Poker and Gambling Spend – UK

Gambling spend per household in the UK is on the up, particularly in the online sector and more so with online poker. Since the recent launch of Sky Poker TV channels, coupled with the list of high profile names now playing the game, the profile of the poker game itself has been raised along with expenditure. Online gambling has increased in general, and with the influx of online poker sites, poker gambling has become part of many people’s lifestyles, and indeed many people currently earn their living playing poker all year around.

Currently there are 4 poker channels that can be viewed by UK Sky subscribers and over 200 poker sites that can be played around the globe, making online gambling a form of entertainment and recreation that ranks alongside the cinema and bowling in terms of visits.

People in the UK love to gamble. The UK has one of the highest populations with the propensity to gamble (some 62%) only just behind Australia and Sweden, though surprisingly slightly less per population than the US where only 62% of the population gamble.

The Gambling Commission which was set up in 2005 following the UK Gambling Act of that year (the most significant change in gambling law in over 50 years) reports that the UK also has one of the biggest gambling spend per capita of any other country in Europe. A figure of £1266 per capita, collectively £76 billion a year, and 7.7% of GDP has been quoted in some press releases, compared to that of £600 per capita in 2004.

So of the 33 million people in the UK that gamble, what types of gambling are people spending their money on and where does poker fit in that list.

Well let us look first at the forms of gambling that are considered. You have betting on sports like dog racing and horse racing. You also have bingo, national lotteries, pools and scratch cards. There is also casino gambling and slot machine gambling, and then you have online gambling

The National lottery is the most popular form of gambling in the UK with 65% of the population buying lottery tickets. The next most popular is scratch cards which 22% of UK residents buy each week. Slot machine gambling comes in next with 14%, followed by horse/dog racing 13%, and pools, 9%.

It may come as a surprise that still only 3% of the population actually gamble online in online casinos or poker rooms. However, this just proves that there is still room for growth in the UK market. In general more men than women gamble online, except in the bingo sector where the percentage is 70% female to 30% male.

How much is being spent?

Average figures, provided by the Gambling Commission, show around £3.80 per household is spent each week on the National Lottery and some £4.00 per week spent on pools, scratch cards and other lotteries. £7.20 each week is spent on bingo, £5.00 for sports betting, and approximately £20 in land-based casinos. Approximately £10 per week is spent on online gambling and £5.00 on slot machines.

It is clear the online gambling is one of the major gambling expenditures in the UK. It is not clear how much is actually spent on online Poker, but considering poker sites makes up 75% of online gambling visits the amount is likely to be around £7.00 per household.

What is clear is that people love playing poker and it is not only men who have taken up this pastime. High profile female figures have begun to enjoy poker and the BBC reported one woman helping to support her family by playing poker at home.

With changes to the UK Gambling Act coming into force in September 2007, the government are suggesting that the Act will help reduce people propensity to gamble and will also protect children and problems gamblers. I will be a long time before proof of this is seen, but one thing is for sure, the profits raked in by the government on gambling taxes are set to grow alongside people’s desire to play their favourite game of online poker.

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The Cheap Car Insurance Gamble

Are you gambling with your car insurance?

There are a lot of popular programs being advertised by major companies that promote the idea of getting cheap car insurance by selecting the coverage that you need and declining other coverage. The ads tell you that you can name your own price for your policy. Of course, you have to guess that you will have to pay some minimum amount to be covered.

For those of us who always thing that buying insurance is a bit like gambling, there is an obvious attraction to being able to pick and choose the sort of risks we want to cover.

What coverage do you need?

For example, your state probably has required minimum liability coverage. You need that. If you still have a loan, your lender probably requires full coverage so they can get their money back if the vehicle is damaged. You need that.

You may not need to cover the cost of a rental car if your own vehicle is being fixed to stay legal and within the terms of your auto loan or lease. But it is comforting to know you can get alternate transportation, and this coverage usually does not cost a lot. However, it does add a few dollars to the total, and if you can get to work or the store without your own car for several days, you could skip this coverage. If you would have a big problem if you lost your vehicle for a few days or a few weeks, you should probably consider keeping this feature on your policy though. Bills for rental cars can add up!

Naming your price has benefits!

Name your price systems can benefit consumers. They make the process of purchasing auto insurance more transparent because customers understand what they are paying for. I am just concerned that it can be very tempting to cut some policy features that may come in very handy when car owners do need to make a claim.

Getting good coverage does not always mean we want to find the very cheapest rates, though low rates are attractive! We really want to concentrate on finding affordable rates that provide us with good value.

In my opinion, it is worth a few dollars more to be sure we have selected a company with great customer service, fast claims processes, and top quality coverage. The day after you have an accident is a terrible time to regret buying a cheap policy.

You could be paying too much because you are not taking advantage of all of the auto insurance discounts that you qualify for. This is common. Unless you have shopped around for a policy recently, you may not know what offers are on the market for a driver like you.

Save money on your auto policy.

One great way to save a lot of money is to compare quotes from a handful of top car insurance companies. This is not that difficult to do. You can find a number of online quote systems that quote prices from more than one company. If you can compare 5 quotes, you have a good chance of finding out which company really will provide you with the best value for your money.