Report Reveals What UK Punters Look For Most in an Operator

Report Reveals What UK Punters Look For Most in an Operator

Best odds and a reputation for being fair and trustworthy are the most prevalent factors considered by bettors when choosing an operator, according to the Gambling Commission’s latest report into gambling participation in the UK.

The annual report provides estimates of gambling behaviours in Britain, with 2018’s edition based on data gathered via a combination of telephone and online surveys with people aged 16 and over, conducted independently by market research company Populus.

It found that 46% of respondents had gambled in some capacity in the previous four weeks at the time of asking, with the National Lottery by some distance the most common gambling activity, accounting for 28% of those who gamble, followed by scratchcards and other lotteries (both 11%).


Most Popular Non-Lottery Gambling ActivitiesJan-Dec 2017Jan-Dec 2018
Sports betting6.4%6.6%
Private betting4.4%6.1%
Horse racing3.9%3.8%
Fruit/Slot machines4.4%3.7%
Bingo3.3%2.6%
Casino games1.6%1.6%
FOBTs1.4%1.5%

Predictably, football (5.7%), horse racing (3.8%) and other sports (2.3%) were the leading activities in betting, while the study also found that the average number of online gambling accounts consumers hold is three.

But with major bookmakers in particular now facing increased scrutiny from mainstream media, as a result of an apparent rise in irresponsible gambling habits in British society, what makes a customer choose an operator?

“A key factor that influences where someone gambles is a company with a reputation for being fair and trustworthy,” said a Gambling Commission spokesperson.

“Consequently, responsible gambling companies that deliver great customer service will be at an increasingly competitive advantage.

“As the regulator, trust, safety and fairness are vital to us and we want everyone to focus on how we can make gambling fairer and safer for all.

“This includes operators, charities, researchers and treatment providers who have a role in working with us to build a stronger culture of innovation and evaluation to benefit consumers and reduce harm.”

However, it appears trust in gambling operators is on the wane, with just 30% of those surveyed agreeing that gambling “is fair and can be trusted”, which is down 3% on 2017 and down significantly from 48.8% in 2008, when The Commission began tracking public perceptions.

Despite that, only one in five customers opt to read terms and conditions provided by operators when they sign up, but 27% of those who do read the terms have felt that the conditions are unfair on the consumer.

At just 8%, the number of those surveyed who have felt the need to complain about a gambling transaction in the past is relatively low, but of those who have complained the most common gripe was a perceived non-payment of winnings (17%).

Inability to withdraw funds (15%), misleading promotions (14%) and incorrect bet settlements (13%) were all common misdemeanours too.

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