Sarah Garnder: UKGC consultation conclusions due this summer

UK gambling rebounded in September as Premier League returned

New data published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has shown an increase in real event betting activity during September, driven by the return of Premier League football.

The statistics aim to show the ways in which the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown measures had impacted gambling behaviour across the UK, reflecting the period between March and September.

September data indicated that the return of live sporting events and Premier League football led to a growth in the online betting sector, with a month-on-month increase of 3% in gross gambling yield (GGY), and a 7% increase in active accounts.

According to the UKGC, the impact from a lack of tier-one sporting events was ‘clearly visible in August’ with GGY decreasing by 21% from July. However, sports return in September increased real event GGY by 15% from August to nearly £190 million.

In addition, the number of bets placed on real betting events grew by 5%, while the number of active customers increased by 14%.

For betting shops, over-the-counter (OTC) activity also increased in September with both the number of bets and GGY growing by 3% and 2% respectively since August.

The UKGC noted that the distribution of activity among products had shifted slightly, with retail betting accounting for 39% of all GGY, a slight decrease on August’s figure.

In its update, the regulator noted: “Gambling behaviours have continued to evolve as the country responds to varying levels of restrictions and we will remain vigilant in light of new national lockdowns announced in recent weeks.

“The Commission continues to track Covid-19 related risk by assessing the impact of the strengthened guidance issued to operators, collecting and publishing the data being gathered, supporting the industry as land-based premises begin to open, and where evidence identifies additional risks faced by consumers, taking further action to protect consumers.”

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