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Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
The gambling habits of Britons
MPs want to reform gambling laws
As the government releases a report into the proposed changes to UK gambling laws, BBC News Online looks at the gambling habits of Britons.

Six out of ten adults in the UK spend up to 50 each month gambling on sporting events or the Lotto, according to government figures.

The industry is already worth 42bn a year, but the government's proposed shake-up of the UK's gambling laws could alter that.

Analysts predict that as a result of the changes the annual sum gambled in Britain will rise to more than 60bn.

But how and where is all this money spent?

  • Lotto

    It is estimated more than 30 million people regularly buy a ticket for the Lotto.

    In 2000/01 a total of 4.983m tickets were sold, according to the National Lottery Commission.

    It estimates the average household spends a combined figure of 5.37 on the Saturday and Wednesday draws and 2.49 on the Saturday draw alone.

    Weekly Lotto spend per household per socio economic group
    A 5.98
    B 5.50
    C1 5.35
    C2 6.31
    D 5.09
    E 4.13
    Source: National Lottery Commission
    The UK Lotto is ranked the second largest of the192 lotteries worldwide (by sales).

    It also pays out the second highest amount to good causes and the tax man.

    A study by the National Centre for Social Research estimates that of those who play the Lotto, less than 1% are problem gamblers.

    But Gamblers Anonymous says since the first lottery ticket was sold eight years ago, the number of calls it receives has increased by over 17%.

    But its says this is not necessarily directly due to the Lotto or scratch cards.

  • Bingo

    Bingo clubs saw a boom in trade in the 1990s.

    There are currently 705 licensed bingo clubs operating in the UK, according to the Bingo Association.

    It estimates the average customer spends up to 20 on a night.

    This includes bingo tickets, VAT and other duty, other gaming, food and drink and does make allowance for winnings.

    350,000 Britons have a gambling problem
    Predicted to rise to one million if gambling changes are introduced
    Source: National Economic Research Associate
    Over 930m was paid out in prizes in 2000 in the clubs and industry made an estimated pre-tax profit of 119m in the same year.

    Bingo is the only gambling activity where women are more likely to play than men, according to the association.

    Seventy per cent of bingo players are women and 30% are men.

    Bingo playing is spread evenly across all age categories, with the average age of players being under 50.

  • Slot machines

    There are 250,000 slot machines spread across the UK.

    Britons fed an estimated 10.43bn into the machines in 2001/02, according to the Gaming Board for Great Britain (GBGB).

    This works out at an average of 28m a day.

    A total of 8.76bn was paid out to punters last year.

  • Casinos

    There are 123 registered casinos in the UK, more than any other country in Europe apart from France.

    Casino gambling
    Gambling chiefs are being urged to help addicts
    The amount of money exchanged for gambling chips last year totalled 3.5bn, according to the GBGB.

    This was a rise of 8% on the previous year.

    The average amount a person spends during a trip to a casino in the UK is 44, according to the British Casino Association.

    The amount retained by the casinos each day totalled 1.7m in 2000/01.

  • Betting

    Betting at the bookmakers - on anything from the horses to the name of David and Victoria Beckham's new baby - also amounts to over 1bn.

    The last study done on the subject, by the University of Salford, said 1.7bn was spent on betting in 1998.

  • Internet betting

    Given the nature of the internet, it is difficult to get any reliable figures on the current and predicted size of online gambling, according to the GBGB.

    But it says all commentators agree the global market is large and growing.

    It is estimated internet gambling contributed just over 21bn to global gambling turnover of 638bn in 2001, according to research undertaken for the Betting Office Licensees Association.

    Of this, betting on horses is estimated to have made up 2bn, sports betting 9bn, online casinos 5bn and lotteries 5bn.

  • See also:

    28 Mar 01 | High Stakes
    24 Jul 02 | Politics
    26 Mar 02 | Politics
    26 Mar 02 | England
    25 Feb 02 | Business
    26 Mar 02 | UK
    26 Mar 02 | UK
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