UK’s Gambling Commission Reports Rise in Online Gambling in the UK

Known as the leader in the regulation industry, the Gambling Commission are the ones who issue the facts and figures when it comes to online gambling in the UK. They have recently released their latest figures on how the whole pandemic has changed the behaviour of online gamblers. The data they have published covers from March to December 2020. Overall, it shows some very interesting results. Understanding these figures is a great way to understand how the market is shifting. 

A broad look at the figures released has shown that there was a 6% increase month after month for active accounts. Therefore, indicating that not only are people playing more during the lockdowns. But also new players have been signing up to play. This has not been the only increase over the lockdown measures, as a result, there has been a 12% increase in the number of bets played. As a result, the number of bets rose to almost £6 billion while the number of active players raised to almost 3 million. Both of these figures are record amounts for online gambling in the UK, within the period.

These are not the only stats that the Gambling Commission has recorded over the period of time. With many other factors at play that will be explained below. New casinos opening may have struggled during the pandemic, however, notable ones like have helped towards this record period for the market. 

What Data For Online Gambling in The UK is Used?

General customer trends are some of the data that the Gambling Commission takes into account. This is simply done to understand the general health of the market for online gambling in the UK. For instance, knowing what regular gamblers are now doing with their time can be a great benefit. As a result, this can help build a clearer picture of the market over time. The Gambling Commission uses this data in a number of different ways, however, it is usually used withing studies and reports. 

The research carried out has shown that up to 40% of the regular gamblers have had a decrease in their disposable income. Therefore, with less money to spend, their time has to be spent on other entertainment. Following research by YouGov, those who had gambled in the first for weeks were likely to spend the following two weeks doing other things. They found that 17% of gamblers were spending money on other online entertainment. As a result, 50% of gamblers watched more TV with 48% of gamblers consuming more on-demand entertainment. As you can expect, these kinds of figures have had a major effect on the market for online gambling in the UK. 

The Impact on The Market

As all public venues closed on 20th March, this meant that the activities of gamblers that generated 50% of the market had to stop. This had a devastating effect on the industry, however, it showed a stark increase in online activity. With this in mind, the only form of gambling that was available during the time was lotteries. This is because the tickets for these are sold in regular retail outlets. 

Following regular intervals of research and surveys, it was found that further into the pandemic. With the measures that were in place, less gambling was taking place. With those who had gambled in the following 4 weeks down to 0.4%. This figure was also reflected in the operator data that was collected. Therefore, showing that the number of active players during the time, falling by 1.2% between April and May 2020. This decrease is across the board for almost all kinds of betting. One of the survivors of the pandemic’s effect is the sports betting sector. With the return of sports events, the return of sports betting has resulted in a 5% increase. 

In the terms of lottery games, the research that is regularly conducted found a 26% decline in player participation in these kinds of games. With 4 weeks later the research reporting this decreasing to 22%, a sharp fall for any kind of game. However, since then the sales of lottery-type games has stabilised. This has been shown to be down to the move from physical sales to online sales. All of these contribute heavily to the data for online gambling in the UK. However, keep in mind they may not show the numbers for online casinos in particular. 

Trying New Things

The lockdown did have one effect on everything in every aspect of life. People wanted to tackle the boredom and try new things. As a result, this was reflected in the gambling industry online. Comparing the results of a whole years data collecting. It has shown some surprising but expected results with the current climate. With players having no choice but to play online, it has created a huge increase in the number of online activities. However, it did show that the number of players wanting to do more than one online gambling activity fell from 43% to 40%. This may seem like a small fall however translates into a huge number of players. 

When it comes to online gambling in the UK, the data has shown that 31% of potential players tried online gambling for the first time during the lockdowns. When you look at what exactly they have been playing, the results may surprise you. With 48% of active online players, the largest percentage were playing online bingo games at 13%. However, 12% were spending their money on virtual sports or races. With 11% playing lottery online or instant win online games. Falling in last, 11% were playing online slot games. Again, this may only sound like a small amount but comparing to how large the market is for online gambling in the UK, this can be an extraordinarily high number.

With the future of the pandemic uncertain. It is predicted that the market for online gambling in the UK will continue to grow. With these predictions in place for the UK, you can expect that this also reflects other regions in the market. However, we will not know the exact health of the whole industry until other regulators release their figures for the period. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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