The UK Gambling Commission Presents Its Annual Report

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The UK Gambling Commission has published its annual report covering gambling participation, attitudes and behaviours in Britain.

The report summarizes survey data collected by the Commission during 2016, and covers gambling participation and consumer behavior on such aspects as participation in offline and online gambling, usage of different devices for gambling, awareness around terms and conditions, self-exclusion and other gambling management tools.

The data have been gathered both via telephone and online surveys with people aged 16+. We will cover the most important and interesting figures with the special attention to the online gambling. The full text of the document is available at

48% of people over 16 (53% of men and 44% of women) have participated in at least one form of gambling activity in the past four weeks. However, this percentage includes a significant number of those who only participated in the National Lottery. The figure drops to 33% when we exclude them. The overall percentage has increased by 3% compared to 2015.

Only 17% of them have gambled online. This figure includes such kinds of casino games as slot machines, cards and dice, poker, and roulette.

The number of those who used their mobile phones and tablets has significantly increased from 33% in 2015 to 43% in 2016. However, it hasn’t affected the location of online gambling as 97% of online gamblers still play at home. Men prefer to use their mobile phones while women tend to access gambling websites with their tablet devices.


An average gambler has 3 online accounts with gambling companies. In the same time, a significant number of gamblers have one account for online gambling and only 11% have more than 5 accounts. That’s quite interesting because these figures are so different from those provided by our forum users.

6% of gamblers have ever self-excluded from online gambling. The figure hasn’t changed much since 2015. Most of them (45%) used self-exclusion to control the amount of money being gambled overall; 40% used self-exclusion to permanently close their accounts. We should add that the number of those who are aware of the self-exclusion option has greatly increased compared to 2015 from 29% to 37%.


Only 23% of gamblers have ever read terms a conditions. Though the number of those who keep ignoring terms and conditions is still ridiculously large, we can see that gamblers are getting more responsible which is, certainly, a good trend. The dominant reasons not to read the terms and conditions were too many words, not feeling it was necessary or obvious laziness.


Look what some of the respondents said about T&C:

“I expect that they are written in ‘legalese’ and that I would not fully understand them.”

“Too long and I wasn’t doing anything which could contravene the terms and conditions.”

“Terms & Conditions (for anything) are usually ridiculously long-winded and take forever to read. With the small amounts I gamble, I don’t really feel like I need to read them. If I were to ever gamble with big bucks, I’d definitely consider reading them though.”

32% of online gamblers use social media platforms to follow gambling companies. The young people tend to use Facebook for that. In the same time, they are the main consumers of the gambling promotions being advertised through the social media.

0.7% of respondents were identified as problem gamblers, with a further 5.5% identifying as low or moderate risk. 39% of the British connect gambling with crime and only 34% think that gambling is fair and can be trusted.

James Green, programme director said: “This report paints an important picture of how consumers in Britain choose to gamble – identifying emerging trends and potential risks to the public. We are also now able to provide a more detailed snapshot of online behaviours, which featured for the first time last year.”

“Effective protections come from strong evidence. Our research puts us in a powerful position to better understand the needs of gambling consumers.”