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UKGC datasets report stable summer for UK gambling

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published its latest datasets tracking the prevalence and engagement of gambling in Britain up to the period of September 2023. 

In March 2020, the Commission started publishing industry datasets on a quarterly basis to provide transparency on gambling activities to industry stakeholders, coinciding with the UK’s implementation of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

The report’s data is sourced from the “biggest operators, covering approximately 80% of the online gambling market showing the number of active players on each vertical.”

Though providing insights on gambling activities, stakeholders are warned not to draw conclusions from datasets which may include free bets and bonuses and does not track the performance of all licensed operators.

For the period of July to September 2023, industry GGY stands at £1.18bn, consistent when compared to like-for-like 2022 comparatives and 9% less than the GGY of £1.3bn recorded from April to June 2023.

GGY results are consistent with historic trends (excluding COVID19 factors) as the reporting period accounts for restart of the football season in August. The UKGC recorded a total period GGY for Sports Betting (real event) of £428m (-1%), generated from an average of five million active players per month.

As reported in its breakdown: “The number of bets decreased by 1% while the number of average monthly active accounts decreased by 0.2% compared to the same quarter last year. 

“A series of unfavourable sports results for the bookies in September is likely to be a contributing factor to the decrease in GGY this quarter.”  

Recognised as UK gambling’s highest risk vertical, online slots registered an average 3.8 million active players per month during the quarter – results reflecting a 5% decrease on four million activities recorded from April to June 2023.

Slots GGY increased 8% to £589 million year-on-year for the reporting period (2022: £548m) as data revealed July 2023 to be the highest slot GGY month of £201m since December 2022.

Providing insights on safer gambling indicators, customer interactions registered a 1% increase, totalling three million, compared to the corresponding period the previous year, with most of these interactions still being automated. The dataset reveals a 17% annual increase in the number of direct interactions carried out by operators. 

Retail betting GGY (LBO datasets), which tracks the performance of OTC, terminal and machine wagers, stood at £538m for the quarter, 1% down on like-for-like 2022 comparatives of £540m.

In its breakdown of LBO data, wagers on SSBTs rose by 20% year-on-year, reaching 31.5 million – marking the fourth consecutive quarter where SSBT bets surpassed the 30 million mark.

Yet, GGY saw a 1% decline year-on-year, landing at £93m, representing the first instance in the 2022-23 fiscal year where GGY for SSBTs dipped under £95m.

In relation to LBO data, stakeholders should exercise caution when interpreting data  due to operators restructuring their retail units due to post-covid conditions.

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