Close up of online mobile betting

UK Gambling Commission reports online growth amid tightening restrictions

The UK Gambling Commission has reported significant growth in the online market, after releasing new figures for the period between the months of March and October.

Statistics demonstrated how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected betting trends in Britain, encompassing both online and in-person gambling activity, with data provided by Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs) from Britain’s high streets.

The online market saw a month-on-month increase of 29% in gross gambling yield (GGY) and a 7% increase in active accounts in October.

Although, there were increases in both the number of bets (up by 12%) and the number of active players (up by 7%), and the main driver for the growth appears to be an increase in operator margins. Furthermore, it expressed that it expected an increase in real event betting figures in October.

Certain metrics, such as the number of bets and spins placed, increased for Licensed Betting Operators. Bets and spins saw a 9% GGY increase to £204 million which the UKGC suggested was ‘volatile due to the influence of sporting event results’.

In addition, the number of customers spending over an hour on online slot sessions increased by 12% between October and September, although the average session length is recorded at approximately 21 minutes.

The public body said that it has ‘continued to evolve as the country responds to varying levels of restrictions’ and ‘will remain vigilant in light of new national lockdowns announced in recent weeks’.

It also confirmed it recently wrote to operators to remind them of the guidance that was initially issued in May to online operators which set out the need for improved affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers.

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