About Time: You Understood Why Brits Are into GamblingBy Angelica Malin
It’s no secret that Brits like a flutter. According to research from the National Health Service’s Health Survey for England, over 50% of British people like to bet. And the vast majority of those are men. So, it’s no surprise that the industry is worth between £14 and £14.5 billion and employs almost 100,000 people. If the demand is high, the sector should reflect this fact.
However, it’s not the value of the market or the demand that’s in question – the figures clearly paint a vivid picture. The mystery is, why do Brits love to gamble? What’s in it for them, apart from the opportunity to win money? After all, pretty much all the European nations have the same chances, yet they aren’t as committed as the Brits.
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) November 9, 2020
A National Institution
When you think about gambling, the likes of sports betting and land-based and online casinos spring to mind as they make up a large proportion of the industry. However, a very British institution is missing from the list – the National Lottery. In many ways, it’s the most popular betting form. For example, 30% of Brits took part in the National Lottery in 2019, making it the most popular vehicle for people who wanted to gamble. Although sports and casino wagering appear to be the market leaders, they aren’t in the UK as only 7% of Brits gambled on sports last year.
The figure for casinos is around 2%. This isn’t to say that they aren’t popular – they are – but it does highlight how the National Lottery is a tradition in the United Kingdom that millions of people enjoy and have done since 1994, making it an institution.
Brits & Sport
Britain’s relationship with sport is complicated, yet it’s wrong to say it isn’t a love affair. The stats prove that Britons love sports, particularly watching them – in 2018, the average Brit spent almost 30 hours more watching sport than participating.
Fast-forward to 2020, and the demand hasn’t slowed down because one of the biggest media channels announced its best-ever day for viewing figures, with over 14 million people tuning in to watch football, cricket, golf, and basketball. To put it into perspective, the 14 million number was more than 11% of all TV viewing for the day. Of course, the link between sports and betting is evident, especially in the UK, where Statista reports 33.6 million active remote gambling accounts exist. As more and more viewers turn on the television to watch sports, the number of wagers placed is only expected to increase.
The Rise of Technology
It’s never safe to assume that technology has peaked and has nowhere to go. Just when you think it can’t continue to push the envelope, the tech industry does something innovative and creative.
Usually, the gambling market benefits from the advancements as they offer an enhanced user experience for players who enjoy the entertainment factor. Fifth-generation software, or 5G, is the ultimate example as it can deliver 20 Gbps peak data rates and 100 Mbps average data rates. In the UK, hundreds of towns and cities are covered by providers, making gambling the perfect pastime for players since there are fewer glitches. Today, to be among the best online casino sites, establishments must invest in the latest mobile technology or risk losing out to their competitors as customers have high expectations and are willing to shop around for the best services. Brits fall into this category because they are blessed with fantastic mobile infrastructure.
Gamification is the process of applying the best gaming elements to a marketing strategy to boost brand awareness. As you can probably guess, nobody does this better than the gambling industry. Whereas betting used to have a stigma, it has now been eliminated by the sense of community that is palpable while playing.
As well as a wide variety of games to choose from, users can also play against friends in real-time and share results on social media channels. Plus, the introduction of tech such as headsets and live chat functions only makes the social aspect stronger. It’s not about the money or the winning for modern players in the UK – it’s about interacting with people remotely and having fun. That’s why there are over 7,000 betting shops, 1,600 arcades, 155 casinos, and numerous online casinos.
Brits are into gambling due to their love of sports, the lottery, the impact of new technology, and gamification trends that lead to a sense of community. For those reasons, the industry is here to stay.