The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has disclosed that punters appear to be more engaged in betting activities now that live sports has returned.
Publishing updated figures of its ‘Gambling business data during Covid-19’, the UKGC revealed an up-tick in betting activity for real events recorded during June. According to the regulator, this is indicative of the ‘pent-up demand’ for live sports, particularly when it comes to football-related betting.
The data collected by the regulator, which covers 80% of the industry, has shown that gross gambling yield (GGY) for real event wagering rose by 115% between May and June, up from £1.01 million to £217.5 million. The Commission further noted that GGY for June was higher than ‘average pre-lockdown levels’.
Total number of bets placed on real events were also on the rise during June, up from 104,043,293 to 255,476,612 – an increase of 146%. Active players also jumped by 81% during the same period.
This data, according to the UKGC, is reflective of a number of player-friendly attributes in June including ‘the high frequency of fixtures following the return of top flight football, some live free-to-air television coverage, and favourable timings in terms of matches being spread out during the day and evening’.
Virtual betting markets appear to have tailed off, however, as the UK begins to move out of full lockdown and live events begin to return.
GGY for betting on virtual events fell 15% from May to June, with the UKGC reporting figures of £9.6 million in June, down from £11.3 million. Active players also seem to have dwindled, falling by 15% from 287,777 to 244,219.
Taking a holistic view of the industry, the total number of active player accounts have fallen by 5%. Average session times have also dropped, falling from 22 minutes to 21 minutes between May and June.
Despite this, the UKGC noted that players are still more engaged than they were in March 2019 – the figure for those engaged in more than one activity is down from 41% in April to 35% in June.