UK Online Gambling Rose 29% in October

The UK Gambling Regulator has published for October. Data shows the gross gambling yield has increased by 29% month-on-month, driven by lockdown measures imposed due to Covid-19.

The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released data which shows the UK online gambling market has seen a 29% increase in gross gambling yield in October compared to September’s figures. The figures also show a 7% increase in activity of customer’s accounts.

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UK Online Gambling Rose 29% in October © Pixabay.

Figures show that the surge in growth was largely fuelled by real-event betting which rose by 53% compared to September with the Commission attributing this rise to the UK’s second lockdown. The UK became the ninth country to reach a million cases of coronavirus behind the US, India, Brazil, Russia, France, Spain, Argentina and Colombia and the UK government ordered a second lockdown to try and slow the spread of the virus.

While the biggest driver of the increase was real-event betting, online casino activity also increased with the number of bets/spins increased by 8% from September’s figures.

In releasing the data, the UKGC reiterated to operators their social responsibility to consumers and reminded them of their obligations. The commission state that as more people spend time at home, uncertainty over personal, employment or financial circumstances could leave some customers feeling vulnerable.

The Commission wrote to operators telling them that consumer protection must be paramount and gambling companies should act responsibly and ensure that individual customer affordability checks are performed. Increased social responsibility interactions should take place and the state, “We expect you to know your customers and step in quickly if they are showing signs that they are experiencing or at risk of harm.”

The UKGC said of the increase in gross gambling yield that they will continue to monitor the data to allow them to assess the degree of risk. They warn operators that if “these changes appear to be more than short-term fluctuations, we will not hesitate to take further action.

Key points from the October figures released by the UK Gambling Commission;

  • Online real event betting – GGY increased by 53% to £290m. Real event betting overtakes online slots for the first time. Average customer losses up 43% to £62.82 monthly.
  • Online slots – Slots GGY increased by 10% to £172.5m. Number of bets placed up 8% to 5.1bn. Sessions on slot games up 12% to 27m.
  • Consumer product engagement – Consumers who are engaged in more than one gambling activity is down from 41% in April to 33% in October.
  • Safer gambling indicators – The number of online slot sessions lasting more than an hour increased by 12% to 2.2m. The average slot session lasts 21 minutes which has been fairly constant throughout the year.
  • Customer interactions – Between September and October, the the number of customer interactions undertaken rose by 5% (to just over 1m). The report states the majority of these interactions are automated.

The data also showed that bricks and mortar establishments such as betting shops saw a drop in the number of bets placed in October. 60.4m bets were placed, down by 2% on September figures. Despite this, GGY actually rose by 3% to £74.5m.

The Commission believe that we could be seeing a shift from over-the-counter betting to online, as more people try to reduce their contact with other people.

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