Almost half of Britons gamble, report finds

More than two thirds think it can damage family life

Updated: 

Almost half of people in Britain gamble but more than two thirds believe it is dangerous for family life, according to a report.

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Some 48% of Britons have gambled in the past four weeks - a 3% increase on 2015 - although this figure drops to 33% when it excludes those who have only played the National Lottery, the Gambling Commission study found.

Some 53% of men have gambled, up from 50% in 2015, and 44% of women, up from 41%.

The use of mobile phones or tablet devices to gamble has increased by 10% since 2015 to 43%, and 68% of 18 to 24-year-olds have been prompted to gamble by adverts and posts on social media.

Gambling on gaming machines in bookmakers has remained stable at 1.5%.

Among those who have gambled in the past 12 months, 0.7% were identified as problem gamblers, up from 0.5% in 2015, and 5.5% identified as at-risk gamblers.

The poll also found 67% of respondents think people should have the right to gamble whenever they want, but 69% believe gambling is dangerous for family life and 78% feel there are now too many opportunities to gamble.

Gambling Commission programme director James Green 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."



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