UKGC: The UK Spent £14.5bn on Gambling in 12 Months

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Tower bridge in London in the dusk.
  • The UK Spends ca £14.5bn on gambling yearly
  • More spending is registered across all digital channels
  • There are up to 650 gambling-related suicides a year

Based on UK Gambling Commission data, gamblers in the United Kingdom spend around £14.5bn on various gambling segments each year. Estimated 250-650 suicides occur yearly because of gambling.

UK Gamblers Spent £14.5bn Every Year

According to the latest UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) data, the United Kingdom has spent £14.5 billion or $18 billion on gambling in the twelve months between October 2017 and September 2018. These numbers sum up everything from sports bets, to gambling to National Lottery Tickets and horse racing.

The majority of expenditures were generated by the online gaming industry followed by the sports betting industry and National Lottery with around 50% difference each or £2.8 billion. Online gaming alone accounted for £5.6 billion, or 38.8% of the total amount spent.

Gambling participate rate has increased throughout the years for men but it has fallen slightly for women. Men aged between 25 and 34 are cited as the most likely to participate in a gambling game, with 40% of the men in that group having placed a wager at least one in their lives.

Estimated 25% of the population surveyed by the UKGC said that they had placed a wager in the four weeks prior to the interview.

Opportunities to Place a Wager in the United Kingdom

Meanwhile, the brick-and-mortar segment has suffered some losses and the overall number of gaming shops fell to 8,423. The move was occasioned by the recent change in the limits of fixed-odds betting terminals, which prompted William Hill, one of the largest companies in the country, to close estimated 700 shops of their own.

William Hill estimates that the move would cost it around £100 million yearly in sales, but the measure was necessitated by a widespread concern that a financial ruin at the FOBTs may push people into suicide.

The FOBTs measure was embraced nevertheless, with cities arguing that the concentration of such machines led to ‘anti-social behavior.’ Overall, 1% of the population is estimated to be affected, a survey by the NHS National Gambling Clinic argues.

Organizations tasked with helping gambling addiction has reported a steady influx of calls. GamCare took almost 30,000 calls in the FY 17/18. Another thing to note was an increase in the number of problem gamblers caller – or by their family and friends.

Gambling Ruins Lives and Pushes People to Suicide

According to Gambling with Live Charity member Liz Ritchie, ‘serious addiction costs lives.’ In fact, there are between 250-650 gambling-related suicides in the country every year, with the number of young people taking their people rising quickly.

In another research by the UKGC it has been established that 14% of adolescent individuals aged 11 to 16 have gambled at least once in the week leading up to the interview.

At the same time, MPs have called for sterner measures on gambling, as well as the so-called loot boxes, which are still a hotly debated topic. The UKGC has refrained from calling these digital containers, appearing in popular games, gambling.

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