The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reported a steady decrease in online gambling activity as UK governments ease their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
The Commission continues to monitor online gambling behaviours impacted by COVID-19 and lockdown circumstances, reflecting licensed operator data recorded between March 2020 to May 2021.
During May, the UKGC registered a 14% decrease in the number of active online gambling accounts to 10.8 million, registering below the 12.5 million players indexed during March and April.
Recording a lower player participation, May’s online gambling GGY dropped to £5.3 billion registering a 5% decline on April’s £5.6 billion.
May results saw active sportsbook accounts decline to 5.1 million, a 24% decline registered against April’s peak of 6.7 million accounts, attributed to strong engagement with the Grand National Festival.
GGY declines were registered across the board, with sports betting recording its lowest month this year at £238 million – a figure that will be surpassed by players betting on this summer’s UEFA Euro 2020 championships.
However, results detailed that Slots GGY had increased to £211 million during the period, as the number of spins increased by 2% despite active accounts decreasing by 5% to 3 million.
Further to registering operator data, the Commission has begun to publish qualitative consumer feedback conducted by 2CV, examining and questioning online gamblers behaviour during the pandemic period.
The Commission stated that the qualitative feedback supported themes presented by its quantitative research, in which participants ‘ reported spending more time gambling than they used to and had ‘some experimentation’ with new gambling products.
“We recognise that the country is now entering a different phase as we continue to ease out of lockdown,” the UKGC statement read.
“Operators still need to be mindful about the potential of some consumers to be increasing their spend on some of the more intensive products whilst at the same time still engaging in real event betting activity.”