Poker second most common form of remote gaming in U.K.

The U.K. Gambling Commission published the first of a new statistical series this week focused on remote and online gambling in Britain. The survey data of the paper showed that Brits love their National Lottery, which is the most-played type of remote or online gambling, with poker coming in second.

The document, titled "Survey Data on Remote Gambling Participation," reports the results of interviews with 8,000 people in Britain about their online gambling and remote gambling habits.

One key finding was that in 2006, nearly 8% of adults said they took part in at least one form of remote gambling in the previous month. The majority who said they did some remote gambling were also male.

The types of remote gambling reported by the 8% are:

  • National Lottery 5.3%
  • Poker rooms/tournaments 2.1%
  • Sports or horse race betting 1.9%
  • Other lotteries 1.3%
  • Gaming machines 1.2%
  • Casino type games 1.1%
  • Bingo 0.7%
  • Football pools 0.7%
  • Other 0.6%
  • Keno/virtual sports 0.5%
  • Don't know/Can't remember 0.2%

Another key finding was that remote gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device was the most popular. Mobile phones followed and then interactive or digital TV.

This new series of papers will continue on a quarterly basis in the U.K. and help the Gambling Commission monitor remote gambling in the nation.

"This new series is an important part of the Commission's monitoring," said Peter Dean, Gambling Commission Chairman. "The figures reflect the uptake of new technology with people choosing to gamble via the Internet as well as through mobile phones and interactive television."

More British citizens have been taking advantage of online gambling and other remote forms of gambling. The United Kingdom is further opening up opportunities for remote gambling when the Gambling Act comes into affect in September.

At that time, the government will be regulating and licensing remote gambling, which they hope will help protect children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

"Under the Gambling Act, all British-based operators will be required to prevent access to gambling by children by providing strict age verification procedures, to provide information about responsible gambling to their users and to have other meatures in place to protect those at risk," Dean said.

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