Half of Britons now like to gamble but think it's 'dangerous for family life'

Ross McGuinness

Almost half of people in Britain gamble, a study has revealed.

In the past four weeks, 48 per cent of people have gambled, according to the survey by the Gambling Commission.

This marks a 3% increase on 2015, although the figure drops to 33 per cent when it excludes those who only play the National Lottery.

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However, more than two thirds of those surveyed said they believe gambling is dangerous for family life.

Three per cent more men gamble now than they did in 2015 – up from 50% to 53% – and the increase is the same among women; up from 41% to 44%.

The use of mobile phones or tablets to gamble has increased by 10% since 2015 to 43%, and 68% of 18 to 24-year-olds have been prompted to gamble by adverts and posts on social media.

Gambling on gaming machines in bookmakers has remained stable at 1.5%.

More people are ditching the casino for their smartphone (Picture: Getty)

Of those who have gambled in the past 12 months, 0.7% were identified as problem gamblers, up from 0.5% in 2015, and 5.5% identified as at-risk gamblers.

The poll also found 67% of respondents think people should have the right to gamble whenever they want, but 69% believe gambling is dangerous for family life and 78% feel there are now too many opportunities to gamble.

Gambling Commission programme director James Green said: “This report paints an important picture of how consumers in Britain choose to gamble – identifying emerging trends and potential risks to the public.

“We are also now able to provide a more detailed snapshot of online behaviours, which featured for the first time last year.