UKGC Market Statistics Notes Decline in Online Gambling

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) continues to monitor UK online gambling trends, especially in light of the Covid pandemic which saw the whole country lockdown in March 2020.

Decline in Gross Gambling Yield

Since then, the UKGC has continually monitored online activity and according to their latest market statistics figures published in February 2021, a continued decline of the gross gambling yield (GGY) between December 2020 and February 2021 by 19% to £495 million.A decrease in online bets and spin wagers of 6% to £6.2 billion was recorded and active accounts decreased by 4% between December and February due to the Christmas period.Online sports betting also took a hit between December and January GGY decreased by 12%. Online slots are by far the biggest risk for online gambling harm, a 1% decline in online slot activity was recorded as bets placed on slots decreased by 7% to below £5 billion.The online activity took a hit with a decrease of 1% in online sessions lasting more than an hour. This figure peaked briefly in January 2021 but has now levelled out and the average online session now lasting around 21.5 minutes, and a decrease of around 9% of sessions lasting beyond an hour during February 2021.

‘Extra Vilgilant’

After a steady decrease in online gambling activity, the UKGC is urging operators to be ‘extra vigilant’ while lockdown restrictions continue.More people have spent time at home and maybe feeling extremely isolated often worrying about the financial impact the pandemic has caused. The UKGC stated highly engaged gamblers who play many online products are more likely to spend longer online gambling and spend more money as sport continues during the lockdown.At the beginning of the latest lockdown, the UKGC wrote to gambling operators reminding them of the regulations and ongoing commitment to protect online customers from gambling-related harm and to be extra vigilant during this time. They were also encouraged to continue with the strengthened guidelines and not to exploit the current situation.

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