The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), one of the top gambling regulatory bodies on a global level, has once again released its yearly report featuring all the latest predictions and statistics in the United Kingdom.
The report highlights central aspects of the industry, including but not limited to, participation rates, problem gambling estimates and online gambling behavior. It also sheds lights on how aware consumers are of gambling management tools and what their approach is to gambling in general.
Out of all people surveyed, the ones who gambled within the last month reached a 45%, demonstrating a 3% decrease compared to last year. At the same time the percentage of people that gambled online in the same period increased from 17% in 2016 to 18% in 2017.
51% of those punters used their mobile phones or tablets to access the iGaming operators, a percentage which indicates an 8% increase from last year’s 43%. Gamblers are not so keen on following their favorite companies on social anymore, as the decrease in bookmakers’ social media following indicates, from 2016’s 32% to 2017’s 26%.
What’s particularly interesting is that 6% of punters decided to take a step back from gambling, be it online or offline. Another 0.8% admitted having gambling addiction issues, 3.9% believe they are on the verge of developing an addiction, and 41% connect gambling with crime, percentages that are somewhat disturbing.
An issue of major significance for the gambling industry is whether gambling is safe and fair. To that question 33% answered yes, which is somewhat contradicting to the above mentioned stats on problem gambling.
UKGC Program Director, Ben Haden emphasized the importance of the board’s 3-year plan to gain a better understanding on how gambling influences the British society, as well as gain a more detailed view of the public's opinion. He also continued by mentioning the importance of integrity and gambling safety for consumers and stated that these are major criteria on which punters base their bookie preferences.
UKGC is Britain’s official gambling regulatory board that is characterized by a profound focus on transparency and integrity. Established under the Gambling Act 2005, UKGC became fully operational in 2007 and is considered one of the most prestigious and strict gambling regulation bodies on an international level. For this reason, acquiring a license from UKGC is much more difficult as opposed to other commissions, such as Curacao, as they perform thorough financial and legal checks to ensure the integrity of casino owners. In maintaining this spirit of financial and legal control of licensees, the commission often issues fines to casinos that fail to comply with the standards set by the organization.
They also intend to disassociate gambling with crime in the minds of people, make it safe, trustworthy and prevent minors from engaging in gambling activities. In many cases they work together with other UK regulatory bodies, such as the police, if they detect suspicious gambling activities that might be illegal.