Grand National reveals changing online betting habits


  • Big year-on-year surge in last hour betting for the biggest horse race of the year
  • Older generations increasingly convert to online betting

Data gathered from some of the UK’s leading online betting companies by identity data intelligence company GBG, has found sharp changes in consumers’ online betting habits for the Grand National over the last two years.

This weekend’s marquee race saw a much greater flurry of last hour online betting than last year’s race.

On Saturday a third (32%) of all activity took place between 4pm and 5:15pm (when the Grand National started), nearly double the level of last minute betting activity from 2017 (18%).

Peter Murray, Head of Gaming at GBG said:

“The ability to set up accounts, deposit funds, and make bets is getting better and better, regardless of someone’s location and the time of the day.  Consumers are getting more tech savvy, and betting companies are dramatically improving the user experience. This means those wanting to place a bet are increasingly comfortable in leaving things to the last minute as the race approaches and they sit down with friends and family to watch. 

“For betting companies this means their technology infrastructure has had to scale to manage the growing spike in traffic that occurs around marquee sports events; as well as optimise their marketing to reach customers in the short window in which they’re looking to pick their winners.”

The data, based on 67,500 identity verification checks from a combined sample of four of GBG’s clients, also reveals increasing adoption of online betting amongst older age groups. The 31-40, 41-50, 51-60 and 60+ age categories all saw an increased percentage share of checks conducted, compared to 2017.


With the rise of online betting, the stereotypes of those engaging in betting during major horseracing events are becoming less defined. For the second year running, the split between male and females depositing funds in online betting accounts continues to be within the same range, with overall figures only slightly tilted towards men at 27% vs women at 23%. As it is not a mandatory requirement, 50% did not disclose their gender.

For two years running, London and Liverpool have topped the regional league table as cities with the largest proportion of those sports fans depositing funds for the Grand National.

The highest volumes of betting activity continue to focus on cities in the North of England. However, Glasgow and Cardiff now join Belfast in the top 12 Grand National betting locations.  

Peter Murray, Head of Gaming at GBG continued:

“The online gaming community is growing. Statistically, the data we’ve analysed shows the typical Grand National punter depositing funds online is a 28 year-old male from London, but that really doesn’t tell the whole story. Online betting is being used more and more by older generations that are getting more tech savvy.

“As with other areas of our economy, the growth of internet, and ultimately app driven services in gaming has spread to all demographics.”

Top 12 city postcodes for 2018 Grand National activity (% of bets of overall activity)

 Greater London




 Newcastle upon Tyne





















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