The Gambling Commission have released their Gambling Industry Statistics report on the size and shape of the gambling industry in Great Britain. This report provides an overview of Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) by sector, along with the numbers of licensed operators and premises. It is based on data reported to them by operators they license and regulate and it allows us to see how the industry adapted and consumers changed their behaviours due to the various lockdowns and changes to their social norms.
Operator and Licensed Activities
The total number of licensed operators decreased by 139 (-5.4%) from 2,578 to 2,439 between March 2020 and March 2021 it can be presumed that lack of footfall through conventional casinos and gambling premises forced many operators to permanently close during the pandemic due to a loss of earnings.
Machines across non-remote sectors
Prompted by a change in regulations reducing the maximum stake from £100 to £2 for certain gambling machines and a lack of footfall for land based casinos, bookmakers and pubs. Machines saw a drastic fall in use and overall spend throughout the start of the pandemic. With this change being so significant the gambling commission is still checking the quality of data submissions from these resources prior to posting the full 2020/2021 stats.
Online Betting 2020/2021
With many bookmakers being closed throughout parts of the corona virus pandemic and the uncertainty of William Hills standing after it was bought by operator 888 earlier this year (Read our coverage here). Gamblers changed their behaviours and sought online betting as opposed to using a traditional bookmakers with this part of the industry growing 13.5% the Euro 2020 championship also boosted football bets with them making up 46.1% of all betting.
Continuing a trend of growth but seeing unprecedented development throughout 2020/2021, online casinos undoubtedly saw the biggest growth during this time with gamblers unable to play at traditional venues and the rise of gambling influencers this sector saw a huge 22.5% growth during this time.
Land Based Casinos And Bingo Halls
Unsurprisingly these two sectors saw significant losses during these times and again because of the severity of the change the Gambling Commission is still checking the figures for quality assurance and have only detailed licensee figures up until Apr 2020 with both of these sector beginning to show a huge decline in their Gross Gambling Yield up to this point. It can be presumed based of the huge rise in online casino use by the general public however that the fall upon being fully reported will be substantial.
The National Lottery
We reported last week on The National Lottery reaching record high sales (with the full story being posted here) and this is reflected in the Gambling Commissions statistics. Its continued growth appears to be unaffected by the pandemic with most retail premises remaining open throughout the corona virus pandemic there wasn't a substantial barrier to entry for the consumer to purchase their tickets.
What does all this mean for the future of gambling? Time will tell, this volatile industry is constantly changing and adapting to meet consumer needs and it will be down to the individual to determine the future of the gambling sector as bookmakers, bingo halls and casinos reopen will the average consumer return to these premises? or delight in the ease accessibility of online gambling.