Sarah Garnder: UKGC consultation conclusions due this summer

Lockdown easing sees UK online gambling register a June slowdown

The UK’s online gambling sector recorded a decrease in overall gross gambling yield (GGY) during the month of June, despite the sector registering an increase in player activity related to interest in the Euro 2020 championships. 

Publishing its latest market update, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) figures reveal that June generated a combined GGY of £496 million, the sector’s lowest results since November 2020.

Double-digit GGY declines were recorded across all online verticals except sports betting, which registered a 1% month-on-month increase to £242 million. However, despite Euro 2020 wagering, this vertical could not match peak GGY activity recorded during the lockdown period of January-to-April.

June saw the UK government begin to further relax leisure and hospitality restrictions, which resulted in the re-opening of land-based gaming venues (casinos, arcades and bingo halls) from 17 June.

The sector’s active player numbers rose by 4% to 11.3 million, primarily attributed to recreational customer interest in Euro 2020 markets.

Sports betting registered a 9% month-on-month increase in active player numbers to 5.6 million – which despite Euro 2020 activity could not match April and May peaks of +6 million players driven by Cheltenham Festival and Grand National racing events.

Mirroring June outcomes, total online gambling wagers (bets-per-vertical) decreased to a six-month low of £6.1 billion – with online slots and online casino registering respective 10% and 8% month-on-month decreases.

“We recognise that the country is now entering a different phase as we continue to ease out of lockdown,” the UKGC detailed in its update.

“We continue to expect extra vigilance from operators as consumers are impacted in different ways by the circumstances. Many people will still feel vulnerable as a result of the length of the pandemic period and further uncertainty about their personal or financial circumstances.”

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