Britain Spends £12.6BN Gambling in 2015July 5, 2016 11:25 am
Britons spent a record £12.6 billion ($16.7bn) gambling last year, according to the latest information released by the UK Gambling Commission. Furthermore, the decline noted in the retail side of the industry was more than offset by an increasing number of people going online to gamble via websites or their mobile apps.
On the retail side of the business, UK residents spent £3.3 billion on the National Lottery, and £3.2 billion gambling at betting shops. Against this backdrop, more than 200 high-street bookmakers have shut shop over the past two years, while the number of bingo halls have dropped by 10% to just 600, and the money spent at casinos has contracted to just £1 billion. However, bookmakers reported a record level of business from the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) located at their high-street shops, which between October 2014 and September 2015 accounted for 56% of their profits, or £1.71 billion.
In the meantime, a third of all gambling in the UK took place online, or £3.6 billion, with punters losing their money at internet sports betting, casino, bingo, and poker sites. Commenting on the latest figures, Programme director James Green from the UK Gambling Commission, said:
“The market share of the online betting, bingo and casino sector is 29% and we’ll be interested to see how this varies over time. Offline we’re seeing changes. For instance, there’s been a reduction in the number of betting shops, arcades and bingo halls in the last two years. Market trends and consumer participation research are key to shaping the commission’s regulatory policy to keep gambling in Britain safe for consumers, fair and crime-free.”
According to the latest statistics, the UK gambling industry has now noted an increase in business every year since 2011. Not everyone is happy about the situation, though, with consumer groups and the media concerned that the country could soon face a mounting problem gambler epedemic.