I have always had a mixed relationship with gambling. On one hand, I really enjoy the thrill associated with it when I am in a social setting, but on the other side, I am a pretty sore loser and I dislike seeing my money disappearing before my eyes. My uncle was the first to ever introduce me to it, as a kid, when he would take me to the horse races and we would bet small amounts on the horses. I enjoyed it because it was a whole afternoon of fun, and we would play it pretty safe, and so come back home with modest earnings. Another tradition in my family was giving each other a few scratch cards for Christmas, which would keep us all entertained, and hung on everyone’s earning for a good part of the evening. I rarely bought lottery tickets as it was more impersonal, and the odds seemed so far-fetched. Bets with friends were also a lot of fun, although I am so bad at poker face you could tell when I was certain to win. I was ready to bet anything!
As a young adult I visited casinos on a few occasions, the last one was in Vegas a couple of years ago. We decided on a set amount to spend the whole evening with, and while my partner was risking most of it at the black jack table, I was cautiously playing the machines for a few cents at a time. He ended up winning more than he had initially put in, and we spent the rest of the night playing with the “free money”, which made us less fearful of losing, and we took more risks. It was a really fun and surreal night, and we went home with twice the money! Still, it was a once in a lifetime experience, and while I may go again sometime, gambling has never been part of my regular hobbies.
The same way I have an interest in how people earn, save and spend their money, I find gambling habits quite interesting, and often wonder how people do it. So I was intrigued when reading this study about betting behaviour in the UK that Smart Live Gaming put together.
It turns out online gambling is a fast rising part of the gambling niche, and it is expected to become the most popular form of gambling soon. People still bet on horses, dogs, football and other sports though. Every age group has a different behaviour when it comes to gambling.
Young male adults, age 18-24 enjoy online betting and slot machines, with a third of them giving the National Lottery a try.
25-34 year olds have a similar approach, but 58% of them play the National Lottery. They also enjoy horse races more.
As people grow older, the share of online gambling reduces considerably, down to 2% for the over 55s.
The study also shows a difference in habits among female gamblers. They also rarely enjoy online gambling, favouring bingo, slot machines and horse races. From age 25 and older, more than half of them play the National Lottery.
The study closes on a few facts from a Government research paper, stating that 25-34s are the most active gamblers in the UK, both genders slowing down on their betting habits after they turn 35. It makes sense, once you have your family and kids, and a big mortgage, there is less room in the budget for leisure activities in general, and I can understand why gambling takes a toll, as it would fall into the “non-essential” spending category.
How about you? Do you like to bet on sports or visit casinos? What is your favourite betting activity?