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UK Sports Betting market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Sports Betting market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Sports betting is defined as betting on sports events with a bookmaker or a betting exchange, whether in a betting shop, online (using a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone) or via a (voice) telephone service.

The main betting sports covered in the Report:

  • horseracing
  • football/soccer
  • dog racing
  • tennis
  • cricket
  • golf
  • rugby union
  • snooker

What you need to know

Growth in consumer spending on sports betting is expected to have slowed in 2017/18 in the absence of a major international football tournament and on the back of a less competitive Premier League season.

Rising remote revenues and a flat retail environment mean approaching two-thirds of all spending now takes place online, while new Gambling Commission data shows that horseracing still generates more money than football across all channels.

The market will benefit from a FIFA World Cup year in 2018/19 but faces a significant longer-term challenge in minimising the collateral damage caused by the potential closure of thousands of betting shops rendered unprofitable by a forthcoming cut in gaming machine stake limits.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by David Walmsley, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will have accelerated growth in sports betting market value but is likely to have been less successful in growing the player pool or promoting new technologies. David Walmsley
Senior Leisure Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Growth slows in quieter year for football
              • Figure 1: Forecast of consumer expenditure* on sports betting, 2012/13-2022/23
            • Remote beats retail as racing retains value lead
              • Figure 2: Consumer expenditure on sports betting, by sport and channel, 2016/17
            • Betting shop closures threaten visibility and access
              • Figure 3: Betting shop numbers, March 2014-March 2018
            • Companies and brands
              • Shop closures set to trim multichannel lead
                • Figure 4: Estimated operator revenue shares of UK sports betting market, 2017
              • The consumer
                • ‘Sports dads’ can deepen the player pool
                  • Figure 5: Participation in gambling activities, June 2017 and May 2018
                • More players on football’s team
                  • Figure 6: Sports bet on, June 2017 and May 2018
                • New retail technologies failing to catch up with online
                  • Figure 7: Methods of sports betting, June 2017 and May 2018
                • Smartphones hit the front
                  • Figure 8: Devices used to bet on sport online, June 2017 and May 2018
                • Few shocks in World Cup betting market
                  • Figure 9: FIFA World Cup betting intentions, February 2014 and May 2018
                • Russia 2018 a big-screen event
                  • Figure 10: Locations for watching matches bet on at FIFA World Cup 2018, May 2018
                • Casual bettors put fun first
                  • Figure 11: World Cup betting habits, May 2018
              • Issues and Insights

                • What can the World Cup tell us about the future of football betting?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Will sports betting win or lose from gaming machine crackdown?
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Growth slows in a quieter year for football
                              • Remote revenues push ahead of retail
                                • Horseracing emerges in the lead
                                  • Collateral damage risk from gaming machines crackdown
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                    • Growth rates governed by football competition
                                      • Figure 12: Consumer expenditure* on sports betting, 2012/13-2022/23
                                    • Forecast
                                        • Figure 13: Forecast of consumer expenditure* on sports betting, 2012/13-2022/23
                                      • Forecast methodology
                                      • Market Segmentation

                                        • Remote revenues extend their lead
                                          • Figure 14: Consumer expenditure* on sports betting, by channel, 2015/16-2017/18
                                        • Horseracing defies the odds of retail decline
                                            • Figure 15: Consumer expenditure on sports betting, by sport and channel, October 2016-September 2017
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Betting shops closures threaten visibility over access
                                              • Figure 16: Betting shop numbers, March 2014-March 2018
                                            • Multichannel still a one-way street
                                                • Figure 17: Multichannel* sports bettors, by age, May 2018
                                              • Gaming innovation closes the mobile gap
                                                  • Figure 18: Change in levels of use of smartphones/tablets to gamble online, by activity, March 2017-April 2018
                                                • Gambling market competition closing up
                                                    • Figure 19: Consumer expenditure on gambling, by segment, October 2016-September 2017
                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Multichannel lead threatened by shop closure plans
                                                    • New operators jump into the pools
                                                      • Adspend continues to rise
                                                      • Market Share

                                                        • Shop closures set to trim multichannel lead
                                                          • Figure 20: Estimated operator revenue shares of UK sports betting market, 2017
                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                        • Pools dip a toe in more competitive waters
                                                          • Seeing is believing
                                                            • In-race data to put racing back in the running
                                                              • New markets offer speed, automation and winning big
                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                • Competition forces brands to spend to be seen
                                                                    • Figure 21: Main monitored media advertising expenditure of leading UK sports betting operators*, 2015-17
                                                                  • Spending follows bettors online
                                                                    • Figure 22: Main monitored media advertising expenditure of leading UK sports betting operators, by media type, 2015-17
                                                                  • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                    • More depth needed in player pool
                                                                      • Football attracts most players
                                                                        • Online activity stays ahead of retail
                                                                          • Smartphones dominate device choices
                                                                            • World Cup has a familiar look
                                                                              • Big screens the first choice
                                                                                • Casual bettors put fun first
                                                                                • Sports Bettors

                                                                                  • Serving up snacks for sports dads
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Participation in gambling activities, June 2017 and May 2018
                                                                                  • Sports Bet On

                                                                                    • Could in-play put racing back in the running?
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Sports bet on, June 2017 and May 2018
                                                                                      • Market’s long tail offers test bed for innovation
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Repertoires of sports bet on, May 2018
                                                                                      • Sports Betting Channels

                                                                                        • No change in channel preferences
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Methods of sports betting, June 2017 and May 2018
                                                                                        • Self-service in need of a helping hand
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Use of self-service betting terminals, by other methods of betting on sport, May 2018
                                                                                        • Online Sports Betting Devices

                                                                                          • Smartphones pull clear of the competition
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Devices used to bet on sport online, June 2017 and May 2018
                                                                                            • Device diversity set to decline?
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Repertoires of devices used to bet on sport online, May 2018
                                                                                            • World Cup Betting

                                                                                              • A familiar look – But new signings still possible
                                                                                                  • Figure 30: FIFA World Cup betting intentions, February 2014 and May 2018
                                                                                              • Locations for Watching Games Bet On

                                                                                                • World Cup and television still the classic match
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Locations for watching matches bet on at FIFA World Cup 2018, May 2018
                                                                                                • World Cup Betting Habits

                                                                                                  • Casual bettors drawn to sport’s less serious side
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: World Cup betting habits, May 2018
                                                                                                  • Appendix

                                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Forecast of consumer expenditure* on sports betting, 2017/18-2022/23