UK gambling industry continues to increase revenues
A UK Gambling Commission report published earlier this year illustrated yet again how the UK gambling industry continues to make gains. The UKGC is the authority in charge of regulating gambling activities in the UK, whether they are land-based or online. The latest report covers the period from October 2016 to November 2017 and includes sections on changes within the sector itself, player behaviour and market trends.
The UKGC updates the public on what is happening within the industry twice a year, which means that everyone can get a good look at what kind of changes have been taking place. This means that both players and operators get a clear picture of how the UK-facing gambling industry is faring.
The data is based on the performance of casinos holding a UKGC license i.e. all casinos who offer their services to UK customers.
Remote Gambling Continues to Grow
For anyone who has followed this sector’s progress over the years, it should come as no surprise that yet another increase was registered in the gross yield collected by gambling operators. The industry as a whole took in a total of £13.9 billion in the time period under study, which puts it at 0.7% higher than the previous year.
The UKGC also revealed that the market share of remote gambling grew by 1% between October 2016 and November 2017, compared to the previous year. With so many operators out there and different options for players, this is hardly unexpected. Online gambling alone took in £4.9 billion in gross yield, which equates to a 3.7% increase over the previous year.
Betting shops fared slightly worse this year. The UKGC reports that the number of betting shops within the territory had dropped by 3.2%, amounting to 8,532 in total. While this is by no means a small amount, it can indicate a trend towards online gambling instead of gambling in purpose-specific establishments.
The number of gaming machines also dropped slightly – there were 0.7% fewer machines, adding up to 183,928 in total across the UK. This number does not include machines that only require a local authority license.
While betting shops faltered, bingo premises experienced a modest improvement. There were 2% more bingo locations in the country than in March 2017, with 649 bingo halls in operation across the UK. Since March 2017, two new land-based casinos commenced operations, bringing the total number of UK casinos up to 152. Arcades saw a slump, with a 3.5% decline. A total of 1,810 licensed arcades are operating in the UK now.
There was a slight drop in the number of people employed in the UK gambling sector, with a 0.8% drop in September 2017 when compared to March 2017. At this time, 106,366 individuals were working within this industry.
The gambling industry in the UK contributes significantly to social causes, mainly through lotteries. These gambling activities help to fund projects and services in areas such as heritage, sport, arts, and charities across the country. The UKGC revealed that there was a small drop in the contributions that large scale lotteries made to social causes, bringing in 1.7% less than in the previous period. This still amounted to £251 million, which made all the difference for the recipients of these donations.