YouGov has published its international gambling report for 2021 examining the gambling behaviours of 13 of the most prevalent countries in the world, which reveals that 2020 has transformed the make-up of gambling consumers.

In the study, conducted alongside Prolific North, 42% of all respondents claimed they had played any form of lottery online within the last 12 months, outperforming sports betting (36%), online casinos (13%) and bingo (11%).

The report labelled the popularity of lotteries globally as ‘predictable’, given that it is largely legal and regulated around the world. Yet, the options of ‘buying a lottery ticket online’, ‘buying an instant win lottery ticket online’ and ‘buying a lucky draw ticket for an expensive prize’ all featured in the top four answers on the survey with 42%, 23% and 12% of consumers doing so respectively.

This comes despite technological advances and the shift from retailers to online platforms, which could have seen sports betting or innovative casino games overtake lotteries in terms of popularity. 63% of respondents claimed they would rather gamble online than in a casino or a physical outlet.

The report explored the role of gender in the industry and revealed that women are more likely to play lotteries than men. It stated: “The data may reaffirm certain gender stereotypes. Participation among female gamblers is higher among many lottery games, as well as bingo and keno, while participation levels lag behind those of males for nearly every other online product type.”

In terms of motivation, those who play the lottery do so because they fantasise about winning a large prize (42%). 38% of respondents claim they play the lottery because it is a fun thing to do, whilst 35% of respondents claim that they play to win big.

Elsewhere in the report, the research looks at the regulatory framework of the industry, explaining that 57% of people think operators don’t take problem gambling seriously and 44% say governments should do more to protect gamblers.

The report added: “A pertinent issue for regulators and their governing legislators is the relative lack of popularity for online lottery products among younger generations.

“Furthermore, those that believe gambling is a reliable way to make money are unsurprisingly more likely to gamble overall. Specifically, these respondents are ten points more likely to play skill games such as online table games, financial betting, online poker, fantasy and esports.”

Australian survey respondents

The survey included Australian respondents with 63% confirming they preferred to gamble online which is equivalent to the global average. In Australia, where online casinos are illegal, the leading online products were sports betting (49%) and lotteries (46%).

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