Betting on the football pools is the most popular form of gambling in Britain. Two people in five - and more than half the men in the country -"invest" in the pools fairly regularly. When other forms of 'hard' gaming are taken into account, then 53 per cent (69 per cent of men) are participants, and if sweepstakes and raffles are considered as well, the total goes up to 58 per cent (73 per cent of men). There is no national lottery in Britain, but one person in two has bought Premium Bonds, where the investor might be said to 'gamble' his interest without losing his capital. Taking the widest possible definition of gambling - including football
pools, betting shops, bingo, gaming clubs, playing cards for money, sweepstakes and raffles, and Premium Bonds - just over three people in
four (and 86 per cent of men) take part in at least one form or another.
These findings emerge from a special Gallup Poll inquiry into all forms of betting and gaming carried out for The Daily Telegraph. Other findings from the survey, based on interviews with a representative cross-section of 1,125 adults in Britain, are that apart from the pools
most people are irregular punters and in most forms of betting the stakes are relatively small -under £1 on average - except for gaming clubs and
horse racing on the course.