Sports betting is the fastest growing sector of the gambling and online casino markets. Currently generating around £800 million a year in revenues, and projected to continue its growth over the next few years, it is becoming one of the more important leisure pursuits in the UK.
We Brits are very much a nation of gamblers, and we particularly favour sports betting. Including grandmothers who love an annual flutter on the Grand National to regular betters on football games, according to the latest report from the Gambling Commission, 73 percent of people in the UK place at least one bet a year (including the National Lottery) ñ that is 35 million people. Back in 2007 it was 68 percent.
If you exclude the National Lottery from these figures, still well over half of the adult population (56 percent) were involved in some form of betting. In terms of betting over the internet, still only around 18% of people prefer to gamble this way. Over 80% of the people who regularly gamble do it in person at high street betting shops or the races. It is not surprising that online casinos and bookmakers are working hard to promote betting online.
There are two areas of sports betting that are not enjoying our love affair with gambling. These are football pools and horse racing. In 1999 around 9% of people regularly filled in their pools coupons, but by 2010 that had declined to 4%, and although there are not more up to date figures available, it would appear that the decline is continuing.
Horse racing is also struggling a little. Although 22 percent of men and 12 percent of women bet on the sport, their average age is increasing as the sport is finding it ever more difficult to attract younger fans. This could be a temporary dip, but it seems that there is opportunity to make the sport more attractive to the young, but British Racing is failing to do so.
Increasingly, people are using online casinos, just as they are using the internet for lots of their other daily needs, and of course for entertainment purposes.Between 2010 and 2011, the online casino industry in the UK turned over around £347 million pounds. This is a number that manufacturers couldnít ignore, and as a result manufacturers are teaming up with mobile device makers to make the online gaming experience an easy one for their expectant customers. Due to the level of convenience for online gamers, people who wouldn’t previously have visited a casino are now taking part.