Assessing interest in cryptocurrency gambling in the UK
September 21st, 2023, Rishad Dsouza

Assessing interest in cryptocurrency gambling in the UK

According to various industry estimates, anywhere between a third to half of all cryptocurrency transactions globally are gambling related. Cash and other conventional payment methods still make up the bulk of all gambling payments, but there is a niche of consumers interested in deploying their crypto holdings for their wagers.

According to a fresh YouGov study, about one in seven UK consumers with an online gambling account say they are interested in the idea of placing bets using cryptocurrency (15%). This includes 5% of the audience who say they are very interested. Looking at the overall adult UK population, 7% say they are either very interested or fairly interested in placing wagers using cryptocurrency.

In this article, we’ll refer to those holding an online gambling account as online gamblers. The audience comprised of those who say they are interested in placing bets using cryptocurrency will be referred to as potential cryptocurrency gamblers.

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For sportsbooks and gambling companies looking to service this audience, it is important to know its demographic makeup. Young people make up a very big chunk of the audience. Over half of those who say they are interested in placing bets using cryptocurrencies are aged between 18-34 (54%). In comparison, only 37% of all UK online gamblers fit into that bracket. For additional context, those aged 18-34 make up only 26% of the overall UK population.

The cohort of potential cryptocurrency gamblers is also twice as likely to be residents of London than all online gamblers (29% vs 15%).

There’s a rather significant gender gap as well – over seven-tenths of the potential crypto betting audience are men with just 28% being women. On the other hand, women make up 37% of the overall online gamblers group.

The poll also looked into some betting preferences, especially pertaining to online gambling habits. Those interested in gambling using crypto are twice as likely as online gamblers overall to move money into and out of gambling account(s) using a payment app rather than directly from a bank (18% vs 9%). They’re also likelier to have faced issues withdrawing money from their gambling accounts (10% vs 6%) as well as having had a gambling account locked in the past (10% vs 6%). These experiences indicate that the cryptocurrency gambling audience may be more tech-savvy but also potentially face more challenges when it comes to managing their accounts.

A third of potential cryptocurrency gamblers say that fast withdrawal of their money from gambling accounts is an important feature, which is echoed by a slightly smaller but still substantial share of all online gamblers (32% vs 28%). Somewhat surprisingly, the potential crypto bettors are marginally less likely to withdraw money from their gambling accounts after big wins (25% vs 28%).

About a fifth of consumers in both audience sets resort to a form of betting control by placing restrictions on the amount they can bet from their gambling accounts (20% vs 18%). This shared behaviour emphasises the importance of responsible gambling measures in both traditional and cryptocurrency-based gambling.

Gambling companies looking to cater to this audience should take note of their preferences and behaviors, as well as the potential regulatory challenges associated with unlicensed gambling activities. As cryptocurrency continues to gain prominence in the gambling industry, understanding and adapting to the needs of this audience will be crucial for businesses in the sector.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on Jul 31 - Aug 1, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,105 British adults  (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.