U.K. Gambling Commission releases 2008 report

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Despite the U.K. embracing online gambling in the fall of 2007, the number of people participating in remote gambling has remained virtually identical.

Of the 8,000 adults surveyed by the U.K. Gambling Commission in June 2008, a total of 8.8% said they had participated in at least one form of remote gambling (through a computer, mobile phone or interactive/digital TV) in the previous month. This is the same percentage the study found in 2007.

The 2005 U.K. Gambling Act, which somewhat ironically went into effect Sept. 1, 2007, made casinos more accessible and gave gambling organizations the ability to buy TV advertisements. Many thought the exposure from the new act would give a boost to online gambling in the U.K., but that does not appear to be the case.

Here are a few of the key findings from the study:

  • Those participating in remote gambling remain more likely to be male than female, and are more likely to be aged 18-44. There was, however, a slight increase in female participation, with the rate going from 6.0% in 2007 to 6.5% in 2008.
  • If those only playing National Lottery games remotely are excluded, 5.0% of the respondents had participated in remote gambling. Overall, 6.2% of respondents said they had gambled remotely on the National Lottery/Tickets for the National Lottery draw in the previous month (either solely or in addition to other types of gambling activity)
  • Remote gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device was most popular (6.9% of all adult respondents, followed by gambling via mobile phone [2.3%]and interactive/digital TV [2.0%]).

The Gambling Commission was set up under the 2005 U.K. Gambling Act and was formally established in October of 2005. The Commission is responsible for regulating betting and online gambling as well as for helping to protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling. For more information about the organization visit its Web site at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk.

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