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Gambling behaviour 2022 - Findings from the quarterly telephone survey

This statistical release covers the quarterly gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence data for the year to December 2022.

Published: 28 February 2023

Last updated: 14 June 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 19 May 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/guide/gambling-behaviour-2022-findings-from-the-quarterly-telephone-survey

Overview: This statistical release covers the quarterly gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence data for the year to December 2022, as well as reporting on respondents’ perceptions of trust, crime, and attitudes towards gambling.

The data in this publication released today is based on the Gambling Commission’s quarterly telephone survey conducted by Yonder Consulting. A nationally representative sample of 4,001 adults aged 16 years and over were interviewed via telephone in March, June, September and December 2022. Please note that fieldwork for December 2022 overlapped with the World Cup 2022 matches.

Gambling behaviour 2022 - Overall gambling participation

44 percent of adults (aged 16 and over) said they had participated in at least one form of gambling in the previous four weeks (43 percent in year to December 2021), representing a statistically stable participation rate over the past 12-month period.

Significant increases in gambling participation were seen for certain demographic groups, including males (a 47 percent gambling participation rate in 2022, compared to 44 percent in year to December 2021) and 25 to 34 year olds (a 44 percent participation rate in 2022, compared to 37 percent in year to December 2021).

Looking at the data across a slightly longer term period, the data shows that whilst there has been some recovery in the market since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there hasn't been a complete return to pre-coronavirus participation rates, illustrating the long-term impact of the pandemic.

Figure 1: Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, by gender and age

A bar chart showing the proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, by gender and age. Data from this chart is within the following tables.

Data from chart

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks by all respondents.

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks by all respondents.
Year All respondents (percent)
Year to December 2018 45.8%
Year to December 2019 47.2%
Year to December 2020 42.0%
Year to December 2021 42.6%
Year to December 2022 44.4%
Significant 2021 to 2022 No

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks by gender.

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks by gender.
Gender Male (percent) Female (percent)
Year to December 2018 50.8% 40.9%
Year to December 2019 51.0% 43.5%
Year to December 2020 44.5% 39.5%
Year to December 2021 43.6% 41.8%
Year to December 2022 47.2% 41.8%
Significant 2021 to 2022 Yes No

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks by age.

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks by age.
Age 16 to 24 year olds (percent) 25 to 34 year olds (percent) 35 to 44 year olds (percent) 45 to 54 year olds (percent) 55 to 64 year olds (percent) 65 year olds and over (percent)
Year to December 2018 36.1% 45.9% 43.9% 52.3% 55.0% 42.2%
Year to December 2019 40.4% 48.7% 50.5% 52.8% 48.4% 41.9%
Year to December 2020 31.2% 39.0% 45.8% 48.4% 46.5% 39.1%
Year to December 2021 32.2% 37.2% 42.8% 51.1% 49.7% 40.0%
Year to December 2022 34.3% 44.2% 45.8% 50.2% 47.6% 42.0%
Significant 2021 to 2022 No Yes No No No No

Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level

As participation in National Lottery draws is so much higher than for other gambling activities, changes in National Lottery participation can have a noticeable impact on overall participation rates. It is therefore useful to remove the responses of those who have only participated in National Lottery draws. When respondents who have only taken part in National Lottery draws are excluded, the overall participation rate for year to December 2022 sits at 29 percent. This is stable compared to year to December 2021 but lower than the participation rates we saw before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 2: Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products, by gender and age

A bar chart showing the proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products, by gender and age. Data from this chart is within the following tables.

Data from chart

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products by all respondents.

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products by all respondents.
Year All respondents (percent)
Year to December 2018 32.1%
Year to December 2019 32.5%
Year to December 2020 28.2%
Year to December 2021 28.6%
Year to December 2022 29.2%
Significant 2021 to 2022 †† No

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products by gender.

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products by gender.
Gender Male (percent) Female (percent)
Year to December 2018 36.9% 27.5%
Year to December 2019 35.6% 29.5%
Year to December 2020 29.8% 26.7%
Year to December 2021 28.2% 29.1%
Year to December 2022 31.3% 27.2%
Significant 2021 to 2022 †† Yes No

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products by age.

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, excluding those only playing National Lottery draw products by age.
Age 16 to 24 year olds (percent) 25 to 34 year olds (percent) 35 to 44 year olds (percent) 45 to 54 year olds (percent) 55 to 64 year olds (percent) 65 year olds and over (percent)
Year to December 2018 34.6% 39.6% 32.2% 32.1% 32.0% 24.5%
Year to December 2019 38.2% 40.5% 35.3% 32.0% 27.2% 25.5%
Year to December 2020 30.0% 29.5% 29.3% 31.0% 26.8% 24.4%
Year to December 2021 28.9% 31.5% 27.4% 30.9% 29.0% 25.3%
Year to December 2022 32.6% 32.6% 29.4% 27.1% 29.2% 26.6%
Significant 2021 to 2022 †† No No No No No No

†† Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level.

In year to December 2022, participation in many activities have remained statistically stable, compared to the previous year. The most popular gambling activities remained National Lottery draws (29 percent), followed by other lotteries (13 percent) and scratchcards (8 percent).

In year to December 2022, National Lottery draws experienced a significant increase in participation compared to year to December 2021.

Gambling behaviour 2022 - In person gambling participation

Data shows that in year to December 2022, 28 percent of adults had gambled in person in the previous four weeks, a significantly higher proportion to that seen in year to December 2021 (25 percent). However, this still represents a significant decline from pre-pandemic participation rates (35 percent participation rate in year to December 2019).

When National Lottery draws are removed from the data, the ‘all respondents’ in person participation rate has also significantly increased between 2021 (17 percent) and 2022 (20 percent) but again, this still represents a significant decline from pre-pandemic participation rates (24 percent in year to December 2019).

Figure 3: Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of in person gambling in the past four weeks

A bar chart showing the proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of in person gambling in the past four weeks. Data from this chart is within the following table.

Data from chart

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of in person gambling in the past four weeks.
Year Past four week in person gambling (percent) Past four week in person gambling excluding National Lottery (percent)
Year to December 2018 34.8% 24.7%
Year to December 2019 35.1% 24.3%
Year to December 2020 26.0% 17.8%
Year to December 2021 24.5% 17.2%
Year to December 2022 27.5% 19.5%
Significant 2021 to 2022 Yes Yes

Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level.

Gambling behaviour 2022 - Online gambling participation

Overall, in the year to December 2022, 27 percent of adults had gambled online in the previous four weeks, which is statistically stable since year to December 2021, but does show a steady long-term increase over time.

When those who have only played National Lottery draws are removed from the data, the ‘all respondents’ online participation rate has also remained statistically stable between 2021 and 2022.

Figure 4: Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of online gambling in the past four weeks

A bar chart showing the proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of online gambling in the past four weeks. Data from this chart is within the following tables.

Data from chart

Proportion of respondents participating in at least one form of online gambling in the past four weeks.
Year Past 4 week in person gambling (percent) Past 4 week in person gambling excluding the National Lottery (percent)
Year to December 2018 18.5% 14.4%
Year to December 2019 21.1% 16.6%
Year to December 2020 23.6% 17.0%
Year to December 2021 25.3% 18.0%
Year to December 2022 26.9% 18.6%
Significant 2021 to 2022 No No

Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level.

Gambling behaviour 2022 - Problem and at-risk gambling

Problem gambling means gambling to a degree that compromises, disrupts, or damages family, personal, or recreational pursuits. The Gambling Commission’s most robust sources of statistics on the prevalence of problem and at-risk gambling are the national health surveys. You can view the latest health survey data (opens in new tab).

The Gambling Commission also tracks problem gambling data via the quarterly telephone survey to provide a more regular and up to date measure of problem gambling prevalence. The Commission is currently piloting a new approach for collecting gambling participation and prevalence data in the future. Further details on participation and prevalence can be found on our website.

Using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) mini screen, the data for year to December 2022 shows the problem gambling rate to be 0.2 percent (statistically stable since year to December 2021). In addition, for year to December 2022, the low risk rate sits at 1.7 percent, also statistically stable compared to year to December 2021. There has however been a significant increase in the moderate risk rate (1.3 percent in year to December 2022) compared to 0.8 percent in year to December 2021.

Figure 5: Low risk, moderate risk and problem gamblers (according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) mini-screen)

A bar chart showing the rate of low risk, moderate risk and problem gamblers (according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) mini-screen). Data from this chart is within the following table.

Data from chart

Low risk, moderate risk and problem gamblers (according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) mini-screen).
Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) mini-screen Year to Dec 2018 (percent) Year to Dec 2019 (percent) Year to Dec 2020 (percent) Year to Dec 2021 (percent) Year to Dec 2022 (percent) Significant 2021 to 2022
Low risk 3.3% 2.7% 2.0% 1.9% 1.7% No
Moderate risk 1.5% 1.2% 0.9% 0.8% 1.3% Yes
Problem gambler 0.5% 0.6% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% No

Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level.

Gambling behaviour 2022 - Perceptions

The Gambling Commission also track public perceptions of gambling, using questions in the telephone survey.

Trust

Figure 6 shows the percentage of respondents who agreed, either strongly or slightly, with the statement that gambling in this country is conducted fairly and can be trusted.

Overall, in year to December 2022, 30 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that gambling in this country is conducted fairly and can be trusted, which is statistically stable compared to the previous year. The level of agreement has remained statistically stable for both gamblers and non-gamblers.

Figure 6: Respondents agreeing that gambling in this country is conducted fairly and can be trusted

A line graph showing the percentage of respondents agreeing that gambling in this country is conducted fairly and can be trusted. Data from this graph is within the following table.

Data from chart

Respondents agreeing that gambling in this country is conducted fairly and can be trusted.
Respondents Year to Dec 2018 (percent) Year to Dec 2019 (percent) Year to Dec 2020 (percent) Year to Dec 2021 (percent) Year to Dec 2022 (percent) Significant 2021 to 2022
All respondents 29.9% 29.0% 28.8% 30.1% 29.5% No
Gambled in past 12 months 33.6% 32.0% 31.9% 36.2% 35.5% No
Not gambled in past 12 months 24.6% 24.5% 24.9% 23.8% 22.5% No

Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level.

Attitudes

Respondents were also asked further questions about their attitudes and opinions towards gambling in Great Britain using a series of positive and negative statements originating from a shortened version of the Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale (ATGS-8).

Figure 7: Respondents agreeing with attitude statements

A bar chart showing how much the respondents agree with attitude statements. Data from this chart is within the following table.

Data from chart

Respondents agreeing with attitude statements.
Attitude statement Year to Dec 2018 (percent) Year to Dec 2019 (percent) Year to Dec 2020 (percent) Year to Dec 2021 (percent) Year to Dec 2022 (percent) Significant 2021 to 2022 ††
There are too many opportunities for gambling nowadays 79.4% 82.3% 83.0% 81.8% 78.9% Yes
Gambling is dangerous for family life 70.8% 72.6% 74.5% 69.9% 71.1% No
People should have the right to gamble whenever they want 62.1% 60.2% 59.8% 59.4% 62.3% No
Gambling should be discouraged 57.6% 61.8% 63.4% 58.9% 61.8% No
Most people who gamble do so sensibly 36.2% 35.5% 35.9% 40.2% 36.8% No
It would be better if gambling was banned altogether 25.4% 28.6% 30.5% 27.6% 28.1% No
Gambling livens up life 28.0% 25.8% 27.5% 30.0% 27.4% No
On balance, gambling is good for society 13.1% 12.5% 15.6% 14.5% 12.1% No

†† Statistically significant change from Year to December 2021 at the 95 percent level.

In year to December 2022, 79 percent of respondents agreed that there are too many opportunities for gambling, a significant decrease on the previous year. 71 percent agreed that gambling is dangerous, while 62 percent thought gambling should be discouraged, yet 63 percent believed that people should have the right to gamble whenever they want.

Gambling behaviour 2022 - Notes

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