In the UK, the Gambling Commission has announced that the number of people participating in online gambling has remained the same from a year ago despite the proliferation of television advertising.
The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act of 2005 with the responsibility for regulating betting and remote gambling. It commissioned a survey in June of 8,000 adults which found that only 8.8 percent had participated in at least one form of gambling through a computer, mobile phone or interactive/digital television in the previous month, the same percentage as in 2007.
New legislation that went into affect in September of last year made online casinos more accessible and gave gambling organisations the ability to buy television advertising. Many critics stated at the time that this exposure would give a boost to online gaming in the UK and increase the rates of problem gambling.
The most recent study found that those participating in remote gambling remained more likely to be male aged 18 to 44. However, it found a slight increase in female participation with the rate going from 6.0 percent last year to 6.5 percent in 2008.
Excluding those that only played the National Lottery, the Gambling Commission’s study revealed that five percent of its respondents had participated in online gambling while, overall, 6.2 percent had gambled remotely on lottery tickets for the National Lottery draw in the previous month either solely or in addition to other types of gambling activity. It also revealed that remote gambling via a computer or handheld device was the most popular with 6.9 percent stating that they had participated in gambling this way followed by mobile telephone at 2.3 percent and interactive/digital television at two percent.