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Statistics and research release

Consumer voice - Exploring online staking (2020 research)

Research from 2020 exploring online staking behaviour, the proposition of stake limits and other alternative limits for online gambling.


This release contains research from 2020 about online staking behaviour, the issue of stake limits and other alternative limits for online gambling. The research provides an understanding of ‘typical’ behaviour amongst participants, including how their behaviour has changed and how they anticipate it changing in future.

The research also discusses participants’ attitudes towards staking restrictions and their experience of gambling-related harms.

About our consumer voice research

We use a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to gather views, opinions and insights from gambling consumers. This work complements our nationally representative statistics on gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling but goes into more depth on key issues and emerging areas of interest.

This Consumer Voice research was conducted by 2CV, who used a combination of online surveys and online community panels to tap into the voice of the gambling consumer and those affected by gambling in Great Britain.

The fieldwork for this research was completed in October 2020. As part of a comprehensive package of work to make online gambling safer, the Gambling Commission have since introduced a number of new measures, including a ban on reverse withdrawals and changes to online slots products such as limits on spin speeds and a permanent ban on features that speed up play or celebrate losses as wins.

Key facts

The results show that:

  • typical staking behaviour depended to a large extent on personal approach to risk and the games played, with willingness to stake more increasing significantly as Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) score increased
  • changes to gambling behaviour appeared to be incremental and hard to articulate; they were based on a combination of a need for a bigger buzz from bigger wins; experiences with other games where wins were higher and a desire to make up for losses
  • belief in ‘streaks’ could also make people more inclined to increase their stakes
  • most participants believed that some kind of restrictions should be in place, but there was no real consensus on what this should consist of, other than that it should affect others more than themselves
  • participants least at risk felt that they would be unaffected by stake restrictions; moderate-risk and problem gamblers would find it inconvenient and believed they would lose some of the fun; however only moderate-risk gamblers were against the idea.


Introduction and overall aim

The aim of this qualitative research was to explore online staking behaviour, the issue of stake limits and other alternative limits for online betting. More specifically, the research intended to improve understanding around:

  • current staking behaviour: to understand what ‘typical’ behaviour was, why it was like that, how their behaviour has changed and how they imagine it might change in the future
  • response to staking restrictions: to understand how they felt about potential restrictions, both in terms of stake limits and alternatives, and the perceived impact of such restrictions.

The qualitative nature of the research means that the sample size is relatively small compared to the Commission's official statistic products. For this reason, the views of respondents in this research may not represent that of the wider population and this should be kept in mind throughout.

Content in speech marks indicates opinions and/or quotes from participants as part of the qualitative research. The conclusions are those drawn from 2CV.

View the data and conclusions from the exploring online staking research.

Data and downloads

There are no files for this release.


We are always keen to hear how these statistics are used and would welcome your views on this publication.

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