How much do Brits spend on gambling compared to other pastimes?

We've researched how much the UK population spends on some of their favourite pastimes. See how it compares to what you might have guessed.

How much do Brits spend on gambling compared to other pastimes?

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They say the best things in life are free. But that doesn’t stop us from spending a little to have a lotta fun. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is short and money is there to be spent! 

We’ve done some research to rank how much the UK population spends on some of their favourite pastimes. Have a read and see how it compares to what you might have guessed… 


The gambling industry is worth approximately £14.4bn, with evidence showing the average Brit spends £4.19 per week on gambling, totalling over £218 per year. This includes the lottery, scratch cards, fruities in pubs, online casinos, arcades and (most importantly) online bingo

Doesn’t seem like a lot! But that’s because the variance is huge: while a ton of people still haven’t discovered the thrills of spinning slots, there’s a whole section of the population who make a living playing poker tournaments online. Almost a third of the population plays the lottery and a total of 47% of Brits have gambled in some way in the last 4 weeks.

How does this compare to Britain’s other favourite leisure time pursuits? 


Britain’s favourite booze by far is beer. In 2020, even under a pandemic, £5.7bn was spent on the stuff. With a population of 66 million, that’s around £85 per head. 

Though to many, this might sound like a standard night out, consider that beer is most commonly consumed in the home. With supermarkets selling bargain value packs for as little as £1.50 a litre, you see how that £85 adds up to a whole lot of liquid.

When we add spirits and wine into the mix, the price skyrockets again, up to £22bn! That’s £333 per person per year.

Drinking is definitely a popular way we spend to have fun, with 82% of British adults reported as having consumed alcohol in the past year, and 49% of adults drinking at least once a week.


Let’s switch the topic to life’s greatest pleasure: food. Other years, we could have spoken about the huge expense of Britain’s thriving restaurant culture, but as the pandemic has put a sock in that, we’ll focus on takeaway, the next best thing.

The takeaway market is worth an estimated £10.9bn, fuelled by the modern success of delivery platforms Uber Eats, Deliveroo and JustEat. That equates to £165 per head. Sound like you? We don’t blame ya.

Even with these services not available in rural areas, it’s estimated that 11 million people regularly reach for takeaway menus in the UK every year. That’s 1 in 6 of us.


What pairs nicely with a takeaway? The ultimate kick-back-and-relax. We all love binging a gripping new series and getting lost in a feel-good comedy, and these days video streaming services are taking precedence over television.

 Netflix is the UK’s platform of choice, with an estimated 15 million households holding a monthly subscription costing £9.99 per month (£13.99 if you go for premium!). 

This adds up to £120 per year! Lucky for you if you’re “logged in on someone’s account”, (a.k.a. you’re using the service but not fronting the bill).

Impulse purchases

We all love the irresistible thrill of adding something to our baskets at the last minute. Be it a cheeky twix, a full-on holiday, or just about anything in between. The habit is so common that it’s estimated Brits spend £3.14bn doing so every month! That’s averages out to each individual spending a whopping £570 per year on unplanned purchases. 

It may be costing us an arm and a leg, but everybody’s doing it! 91% of us admit to making impulse buys at least every month. 


Clearly, we all like to have a good time! Who can blame us for putting our hard-earned money into what excites and entertains us?

All of this spending is good for the economy, too. Did you know gambling contributed £2.3bn towards the UK’s GDP last year?

If you’re looking to spice up your life by trying something a bit different, take a look through our selection of the newest bingo sites! See if you can score some wins through one of the nation’s favourite sources of entertainment!


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