Featured in this article:
  • YouGov report created from global survey
  • 63% of gamblers prefer online to offline betting
  • 57% of sports bettors bet to have fun

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The 2021 International Gambling Report shows more people enjoy online betting compared to offline

A high-profile gambling report detailing the state of the global gambling industry has concluded that responsible gambling firms will thrive in the future as players pivot from high street casinos and sportsbooks to the online community.

Researchers YouGov used its Global Gambling Profiles database to interview thousands of people around the world about their gambling tastes, preferences, and habits. It found there is an increase in people enjoying online gambling in Europe, Asia, and North America, while fewer people are self-identifying as high street gamblers.

The report concludes that harmful gambling is the priority concern for online bettors and that companies that deploy rigorous support for problem gamblers will likely attract the majority of players over the long term.

The survey also looked at attitudes to regulation, how age groups differ in their approach to online betting and the popularity of particular sectors of gambling over others.

International Gambling Report Findings

YouGov is able to improve their database every month thanks to the 45,000 surveys they conduct monthly around the world. It means the 2021 International Gambling Report can be relied upon by businesses seeking to invest in the industry, and players looking to understand their community better.

Here are some of the key takes from the 2021 International Gambling Report:

Online preference The report reveals 63% of gamblers globally now prefer online to offline betting. Some countries such as India, Great Britain and Italy show even greater preference than two-thirds. In fact, Great Britain and Italy’s acceptance of online gambling was found to be particularly dominated by the understanding that online betting is a leisure activity.

The millennial view It turns out millennials are more likely to see gambling as fun compared to other game groups. They are also more inclined to discuss gambling with friends – both online and offline – while older generations prefer to keep their activity to themselves. In fact, 48% of millennials/Gen Z view gambling as entertaining, while that drops to 40% for the over 35s. Interestingly, more millennials and Gen Z see gambling as a means of making money and demonstrating skill, compared to their older peers.

Gender divide Only 35% of online gamblers are women. Despite the push from betting firms to accommodate women, there is still an imbalance between the sexes. The study showed that just 11% of all women in the world gamble, compared to 22% of men. It was also noted that less than half of women who do gamble actually gamble more than once a month. For businesses, this is a key indicator that the female market is being neglected.

Regulatory pushback Some territories have found regulatory pushback a barrier to expanding and improving their gambling sector. Thankfully, gamblers themselves want more regulation in order to deter illegal gaming sites from entering the market. Just 23% of those surveyed agreed that gambling should be illegal. However, 57% said they don’t think gambling firms take problem gambling seriously enough. More needs to be done, therefore, to address these attitudes.

Sports betting for fun While much of the advertising around sports betting focuses on big wins, the majority of global sports punters actually bet on sports because it’s fun! The data shows 57% of sports bettors bet to have fun, while 34% do it to enhance their experience of watching games. Only 26% fantasize about winning. It goes to show that creating sports betting communities and social platforms is perhaps more important to bettors than odds.

Sports and lottery king While online casinos like to push their slots and table games offerings, it is actually lottery and sports betting that remains king. Millions of people around the world play lottery games every week and many also opt to do so online. Sports betting, meanwhile, is booming in Europe, while North American sports betting is expanding into the online sphere. The data shows 42% of those surveyed have played a lottery game in the last year, and 36% have placed a sports bet. In comparison, just 13% play online casino slots.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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