As the UK moves slowly out of lockdown, increasing numbers of people believe they should be free to choose how to spend their own leisure time and money, according to new national research from Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain.
More than nine in ten British adults (94%) who bet at least once a month believe they should be free to decide for themselves how to spend their spare time and money. This is an increase from 79% in December 2020 before the latest lockdown began in January 2021.
The survey of 2,000 Britons – which comes as changes to betting laws are considered by the government through the Gambling Act review – reinforces that betting is a social activity that the vast majority of people enjoy safely and responsibly.
Among its key findings, the study reveals that:
- More than of half respondents (55%) regard betting and gaming as social activities which they enjoy with friends, and 25% say they have made good friends through betting and gaming.
- 78% of respondents place a bet at least once a week and typically spend around roughly half what they might spend each week in bars, pubs and restaurants.
- Over 90% of people who enjoy betting see themselves as sports fans and 83% like to bet on the outcomes.
- Around half of those who enjoy betting are in favour of the industry supporting grass roots and lower league clubs.
- Close to two-thirds (58%) of those who enjoy betting see themselves as savers and 84% have savings accounts. Only around four in ten (38%) say they actively enjoy spending money.
- In every aspect of life and leisure, respondents report increased online activity during the pandemic, led by banking and shopping. Although across all areas people expect their online activities to fall as restrictions ease, they expect to continue betting, shopping and streaming digital entertainment online even after the pandemic is over.
The survey also challenges stereotypes of who bets in Britain. Bettors are evenly split in their political sympathies. The majority are working, 40% are degree-educated, a significant minority (28%) are aged 55 and over, with just 9% in the younger 18-24-year-old age group. The survey, conducted by CT Group, was of 2,000 people who enjoy placing a bet on something other than National Lottery at least once a month.