UK Online Q4 GGY Has Increased For 1%

UK Gambling Industry Successfully Recovering After Covid

UK Gambling Industry Successfully Recovering After CovidRecent UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) figures show that the post-pandemic recovery of the British betting and gaming industry is on track. The data, which was posted on the regulator’s website, showed that total online GGY increased to £1.2 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year (April to June 2022), up 1% from the previous quarter. The number of active accounts increased by 5%, and so did the number of spins and bets.

Retail betting continued to bounce back in the face of challenging post-pandemic trading conditions. It rose by 6% quarter over quarter to £584 million, and the total number of spins and bets in Britain’s LBOs increased by 3% to 3.3 billion. On the gaming side, the number of slot sessions that last one hour rose by 5% to 8.4 million, with about 7% of all sessions lasting longer than 60 minutes.

In contrast to the rise in hour-long slot play and the number of bet slips, the average slot session length decreased by one minute to 17 minutes. The GGY of Slots reached £565 million during the quarter, an increase of 4% from Q4 to Q1. Additionally, the number of spins increased by 5% to 18.7 billion. The average number of active accounts per month increased by 4% to 3.6 million.

Caution Is Advised When Comparing One Year to Another

The UKGC has cautioned against drawing comparisons to the prior year. They noted that operating circumstances had changed significantly from 2020 to 2022 because of the impacts of COVID-19 and lockdown conditions.

This is especially true for retail, as brick-and-mortar casinos and betting shops were closed for major portions of 2020 and 2021. Certain restrictions, like the amount of time customers can spend in store, were still in place for several months, even when the high-street bookies were open.

Due to different operating conditions between 2020 and 2022, the Commission advised caution when making any yearly comparison. Comparisons with the industry statistics dataset should also be avoided. This is because the market impact data may involve bonuses and free bets.

UKGC Urges Operator Vigilance as Q1 GGY Increases

The data published came after the UKGC reported that Britain’s problem gambling rate had decreased from 0.4% in 2021 to 0.2% in 2022. It is uncertain if this is linked to the UKGC’s updated terms and conditions policy at the start of 2022. Operators have been urged by the Commission to remain vigilant on industry responsibility and standards. Although the prevalence of problem gambling has decreased overall, the UKGC noted some weeks ago that the rate among 16 to 24-year-olds was 0.8%.

The UKGC said in a statement, “We continue to expect increased vigilance from operators as consumers are impacted in various ways by the circumstances brought on by the pandemic and the broader economic environment.” As consumers adjust to the “new normal”, the Commission urged operators to engage with customers directly when triggers are reached. They also encouraged them to resist the temptation of exploiting the present situation for marketing reasons.

Additionally, firms have been urged to exercise caution when bringing in new customers and making decisions regarding affordability checks. Operators have also been reminded to follow the strengthened guidance of the UKGC, which has been in place since the first lockdown. They are also encouraged to take data into consideration.

Author: Dale Alvarez