UK Online Gambling Revenue On The Rise Again In Spite Of Total Market Decline

Recently, reports from the Gambling Commission has confirmed an increase of 2.9% in the online gambling market in the UK. The Gambling Commission publishes annual reports twice in May and November and this information is revealed in the latest set of reports. As a perfect compliment to each other, the remote gambling sector has seen an increase of 38.8% from a meagre 1.2%! Just like last year, this year also the online gambling scenario has taken up a large part of the UK market. Currently, the Gambling Commission is working on measures to prevent sports companies from getting into sponsorship deals with betting companies.


The same cannot be said about the betting scenario of the country. The reports state a sharp decline in the game machine revenue from the local betting shops. This is the first decline that has been recorded in the last seven years and has been recorded after the announcement of the of maximum betting stakes on FOBTs. By the end of September 2018, around 33,190 betting machines were recorded which was 500 less than previously recorded estimates of March 2018.


The same is true for the number of regular betting shops which has dwindled down to a record low of 8,423. The figure is striking considering the fact that it was 9,128 in March 2012 and 8,555 in September 2018. Regardless, the gambling sector has contributed around £5.63 billion to the economy and has continued its market growth of 38.85% from previous year’s 37.1%.


Around two-thirds of the total gambling, revenue came from slots and the online mobile casino games industry accounted for over £3 billion (+1.8%) of the revenue. However, despite the impressive figures, the sports and betting sector did not see any significant growth and remained almost flat. In the other sectors like the online betting industry saw a slight growth of 3.7%. The credit can be accounted mainly to the rising betting rates to nearly £343 million and the improving bingo revenue to £177.6million.


In this span of 12 months, the licensed casino operators of the UK has managed to generate around £14.5 billion. Still, it resembles a decline of around 0.4% according to the Gambling Commission. Other parts of the gambling sector which saw a decreasing figure was the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) of land-based casinos. The sales or GGY of National Lottery also saw a sharp decline of £859 million.


The regular casinos lost 1% margin of their GGY, while the virtual betting scenario saw a sharp decline of £81.8 million or a decrease of 4.2%. Next, comes the dismal figure of the regular bookies whose total GGY reduced by £94 million. This figure has been quoted by including the GGY of the gaming machines. The GGY of gaming machines fell by £5.6 million. The report also mentioned another new trend that hasn’t been previously given importance before. For the first time in history, the number of workers hired by the gambling operators has seen a slight decrease which might not look scary at first but can be attributed to the rising migration of people to the online platforms. Currently, the number of workers stands at  106,670 which has declined by 1.4% from the reports of September 2018. After analysing the declining revenue of their business, the local betting companies have blamed it all on the imposed strict regulations of the Gambling Commission recently.


One of the laws requires an extra verification process to stop underage gambling. This has been done by keeping the interests of the consumers at hand who are addicted to gambling. Recently, the Gambling Commission has focused on initiatives leading to gambling problem awareness and social responsibility.


The recently published reports by the Gambling Commission have shown that the number of self excluders from online casinos has increased by 11% (currently at 1.5 million) from the last figure. The report mentions an increase of 28% in the verification process of online casinos also which is great for responsible gambling initiatives. Additionally, The Gambling Commission has reduced the maximum stake of the FOBs to 2GBP from 100 GBP. Despite this, the companies are depending on the overseas gambling revenue for their long term sustenance.

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