FIFA World Cup Spurred Increased Gambling Participation In UK

August 17, 2023
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Gambling participation in the UK slightly increased following the conclusion of the men's 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, according to a survey commissioned by the Gambling Commission.

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Gambling participation in the UK slightly increased following the conclusion of the men's 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, according to a survey commissioned by the Gambling Commission.

Findings also showed that approximately a third of people who were new or returning gamblers continued engagement with betting, and that there was also an observed increase in gambling engagement across a range of products, including lotteries.

People who bet on the World Cup were more likely to do so because they were feeling lucky and less likely to be in it for the money, according to the survey.

“This reinforces the view that betting on the World Cup was more of a social experience than normal football betting,” David Taylor, the Gambling Commission’s head of evidence assurance and evaluation, said in a blog post on Wednesday (August 16).

The survey was undertaken by market research firm Yonder Consulting.

Yonder asked people after the final of the tournament in December 2022, who reported betting on the World Cup or playing a related free-to-play game during the tournament, questions about their gambling behaviours and attitudes over the last four weeks.

Yonder then recontacted the same individuals in March to find out about any changes in their gambling behaviour.

A total of 811 people responded to both surveys.

Survey results indicate reported gambling participation slightly increased among participants, including the proportion that bet on football online, while the amount being spent on football over the previous four weeks “unsurprisingly” decreased significantly after the World Cup.

During the World Cup, significantly more people reported that they placed bets to add excitement to a game, and one of the groups to decrease after the World Cup was those who reported that the chance to gamble with friends had “a lot” of influence, according to the survey.

At the time of writing, datasets for the survey have not been published, but the gambling regulator said they will be available “in due course”.

Elsewhere, operator Entain announced on Wednesday that a record number of women are betting on the ongoing 2023 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

Entain’s Ladbrokes and Coral brands in the UK recorded that the first three England games saw an average 21 percent of bets placed by women, compared with 17 percent in the 2022 Women’s Euros, and 13 percent during the last World Cup in 2019.

Entain chief commercial officer Dominic Grounsell said the company is witnessing “the biggest Women's World Cup in history”.

“Around the world there is a growing audience and appetite for women’s sports. The facts say it all. More of our customers are finding new ways to support their favourite teams – and that’s with a bet,” Grounsell said.

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