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Under 35s gambling more

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6 min read

by LifeSearch,

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Published 7 Jun 2022


  • Half (46%) of all under-35s are gamblers; of those, one in three admits their habit has increased over the past year
  • Male gamblers are twice as likely to have gambled more frequently in the past 12 months, with one in 12 spending at least £1,200 a year
  • Those on the lowest and highest incomes are most at risk of increasing their gambling habit

Young gamblers are three times as likely to have increased the amount they gamble over the past 12 months than older gamblers according to the latest research from LifeSearch.

As the UK has one of the biggest gambling markets in the world, generating a profit of £14.2 billion in 2020*, the LifeSearch Health, Wealth & Happiness 2022 Index found that just under a third (32%) of Brits gamble, and that of those, one in four (23%) say they have increased their habit over the past year.

But amongst under-35s, almost half (46%) gamble, and of those, almost a third (30%) have increased the frequency over the past year - this is almost three times the number of over-55s who have increased their gambling in the last year (11%).

On average, under-35s who do gamble spend £43 a month on their habit, that’s £516 a year, but one in six (22%) spend more than £75 a month, and one in 12 (8%) spend more than £100, costing them at least £1,200 a year.

Public Health England estimates that 0.5% of the adult population have a problem with gambling, 3.8% are gambling at at-risk levels, and 7% are affected negatively by other people’s gambling*.

The LifeSearch study also found that men are more likely to gamble than women (39% do compared to 25% of women) and those that do spend more too - an average of £48 a month, while female gamblers spend £37 a month on average.

Ethnic minorities spend more money gambling than white Brits

LifeSearch, the UK’s leading life insurance broker, also found that almost a third (31%) of people in ethnic minority groups gamble, a similar proportion to white Brits (32%). Yet of these, four in 10 (40% - vs 23% white Brits) say they have gambled more in the last year.  Among those who bet, on average, £47 is gambled each month, rising to £54 pm among men in this group.

High earners and Londoners are the biggest gamblers

The LifeSearch study also found that the highest earning Brits are not only more likely to gamble in the first place, but they are more likely to have increased their habit and spend more on it. On average, 58% of people with a household income of £100k pa or more, gamble, and of those 45% have increased the amount they gamble over the past year.

In comparison, 32% of people with a household income of between £20k and £30k pa gamble, and of those, 16% have upped their habit. Equally, higher earning gamblers are spending more - £61 a month on average for those earning over £100k pa, compared with £44 for those who earn between £20k and £30k pa.

People who live alone are more likely to have increased their gambling than those living with partners, friends and family - 36% of those who gamble say they are doing it more than a year ago, spending an average of £46 a month. In terms of regions, Londoners are the most likely to gamble (48% do), and gamblers in the capital are the most likely to have increased their habit (36%), with an average spend of £47.

Debbie Kennedy, CEO of LifeSearch said: “Inflation is at record highs, with our Health, Wealth & Happiness 2022 Index revealing that seven in 10 (72%) of all Brits expect to be worse-off by an average of £3,000 a year as a result. Most people have had to adjust their spending to cope with the soaring cost of living, with many feeling they have cut back so much that they have run out of options.”

“That is perhaps why - in desperation - many are turning to gambling to find a ‘quick fix’, with younger people most at risk; under 35s are more likely to gamble in the first place, more likely to have upped their habit in the past year and spend more than other age groups. This is a very worrying trend, because, while gambling may be seen as a magic solution, it is much more likely to make a financial situation worse.”

“In the current climate, with so much uncertainty still, it is much more important for people to look at protecting themselves and their families financially - putting the right insurances in place can give peace of mind from any future financial shocks that may impact their income.”

For a full copy of the LifeSearch Health, Wealth and Happiness Report 2022, visit

- Ends -


The Health, Wealth and Happiness Index was compiled and updated by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for LifeSearch in April 2022. The Index is based on a modelling process taking into account a range of data sources covering health, wealth, and happiness and monitoring changes over time. The consumer insights research was carried out by Opinium Research between 21-25 January 2022 among 2,000 UK adults alongside bespoke research among 502 ethnic minorities in the UK, weighted to be nationally representative, between 21-26 January 2022.  Additional questions on impacts on mental health over the last two years and how worse off financially consumers expect to be in the next year were carried out by Opinium Research between 22-26 April 2022 among 2,000 UK adults.

* -

For further information, please contact:
Karen Mignon / Kevin Carr, Carr Consulting & Communications
Email: / Tel: 07766 651327
Email: / Tel: 07887 838811

About LifeSearch
Over nearly 24 years, LifeSearch have grown into the UK’s biggest life insurance specialist, offering expert, independent advice to customers around life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, family income benefit, serious illness cover and business insurance. Over our two-plus-decades, LifeSearch has picked up dozens of awards for company culture, expertise and customer service. We have a TrustPilot score of 4.9 out of 5 (excellent) and came Top #3 in our debut appearance on the Sunday Times’ list of Best Places to Work in the UK –

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LifeSearch have been protecting the life you love since 1998. We've protected over 1 million of families in our time. Read our views and opinions on the latest industry news, and what we have to say on all things Health, Wealth & Happiness. Our content is brought to you by LifeSearcher's and guest writers.
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