Internet surfers in the UK are taking to online gambling sites in a major way, according to the latest monthly internet tracking figures from research firm Jupiter MMXI Europe BV.

Three of the top ten entertainment web sites visited by UK users were gambling sites. US-based lottery giveaway site won the third most popular position with 421,000 unique visitors in December, out of a total of 12.6 million, Jupiter MMXI said.

According to Jupiter MMXI's numbers, just over half of all Britons online (6.77m people), visited an entertainment web site in the last month of 2000, with proving to be the most popular.

Virgin supremo Richard Branson has been less successful in his gambling ventures of late: one of his companies recently failed in a bid to take over the running of the UK national lottery.