New Data Suggests UK Young Adults Are Gambling Less

Mike P. - August 28, 2016

UK young adults are gambling less in 2016, according to fresh quarterly data from the Gambling Commission.

The UK Gambling Commission’s latest gambling participation survey has suggested that young adults are gambling less than in recent years. There was a significant decline in gambling of any form (excluding lottery) among 18- to 24-year-olds, while the drop was smaller for online gambling.

In June’s quarterly survey, it emerged that the proportion of respondents who participated in at least one form of gambling (excluding lottery) fell from 39% to 29% between June 2015 and June 2016. When isolated to online gambling, the decline was not as sharp, falling from 12% to 11% over the same period.

A Fall for 18-24s

When delving into the statistics, it transpires that the proportions of online gambling participation actually increased across all other age groups aside from 18- to 24-year-olds. Meanwhile, the there was a rise from 17% to 19% among male respondents between June 2015 and June 2016, with female engagement increasing from 12% to 13%.

Some gambling operators will be viewing the statistics with doom and gloom, but they need to consider that British young adults are more likely to be exploring other gaming areas than their older counterparts. With more games and apps competing for this age group’s attention, gambling operators will need to improve their communication efforts.

Less Disposable Income

Another important consideration is that British young adults have less disposable income when compared to the older age groups. In March 2016, the Guardian revealed that UK millennials are worse off than people of their age 30 years ago.

From 1979 to 2010, people aged 65-69 and 70-74 have increased their disposable income by an average of 62% and 69%, respectively. Alarmingly, however, 25-29s have experienced a 2% drop over the past three decades. So, with young people aware of the financial struggles facing them in life, they could be gambling less simply because they have less money.

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