was 19.7%.

Problem Gambling Remains Low

UKGC’s recent report revealed details regarding problem gambling as well. The whitepaper used a short-form Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), which showed that 0.2% of the respondents were identified as problem gamblers. This result marked a gradual decrease when compared to the 0.4% from the same period in 2021 and the 0.6% from the same period in 2020.

On the other hand, 0.9% of the participants were identified as moderate-risk of problem gambling for the year-to-March period this year. This marks a slight increase when compared to the 0.6% recorded last year. Still, the result is less than the 1.5% of moderate-risk gamblers recorded before the pandemic in 2020.

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