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National Strategic Assessment 2020

This report sets out our latest assessment of the issues we face and the risks that gambling poses to consumers and the public

What do we know?

Overview of how and where people gamble in Great Britain

The place where a person gambles is an important factor in the management of risks to the licensing objectives. The approaches taken to ensure gambling is fair, safe and crime free differ depending on whether the gambling is provided by remote means or from gambling premises. The Gambling Commission wants consumers to be able to enjoy gambling safely, whether they are playing online or in premises.

More than 18 million people report gambling in premises authorised to provide gambling (including National Lottery products purchased in retail outlets), in the past 4 weeks. Licensed gambling premises are operated under an operating licence granted by the Commission and premises licences granted by the 368 licensing authorities.

Prior to COVID-19 there were 9,745 licensed gambling premises in Great Britain made up of the following premises types:

Type Number
Betting premises 7,315
Arcades 1,633
Bingo premises 642
Casinos 155

Our industry statistics show the number of licensed gambling premises is declining.

Figure 10 - A chart showing the decline in gambling premises from 2009 to 2019


The gambling participation rates in licensed gambling premises has also been declining. For example, in 2016 38% of adults reported they had gambled in premises in the past four weeks; in 2019 this reduced to 35% 27.


26 Data for arcades is unavailable for 2009-10

27 Source – Quarterly Telephone Survey – Year to December data periods

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