uk gambling commission (UKGC)

UK gambling yield down 2% according to Commission quarterly figures

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that British gross gambling yield (GGY) during Q3 2022/23 financial year dipped slightly by 2% to £1.2bn.

Data from the UK’s ‘biggest operators’, encompassing around 80-85% of the online betting and gaming market, the UKGC determined that betting and casino revenue declined by 8% and 3% respectively.

Total online betting gross gambling yield  was £446m, with the number of bets and average monthly accounts up 21% and 20% year-on-year, respectively.

This was despite the number of active players increasing – for real event betting, the number of customers 17.3 million, an uptick of 17% on the previous year’s Q3 figure of 14.5 million, although virtual sports wagering declined by 41% from 726,538 to 425,708.

GGY for local betting operators (LBO) meanwhile, increased by 5% to £560m, with the number of total bets placed and spins played at high-street bookies rising by 2% to 3.4bn. 

Of these retail bets, 139.5 million were placed over the counter (146 million) and 35.1 million were placed on self-service betting terminals (SSBTs), whilst the number of spins in FOBT machines rose slightly from 3.1 billion to 3.2 billion YoY.

The UKGC explained: “The popularity of the football World Cup is likely to be responsible for the increase in general participation in recreational gambling, though the reduced amount of football betting opportunities, with top European leagues being temporarily suspended, may have resulted in the decreased overall spend in the period.”

On gaming, slots GGY grew 2% to £582m, with the number of spins rising by 8% to 19.7bn, while the number of average monthly active accounts rose 13% to 3.7m. Despite this, the number of spins per active player decreased 5 per cent YoY.

Furthermore, the amount of online slots sessions lasting more than one hour through the Q3 reporting period increased 11% to top the nine million mark for the first time since such figures have been reported by the regulator. 

However, with the total number of sessions up 21 per cent YoY, the UKGC noted that “6.5 per cent of all sessions lasting in excess of one hour during Q3, the lowest percentage recorded since we started collecting data in March 2020”. The average session length was 17 minutes, down two minutes from one year earlier.

Lastly, the UKGC found that the number of customer interactions in Q3 decreased by 10% to 2.9 million compared to the same period in 2022, 

The majority of customer interactions remained automated in nature, but the number of direct interactions undertaken by operators in this dataset has increased by 32%.

These final statistics could be of increased importance to operators as policymakers prepare the Gambling Act review White Paper, and amid the backdrop of multiple financial penalties against operators for social responsibility failings.

However, with no permanent Gambling Minister currently appointed to serve under DCMS Secretary Lucy Frazer and directly oversee the review, it is unclear when any legislative changes on player protection will be enacted.

The Commission stated: “We continue to expect vigilance from operators as consumers are impacted in different ways by the current economic environment. Many people will feel vulnerable as they face further uncertainty about their personal or financial circumstances.”

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