Lottery vs Gambling

Lottery vs Gambling, that’s the big question? Some may say, there’s a clear difference between the 2, whilst other may argue they should both be considered gambling as they both offer chance and risk of spending money with no guarantee of actually winning any money!

In fact, you stand a better chance at winning a football, horse racing or any other sports accumulator than winning the lottery and that’s a fact!

At which casinos, we love nothing better than digging deep into topics of relevance, allowing us to explore a debate that is on most people’s minds, but not really talked about. The lottery vs Gambling topic is one that’s coming to light more so recently than ever.


UKGC Gambling Advertising Requirements

Primarily as the gambling sector gets pinned into a corner to abide by particular sets of rules and regulation set out by the Gambling Commission. Some of the most highlighted areas include:

Ensure that all creative and articles are intended for anyone that’s either 18 or over
Not promote directly or indirectly offer guaranteed winnings
Adverts shouldn’t glamourise gambling via sexual images
Call to actions are neutral e.g. Play Here rather than Play Today or Play Now
Not target any vulnerable individuals

However let us try and look into both topics in more detail and explore both areas of this topic and let you decide on the answer.



Gambling itself goes back to the Paleolithic period, way before history was ever even written, and the day’s early man painted on rocks and inside caves. In Mesopotamia the earliest six-sided dice date to about 3000 BC. However, they were based on astragali dating back thousands of years earlier.

In China, gambling houses were widespread in the first millennium BC, and betting on fighting animals was common. Lotto games and dominoes appeared in China as early as the 10th century.

Playing cards appeared in the 9th century in China. Records trace gambling in Japan back at least as far as the 14th century.
Poker, the most popular U.S. card game associated with gambling, derives from the Persian game As-Nas, dating back to the 17th century.
The first known casino, was known as the Ridotto, and it started operating in 1638 in Venice, Italy.

Gambling is basically anything that considers the wagering of money or anything of value with the primary intent of winning money or material goals. These are broken into 3 main areas:


Outcomes on gambling are usually immediate, therefore you roll a dice or spin the reels or spin the wheel, place a bet on a horse or sports team, either way, the result is usually a win or lose, with some games offering the option of EW or insurance on your bet, whilst other options include a percentage cash back on your losses.


Gambling for fun

In plain and simple terms, only very few people gamble for fun, the majority of gamblers are in it to win something that gives makes them a profit, as a result gambling companies offer a variety of bonuses, free spin bonus offers, no deposit offer, VIP services that include luxury gifts and invites to exclusive events, all in the name of retention and making a profit.

Let’s face it, no- one gives things that cost a lot of money for free, there’s usually a catch and that can also be known as the house edge, whether it be on the table games or at an event. Hence the Gambling Commission continues to promote playing responsibly and when the fun stops, Stop! Human nature indicates though, we’re never happy are we?

Even if we win life changing amounts of money, there’s a chance in the back of our heads, we can do it again, and that’s what most vendors/operators latch onto.

Gambling rules and law are different for each country, which can then be broken down to whether it’s retail or online.

Gambling Survey UK

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Gambling Regulation

Gambling in Great Britain is a recreational activity that’s been around for centuries, Horse racing being one of the favourites, however tends to be heavily regulated and more so but understandably in recent times as more than 400,000 people were reported in the UK to have a problem with gambling.

Depending on where you are in the World, gambling is either heavily controlled by licensing the vendors or operators, or it’s considered illegal. For those of which are allowed to gamble, there’s always a close connection with the Government either via regulation, taxation or both as it generates a significant amount of revenue.


Market Size

In 20017-18 the Gambling Commission reported the markets Gross Gambling Yield being in the region of £14.5 billion of which 39% accounted for remote market share on the casino, betting and bingo sector, employing 106,670 people.

The total number of gaming machines however accounted for 183,813 between October 2017 and September 2018.
Although it is now illegal to promote gambling to anyone under the age of 18, or sexualise gambling using sexy women in bikini’s or people throwing money around, the rules appear to be different when the topic is the Lottery.


Chances of winning the Lottery

I mean let’s face it, what are your chances really of guessing 6 random number 1-60 and a bonus number? Think about that for a second! That’s similar to you picking out any random stranger and guessing their mobile number!

Whereas if you’ve got 6 horse races, with each horse offering you an insight to how good that horse run, how heavy it is, how many races it’s won etc, you have a better chance of picking and choosing 6 winners that could net you a lot of money, but even that is never guaranteed! However let’s look further into the lottery.



The lottery first kick started in Britain around 1994, and has been part of the British culture for much longer than that. But how many people actually play the lottery?

As many as 70% of Brits play the lottery on a regular basis, that’s the equivalent of 45 million, take that in for a second! 45 million people… of that 50% of the overall population play more than once a month purchasing 3 tickets each and every week!


Some UK Lottery Facts

The first ever lottery draw was watched by 22 million people and hosted by Noel Edmonds. It saw seven jackpot winners each scoop £839,254, however the first millionaire only came about, the following Saturday.
The largest unclaimed EuroMillons winning ticket stands at £63,837,543.60.
85% of lottery winners choose to remain anonymous
A family in Tipton, West Midlands has won the jackpot on 3 separate occasions totaling £3.25 million and defying the 350 billion to one odds.


Advertising Lottery

Advertising for the lottery in the UK focuses primarily on the ‘rags to riches’ pun, their TV ads promote a glamourous lifestyle with yachts, sexy women in bikini’s, fast cars, helicopters and champagne, a focus on ‘what you could have’.

However the most important part the never tell you, is what your chances are of winning, and how many losses they are when compared to those that have won on a draw. On average 70% of the lottery winners go bankrupt!


To that there’s also those that have suffered from winning the lottery!


  1. In 1997 a Scottish hospital porter known as John McGuinness was earning £150 a week whilst living in his parent’s house, won £10,000,000.00. He was quick to share out his winnings with family and £750,000.00 to his ex-wife, with that came the cars, holidays a second wedding to his second wife. However it was a £4 million investment in Livingston Football Club that saw his downfall. By 2009, John hardly had any cash to buy food!
  2. Pete Kyle a retired Artillery gunner won £5.1 million in January 2005. However just like John McGuinness, Pete spent his money on luxury cars, holidays a luxury 5 bed mansion with a bar, steam room and pool. According to the Plymouth Herald he was estimated to spend an average of £4,600.00 per day. He has since lost all his money and now relies on cash handouts from his kids.
  3. Callie Rodgers, was just 16 in 2003, when she won £1,800,000.00, making her the youngest lottery winner ever. However being young and naïve led her on a vast spending spree that included, drugs, breast enhancement surgery, parties and splashing out cash to her friends and family, resulting in all being lost. Her biggest regret is not to have saved any cash for her son.
  4. Perhaps the most famous lottery winner and loser of them all would have to be Michael Caroll aka the King of Chavs, who back in 2002 won £9,700,000.00, a life changing amount of money for the bin man. Caroll, spent his money on drugs, parties, women, luxury cars, holidays and his family and friends and like all the others that walked the same path as him, he lost everything in 2010 declaring as being bankrupt and signing on to jobseekers allowance.



As you have read above Gambling vs Lottery are indeed very similar, with he only difference being Gambling i.e. sports betting, Casino or Bingo offering better odds and chances to win as well as loose, unlike Lottery which offers greater chances of losing although tend to rely on it’s customers committing to certain numbers and therefore continually playing throughout the years fearing to miss their numbers should they not play.

Lottery also offers to age groups as young as 16 whilst Gambling is strictly 18 and above. With regards to regulations Gambling providers are strictly audited by the Gambling Commission to ensure they are not sexualising or guaranteeing a winners lifestyle nor targeting minors.

Whereas Lottery advert continue to glamourise winnings focus specifically on people ho don’t play missing out on life changing money.

Therefore the this debate is down to you the player deciding which area fits your purpose without breaking the bank and strictly being for fun only, remembering that both areas can be addictive and indeed result in debt should you not know when to stop.