UK Gamblers Consider Betting a ‘Social Activity

An overwhelming majority of frequent bettors in the United Kingdom consider gambling to be a ‘social activity’—and that view is only growing in popularity, a new study (reported by British Gambler) has suggested.

The news comes as large portions of the world’s population return to some state of normality following the coronavirus pandemic, and has reported on many of the changes for the better thus far in 2021.

Gambling was one industry that was adversely affected in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 as sports and many other sectors were pulled to a standstill. However, innovations through technology such as updated facilities and betting apps have made it easier than ever for bettors to take part in the UK, the United States and more.

Political consultancy CT Group posted the results for their study on behalf of Entain Group, which owns companies such as Ladbrokes, Coral, bwin and PartyPoker.

The survey asked 2,000 Britons who bet at least once a month (not including the National Lottery) about their gambling habits, and 94 percent said they believed they should be “free to decide for themselves how to spend their spare time and money.” That figure represented a substantial increase from the 79 percent that responded to the same question in that manner before the UK’s latest lockdown began in December 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked numerous philosophical arguments regarding human rights, social responsibilities and the role of one’s government. Having full autonomy over what one does with their own money is a big factor in that discussion, but gambling has become a hot topic in that regard as the UK reportedly considers revisiting its gambling rules and regulations.

Specifically, concerns have been raised over whether the Gambling Act 2005 has grown outdated in the technological age, as well as the growing number of gambling advertisements seen across a number of mainstream sports in the UK and beyond. The UK government launched a review of the Gambling Act 2005 this past December, but it’s been suggested we may not see any changes to the British industry until at least 2022.

Despite all major sport being put on hold for a major chunk of 2020, the gambling industry has recovered with strong numbers posted for Q3 of that year. The sector was helped by an increasing number of U.S. states passing legislation to allow sports betting and online gambling, with the market only moving in one direction for the time being:

The CT Group survey also found 58 percent of respondents described themselves as “savers,” while a little more than one third of those who took part (38%) said they actively enjoyed spending money. Moreover, 40 percent were educated to a university degree standard, and only nine percent were in the 18-24-year-old age bracket.

It may not be considered all too surprising that the number of people who desire control over how they spend their money has risen following a third lockdown across most of the United Kingdom (since January 2021). Even those with a compliant attitude towards the government could be forgiven some frustration in such unnatural times, and gambling has come as a welcome form of relief for many while they’re prevented from their usual hobbies or activities.

The UK Gambling Commission has long been considered the gold standard in how to rule such an industry effectively, but with more people than ever betting through a multitude of channels, questions may be asked of whether we’re doing enough to manage ‘social’ spending, reported BBC.

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