UK online gambling industry now worth £4.7bn

Figures released last week by the UK Gambling Commission have shown that the remote gambling sector in Great Britain grew by 10.1% up to £4.7bn in the year up to March 2017.


The Commission’s industry statistics show growth in almost all verticals of the gambling industry. © Pexels.

The Gambling Commission’s industry statistics report contained data for the period between April 2014 and March 2017. On the whole, the data shows that the industry has grown in almost every sector.

The headline findings of the report show considerable growth across the industry and its sectors in the last year. The total gross gambling yield (GGY) for the entire industry in Great Britain was £13.7bn for the year between April 2016 and March 2017, a 1.8% increase from the year prior. The remote sector increased by a massive 10.1% to £4.7bn for the same period, while remote gambling itself grew by 1.5% to constitute 34% of the UK’s gambling market.

Despite a growth of 11% in a sports betting, casino remains by far the largest vertical in online gambling, yielding £2.6bn for the year period, which constituted 56% of the GGY. Casinos continue to take most of their revenue from slots, which made £1.7bn in the last year, an increase of 8%.

Football and horse racing remain the most popular sports for remote betting fans. Football took 31% of the GGY for remote betting, while horse racing accounted for 20%. Remote betting yielded a total of £1.9bn between April 2016 and March 2017.

Commenting on the findings, Tim Miller, Gambling Commission executive director, said:

These latest figures show that the gambling market is continuing to grow, particularly in the online sector. However, with such growth comes a great responsibility for operators to prevent gambling-related harm to all consumers and the public. We would urge all gambling businesses to be acutely aware that as their market grows so too will our focus on ensuring that consumers are protected.Tim Miller, executive director of the Gambling Commission

Gaming machine numbers continue to grow

The gambling industry statistics also reference the number of gaming machines, which includes the notorious fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The total number of machines has now reached 182,916 and the yield of these machines continues to grow.

These gaming machines generate the most revenue in betting shops, a fact that has been widely publicised and criticised of late. The government is still consulting on its review of the industry published some weeks back. The review called for a drop in the maximum stake of £100 at FOBTs to a possible low of £2. The industry is currently fighting that possibility, but a reduction to between £10-£30 seems a certainty. Based on the figures contained in the industry statistics report, this would hit betting shops extremely hard.

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