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GC study: One quarter of UK adults engage in regular online gambling

One quarter of UK adults aged 16 and over have gambled online in the past four weeks, according to new data published by the Gambling Commission (GC).

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Between September 2020 and 2021, approximately 25% of the 4,005 respondents in the GC’s study had participated in some form of online gambling in the previous four weeks, an increase from roughly 22% in 2020 and up from 18% in 2017.

On average, men are gambling online more than women, though the latter has seen significant rises in recent years, up 3% on 2020’s survey to 22%, while those in the 55-64 age group are also gambling more, climbing from 18% in 2017 to 28% as of September 2021.

This same trend tracks for those in the oldest age bracket, 65 and up, whose percentage circa 2021 stands at almost 19%, having risen from little more than 11% in 2017.

Participating in the National Lottery was the most popular form of online gambling in 2021, followed by other online lotteries, horseracing and sports betting.

Nuno Albuquerque of addiction help firm UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT) commented on the study’s findings, claiming that such trends represent a dangerous road towards gambling-related harms.

“Today’s report by the Gambling Commission is just the tip of the iceberg; we know that thousands more will be gambling online and will continue to do so,” said Albuquerque.

“Online gambling can be very addictive as it’s so readily available, easily concealed and extremely enticing. It’s advertised as a form of escapism, and is evidently attracting more women and those aged 55 and over than ever before.”

“Gambling addiction can ruin lives; we see it for ourselves every day in treatment. It costs people their jobs, it breaks apart families, and it all starts as a hobby. But it is treatable, it is possible to live a life without gambling.”

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