LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire -08/30/12)- According to the Gambling Commission, 73% of UK adults gambled in 2010, up from 68% in 2007(1) prior to the global recession. Most people, 60%, gamble on the National Lottery and choose to gamble because 'it's fun' and because they have a 'chance of winning big money'.
Winning 'big money' on the national lottery is not exactly easy however. The last Euro Millions winners had a one in 116,531,800 chance of winning; but they did win and they did indeed win 'big money'. A couple from Suffolk are now GBP 148,656,000 richer(2).
Online casino www.GamingClub.co.uk says it isn't surprising more people are turning to gambling in times of recession. Other sources of income have dried up and people don't see many other financial options. At the same time as gambling prevalence has risen, household incomes have fallen in real terms. Online gambling and the National Lottery provide hope, enjoyment and excitement when the economy doesn't.
Online gaming has jumped in popularity in the past few years since the recession. Obviously it's not just the economy that is behind this jump. There has been a rise in the number of online casinos and bingo sites and Internet speeds have increased. More players are now using their phones to gamble too. However, although the reasons can be debated, it cannot be denied that online gambling has seen a huge increase in popularity.
According to H2 Gambling Capital, a gambling research and monitoring firm, there was a 12.5% increase in online gaming in 2010, equating to a rise of GBP 18.8 billion. Online bingo was one of the biggest winners; in 2010 revenues grew by GBP 1.7 billion representing an increase of 28.4% compared to 2009. Online casinos also increased their revenues, up by GBP 4 billion or 13.3%(3) between 2009 and 2010.
Gambingclub.co.uk points out that the need to 'win big' and 'have fun' will increase as fears surrounding the economy heighten. Now the UK is back in recession it's likely the number of people gambling will continue to rise. However, the amounts people gamble with may fall; as incomes are further squeezed. In providing fun and entertainment, gambling also distracts people from the depressing economic situation, so for many it's a win-win course of action.
(3) H2 Gambling Capital report: http://www.casinosonline.co.uk/news/2011/01/10/increase-in-online-gaming-reported-in-2010/