The major regulator of the UK gambling sector has published more information regarding the impact of the renewed stricter coronavirus lockdown measures on local consumers’ gambling behaviour.
The latest data published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) covers the period from March to November 2020 and reflects both online gambling and consumer research. The gambling watchdog revealed this time it did not require data from licensed betting operators (LBOs) for November 2020, as a result of the latest lockdown measures imposed at the time on the industry, along with the furloughing of many employees across the sector. The UKGC explained that it plans to resume collecting this data when the licensed betting companies in the country are given permission to resume operations.
According to the consumer research data unveiled by the UKGC, there is still no evidence of a considerable or sustained growth in the British population’s gambling activity during the coronavirus period. The latest research, however, highlights the links between the effects the Covid-19 crisis had on people’s financial and mental well-being and the increased gambling participation rates.
As Casino Guardian reported earlier, November 2020 marked the second coronavirus pandemic lockdown in the UK. This time, however, the closures and social distancing measures did not affect key sports events as they did during the spring lockdown. Still, many UK residents were once again forced to stay at home, which raised the possibility that they would end up gambling online more to kill lockdown boredom.
Only 13% of UK Gamblers Say They Spent More Than Before the Covid-19 Pandemic
The latest November 2020 data, which was provided by LBOs, showed that the activity of local residents in the online market increased, with a 3% month-on-month growth registered in active accounts and a 4% growth registered in bets. The UKGC revealed that the gross gambling yield (GGY) fell by 13% because real-event betting margins came back to normal after reaching higher levels in October 2020.
According to the latest report published by the UK gambling regulatory body, slots gross gambling yield rose by 3%, reaching almost £177 million. Furthermore, the number of bets increased by 4% to more than 5.2 billion, and so did the number of active accounts, which increased by 1% to 2.8 million, reaching its highest point during the coronavirus pandemic.
Overall, no significant or sustained increase was registered in UK residents’ gambling activity since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the UKGC, three-fifths of British gamblers confirmed that their spending has not changed since March 2020. Only 13% of local gamblers said they spent more than they did before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, while 27% of the gamblers said they spent less.
The country’s gambling watchdog reported that the number of online slots sessions that lasted longer than an hour rose by 3%, reaching 2.2 million from October to November. This was also 1% higher than the increase registered in overall sessions. The regulator also revealed that the length of the average session rose by 1 minute to 22 minutes, approximately 8% of the total number of sessions lasted for more than one hour.