The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has pledged to do whatever it takes to keep up the momentum in the efforts to raise standards in the UK regulated gambling and betting sector.
The promise has been made by the industry’s trade body after the latest survey held by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) showed a decline in the problem gambling rates in the country from 0.6% in 2019 to 0.3% in 2020. The Betting and Gaming Council believes that although the regulatory body said the decline was not statistically significant, it actually suggests that the work of the BGC over the past 12 months on promoting safer gambling is having an impact on the results of the survey.
According to the study, the rate of those gamblers categorised as being exposed at a moderate risk of gambling-related harm declined from 1.2% to 0.9% in the period between 2019 and 2020. The UK Government has revealed that the gambling addiction rate in the country is 0.5% and has remained stable for the past 20 years.
The executive director for standards and innovation of the BGC, Wes Himes, said that since the establishment of the gambling industry’s trade body, the latter has worked to boost standards in the country’s gambling and betting sector and promote responsible gambling to local customers.
Some of the initiatives unveiled by the BGC include larger investments in research, education and treatment of problem gambling, encouraging gambling companies to adopt stricter deposit limits, as well as introducing stricter rules on game design and VIP schemes.
Activity in the UK Online Gambling Sector Rose in December 2020, UKGC Says
As mentioned above, this week, the UKGC has published additional data to provide more information about the impact that the further lockdown measures have had on the online gambling behaviour of local gamblers. The data is the period from March to December 2020 and covers data from both land-based and online gambling operators, reminding that all brick-and-mortar premises were shut in December 2020.
A total of 4,007 UK adults took part in the survey held by the Gambling Commission between March and December 2020.
The latest online operator data for December showed that activity in the online gambling sector marked an increase in a period of the year that is usually a busy one. A 6% growth was marked in the number of active accounts, while bets rose by 12% in the period. The gross gambling yield, on the other hand, rose by 30% because of the return of strong margins for gambling companies in real-event betting.
The UK Gambling Commission also shared that slots’ gross gambling yield rose by 13%, reaching almost £200 million. The number of bets marked a 12% increase to approximately £6 million, along with the active accounts, which rose by 6% to almost 3 million. This was the highest increase reported since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to data provided by the UKGC, the number of online slots sessions that were longer than an hour rose by 11% to 2.5 million in November and December 2020.