The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed further data showing how the coronavirus pandemic has affected gambling behaviour in the country.
The data gathered by Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs) that offer their services on high streets across the UK reflects the period between March and August and covers in-person and online gambling operations and also includes consumer research.
According to the latest data for August, the online market slightly decreased in size. The number of bets was reduced by 2%, and the number of active customers fell by 7%. Betting on real events also suffered a decline of 12% in August. Gross gambling yield (GGY) also fell by 12%.
The aforementioned figures may be attributable to the break in the English Premier League (EPL) football, the holiday season and the relaxed restrictions on the sector permitting more discretionary spending options. Apart from that, the number of slot sessions played online that lasted longer than an hour declined by 7%, with the length of the average session remaining at 21 minutes.
As far as high street gambling is concerned, the GGY has remained stable, while total bets and spins in the land-based premises declined both by 2% since July.
As revealed by Licensed Betting Operators, the number of customer interactions undertaken has increased by 11%. A total of 4% of the customer interactions reported were direct contact from gambling operators’ employees. The figure represented a decline, as it amounted to 5% in July.
Gambling Behaviours Continue to Evolve Despite Coronavirus Impact Still Ongoing
As the UK Gambling Commission revealed, gambling behaviours continue to evolve as the country is still dealing with the challenges faced because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the regulatory body further highlighted how important it is for gambling operators to be in line with the updated guidance of the Commission.
The guidance issued by the UKGC included the one aimed at online gambling companies in May. At the time it was set out, it highlighted the necessity for better affordability checks, restrictions on bonus offers, as well as prevention of reverse withdrawals. Such measures were imposed on land-based premises back in June, when retail gambling venues were allowed to resume operation.
The gambling regulatory body of the UK further shared that it would continue to monitor the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic. In order to do that, the watchdog would be assessing the impact of the enhanced guidance the UKGC had already issued to gambling companies. The UKGC is set to collect and publish the data being gathered on a regular basis.
The regulatory body of the gambling sector further noted that it would continue to support the industry as retail gambling premises are resuming operation. The UK Gambling Commission further explained that it would take further action in order to protect consumers in case the evidence gathered finds that gamblers are exposed to additional risks.