The United Kingdom is home to one of the most robust and competitive gambling markets in the world. Despite its relatively developed nature, it continues to attract operators and punters in large numbers. Leading strategic insight agency, Opinium Sports & Leisure conducted the study of the UK gambling market. Specifically, the company scrutinized online bingo, online casino and online sports betting vis-à-vis consumers and their preferences.
A spike in television advertisements has taken place over the past decade, with spending increasing as much as £118.5 million in 2015. Sports betting operators derive the majority of their revenue from fixed odds terminals and self-service betting machines. Opinium conducted research with 1,500 sports bettors and the overall consensus is that most betting takes place within the 35-54 age group among males, however marketing remains focused on the 18-34 age group.
Findings on Gender Preferences
The age breakdown of adults in the UK versus those who gamble indicates that the demographic with the highest propensity for gambling is the 35-54 demographic, with 34% of UK adults falling into that category and 43% of them having a preference for gambling. In terms of social grades, 54% of ABC 1 (Nat REP) and 62% of ABC 1 (gambling) compared with 46% for C2DE (Nat REP) and 38% C2 DE (gambling).
Men featured prominently among all gamblers with ratios of 62% versus 38%. However, for sports betting the figures were skewed strongly in favour of men (80% versus 20%). For bingo, there was a dramatic reversal with 78% of players being female and 22% male. Casino is the most evenly matched category in the United Kingdom. 57% of males play online casino games and 43% of females play online casino games
Interesting Demographics for Bingo, Sports and Casino Betting
In terms of overlaps, 21% of casino, bingo and sports book players enjoy all three formats. 33% of players (of the 1,500 people polled) are sportsbook only players, 11% bingo only and 8% slots only. 9% of players play bingo and slots games, while 13% of players enjoy sportsbook and casino/slots games. Sportsbook and bingo accounts for 6% of all players. The poll found that the average age of casino only players was predominantly in the 18 to 34 age group (41% of players), which is significantly younger than sports bettors (39% of those polled were 55 years old +). Bingo players fall into the 55+ age group by a strong margin (44%).
Brand preferences are also easily changeable among players. 49% of casino players have switched brands, 27% of bingo players, and 35% of sports bettors. Overall, that averages out to 38% of gamblers who have switched brands they use regularly. The most important aspect of a brand that players look for across all categories is bonuses and promotional offers, followed by brand recognition and the best available odds. Good reviews are the least significant reason for players choosing a particular brand.
Average Monthly Spend
The Opinium study found that UK players who enjoy online casino games or online sports betting spent around £50 per month, while online bingo players averaged around £25 per month. In terms of mobile accessibility and preferences, desktops were preferred for bingo, sports betting and casino with 81% of players preferring that option. 52% of sports punters prefer to play on their mobile devices. In terms of bingo gaming preferences on mobile, just 37% of players opted for their smartphones, tablets or phablets.