UKGC data reveals ‘notable recovery’ for sports betting

Data from the UK Gambling Commission has revealed a ‘notable recovery’ in sports betting revenues during May, which has been partly attributed to the return of the German Bundesliga and other top-flight leagues.

The data, collected from the largest online operators and the YouGov Covid-19 tracker, built upon data published by the UKGC on 12 May and further data published on 12 June.

The return of live sport has driven an increase in betting, with GGY increasing by 64% between April and May. The UKGC statement highlighted: “The seven waves of the YouGov survey conducted from 16 April to 18 June show past-four-week gambling participation has remained relatively stable, within a range of 28-32%.

“There has, however, been a notable recovery in sports betting participation, which fell to 1% in wave 9 (6-7 May) but has now risen to 5% in the latest wave (17-18 June). This corresponds with the return of more elite-level sport, including Premier League football.”

But despite the uptick in revenues, the data recorded a decrease in the number of overall active player accounts across the majority of verticals – excluding ‘real event’ sports betting, which reported a 13% growth.

“Operator data on overall active player accounts indicates a further 1.2% decrease between April and May 2020, with the number of active players down across each of the verticals, excluding real event betting, where the number increased by 13% between April and May.”

Betting activity for virtuals appears to have taken a hit as a result of a live sports resumption, with the number of active players falling by 48% between April and May. Online casino players fell by 4%, while online poker players dropped by 11% during the same period.

The UKGC statement continued: “Online operator data shows that with the exception of real event betting, there has been a fall in the number of active players for each vertical. Although some of the decreases are relatively small in percentage terms, this is not the case for virtual betting which saw a spike due to the Virtual Grand National in April.”

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