Online and Interactive Gambling - UK - July 2009
Only a very small minority of UK adults actually participate in online gambling, but very few will be unaware of its existence and a large majority will have formed some sort of opinion about it. For many non-gaming brands, the normalisation of gambling in general led by the success of the National Lottery, and the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005, have raised their interest in its online sector as a valuable new source of revenue. But for many consumers, and sections of the opinion-leading press, remote gambling is a dangerous vice set to bring addiction and ruin to millions.
What is clear is that online and interactive gambling is already a significant leisure market sector and is set to gain further from wider trends in society towards participation in web-based entertainment and the huge untapped opportunities that exist on the under-developed mobile and interactive TV platforms. Approaching 3 million UK adults now gamble online, a quarter of them new gamblers, and contribute almost £1.5 billion to annual gambling industry revenues. Continued growth is not automatic though; these new gamblers are far more vulnerable than established ones to churn during the recession, and consumer fears about the dangers of betting and gaming online remain a significant barrier to expanding participation.
This report examines both the supply and demand sides of this still emerging market and assesses consumer attitudes towards online and interactive gambling as a guide to its future prospects. In so doing, it tests the hypothesis that “the online and interactive gambling market does not yet have the established player base to insulate it from the recession in the way the offline sector traditionally has been, but its potential for product, platform and penetration growth means it will continue to expand rapidly throughout the current crisis”.
Who gambles online?
What platforms do consumers want to be able to gamble on?
How popular are the main online gambling products?
What impact is the recession having on consumers’ willingness to gamble?
How can the industry tackle public concerns over risks of problem gambling?
What brands do consumers favour when gambling online?
How do our online gambling habits differ from our offline ones?
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