New Research Suggests Positives And Negatives For UK Gambling Industry

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23rd October 2013 13:26 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

Gamcare – a British support site for compulsive gamblers – has released some unflattering statistics about what online and mobile gambling might be creating in terms of addictive behaviours. According to the Gamcare assessment, the number of 18-35 year-old gamblers calling for help in 2012 increase by 6.5%.

From a total of 8,813 people who reached out to the support site, three tenths (30%) were aged between 18-24 years-old.

Separately, ABI Research recently estimated that the number of active smartphones in use around the world will reach 1.4 billion by the end of 2013. While a December 2012 survey by comScore put the number of British iPhone users at 8.65 million. According to data from Onavo – a mobile data start-up, 372,000 (4.3%) of those Brits are using their iPhones to wager on sports.

Onavo claims that William Hill is the most popular application, obtaining 38% of iPhone users, followed by Paddy Power (32%), Bet365 (24%) and Ladbrokes (9%).

Online gambling is also gaining traction in the United States, with the state of New Jersey recently taking the decision to allow online gambling  - an activity that had previously been outlawed. The state’s decision follows steady growth in public support over previous years, with research by the Farleigh Dickinson University suggesting that in February 2011 67% opposed online gambling and only 26% favoured it. In May 2012, these figures were 58% and 31% respectively. The most recent poll, carried out in March 2013, suggests that New Jersey voters still marginally opposed the practice – by a figure of 46% opposed to 41% in support. Still, the poll also suggested that 80% of voters felt that the choice of whether or not to regulate betting should rest with individual states – as opposed to being in the hands of Federal legislators.

The slow acceptance of online gambling could represent an area of expansion for UK businesses with an already well-developed online offering.

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