Grand National – Who’s betting and an insight into some bettor attitudes
April 14th, 2023, Oliver Rowe

Grand National – Who’s betting and an insight into some bettor attitudes

Ahead of this weekend’s Grand National, we take a look at some key insights of those who are set to have a flutter on the event.

More than a third of British bettors say they will definitely place a bet on this year’s Grand National, according to data from a new poll of British bettors on YouGov Surveys. Another third of them say they probably will place a bet on the event, taking the total to about seven-tenths of all British bettors.

The British bettors sample comprises of those who say they have placed a bet of any kind other than just playing the National Lottery in the last 12 months.

Those who say they will definitely bet on the Grand National are an older cohort, with 72% of them aged over 51. By comparison, just 62% of those who say they will probably bet and 65% of all British bettors are over 51 years old. Two-thirds of Grand National definite bettors are men while 34% are women. The overall British bettors (38%) group features a slightly higher proportion of women.

Traditionally, betting on horse racing events such as the Grand National involves physically going into a bookmaker to place a bet. But are consumers comfortable betting offline? A third of potential Grand National bettors (combining those who say they “definitely will” and “probably will” bet on the event) say they are uncomfortable going into a bookmaker’s shop to place a bet (33%). While this share is lower than among British bettors who won’t bet on the Grand National (44%), it is still fairly substantial. It is worth noting that overall women bettors are twice as likely as men to feel uncomfortable about physically going into a bookmaker (26% vs 53%). Older bettors are less likely to be uncomfortable with only a third of those (34%) aged over 51 indicating so compared to 41% of those aged 50 and under.

How do they deal with this lack of comfort? Three-fifths of potential Grand National bettors who are uncomfortable placing a bet at a bookmaker’s shop say they place a bet online instead (60%). A fifth of them say they ask someone else to place a bet on their behalf at a bookmaker (21%). Another 10% of them say they don’t pick any alternative solution, possibly suggesting that they go ahead and place offline bets regardless of feeling uncomfortable.

The integration of YouGov Surveys with YouGov Profiles allows us to examine audience attitudes and consumption behaviours that are tracked on an ongoing basis. Looking at the types of gambling activities bet on in the last 12 months, they were more than three times as likely to have placed a bet at an event or a bookmaker (22% vs 7%) and also 20-percentage points more likely to have placed a bet at an online bookmaker or via mobile (54% vs 34%). But they are less likely to have played a game (such as roulette or poker) and slots (11% vs 15%). Similar shares of both groups of gamblers placed bets in a casino (4% vs 3%).

Looking at sports preferences of all potential Grand National bettors, football is their favourite sport. Three-fifths of them (60%) follow the nation’s most popular sport on a regular basis, higher than the share of bettors who won’t bet on Grand National (55%). Unsurprisingly, Grand National bettors show the strongest relative preference for horse racing (33% vs 4%). The other sports they follow on a regular basis include rugby union (33% vs 19%), cricket (31% vs 21%) and tennis (27% vs 21%).

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