Gamblers lost £13.6 billion through betting between April 2015 and March 2016, according to a Gambling Commission report, up nearly 21 per cent from the previous period.
Remote gambling – using a phone or computer to bet or play bingo and casino games online – is now the largest sector in the industry, accounting for almost £4.5 billion and 33 per cent of all gambling revenue.
The National Lottery (25 per cent) and betting shops (24 per cent) accounted for most of the other gambling losses.
The report, published last week, showed that people who played casino games remotely lost over £2.5 billion, with online slot machines providing the biggest source of revenue for gambling operators within the remote sector – £1.7 billion.
The public also lost over £3.4 billion on The National Lottery during the twelve month period, and another £371 million on other lotteries.
Gaming machines in betting shops, bingo halls, casinos and arcades accounted for £2.6 billion.
‘Crack cocaine of gambling’
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling – which allow gamblers to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds – raked in £1.7 billion for the UK gambling industry, equating to almost 13 per cent of total industry earnings.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are currently undertaking a review of FOBTs, which have been linked to organised crime and severe gambling debt.
There have previously been calls, backed by 92 councils, for the maximum stake of £100 to be lowered to £2.
Serious gambling problems
In October, the review was expanded to include gambling adverts on TV, due to growing concerns that children see it as normal.
According to The Times, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds with a serious gambling problem has trebled in the last three years.