More than one in five Brits (22%) are set to place a bet on this year’s Grand National, with a new survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of the sports betting community Online Betting Guide (OLBG), revealing that for 9% of people, this is their only horse racing bet of the year.
The survey asked 2,061 adults across the UK about their plans for Britain’s biggest horse race on Saturday, 15 April. While overall, 22% of those asked were planning to bet, a higher proportion of men said they would bet (26%) than women (18%). Some 12% of respondents across both sexes were undecided if they would bet at the time of the survey.
Interestingly, despite the recent focus on bettors’ aversion to affordability checks and reports suggesting some people were betting on-course or in cash to get around such checks, the majority of those planning to bet intend to do so online.
Overall, 53% of those planning to bet on the Grand National said they would do so online, while 11% were planning to bet in person at the track, and 18% were planning to bet at a high street bookmaker.
However, these figures did represent a slight departure from people’s normal betting methods, with 63% reporting that they mostly bet online, 7% saying they mostly bet in person, and 12% saying they mostly bet at high street bookmakers.
For an industry keen to position itself as a form of entertainment, another interesting finding was that more than one in ten (11%) respondents said they viewed betting as similar to other forms of entertainment, such as going out to the cinema.
Other noteworthy findings included that those who planned to bet would be reluctant to sacrifice that bet for another discretionary spending.
Only 14% of those planning to have a wager said they would sacrifice their Grand National bet to buy flowers or chocolates for their partner, while almost 90% (88%) said they would rather gamble on the race than pay for Netflix.
However, only 2% of respondents thought that £85 for a ticket to Aintree represented good value for money. The cost of going to a major racing event has been in the spotlight after a fall in attendance at Cheltenham due to tickets costing in excess of £100.