Market Overview – Gambling Commission Publishes Operator Data to June 2023
BIRMINGHAM, U.K. (August 2023)
The Gambling Commission has published data to June 2023, with the dataset collected since March 2020 showing how gambling behaviour has changed over the period.
Retail sectors1 mainly reopened on the following dates after the last set of restrictions:
- 12 April 2021 – Licenced Betting Operators (LBOs)
- 17 May 2021 – Arcades, bingo, and casinos.
All remaining restrictions were removed in England on 17 July 2021.
Minor restrictions, such as the need for face coverings and guidance to work from home, were brought in by the United Kingdom (UK) government from October 2021 to January 2022 to help tackle the Omicron variant.
We will continue to publish this data on a quarterly basis.
This release compares Quarter one of financial year 2022 to 2024, with Quarter one of 2022 to 2023, looking at how the market has changed in comparative periods over a year.
This release covers data from online operators and LBOs found on Britain’s high streets.
The online gambling data, collected from the largest online operators, covers the months March 2020 through to June 2023.
Comparison should not be made with the industry statistics dataset, as the data set reported here may include free bets and bonuses and does not cover all operators.
Latest data2, from April to June 2023, covering the Aintree festival and the end of the football season, shows total online Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) increased 5 percent, compared to the same period last year, to £1.3 billion. The increase was largely driven by real event betting which increased 12 percent.
Both the overall number of total bets and/or spins and the number of average monthly active accounts3 increased during the quarter, seeing increases of 6 percent and 5 percent respectively, compared to the previous year.
Online real event betting
Online real event betting GGY increased by 12 percent year-on-year for Quarter 1, to £538 million. The number of bets increased by 8 percent while the number of average monthly active accounts decreased by 2 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The end of the football season could be a contributing factor to the decrease in the number of bets.
Slots GGY increased 3 percent to £583 million year-on-year for this reporting period. The number of spins increased 7 percent in the quarter to 20 billion, while the number of average monthly active accounts increased 12 percent to 4 million.
Safer gambling indicators
The number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour decreased 0.2 percent year-on-year for Quarter 1 to 8.4 million. The number of total sessions increased by 5.8 percent in the equivalent time period, with 6.3 percent of all sessions lasting in excess of one hour during the quarter. The average session length decreased slightly to 16 minutes for the first time in the dataset.
The total number of customer interactions in Quarter 1 decreased by 13 percent to 2.9 million compared to the same period last year, with the majority remaining automated in nature.4 The number of direct interactions undertaken by operators in this dataset has increased by 35 percent year-on-year.
The Commission has collected data from the largest LBOs for the months of March (pre-lockdown) and June 2020 through to June 2023. It is worth noting that LBOs closed on 20 March 2020 and re-opened5 from 15 June 2020 before entering a tiered system in October 2020 and closing January 2021. LBOs were permitted to reopen again 12 April 2021.
Absolute values are not directly comparable for some months between these periods for several reasons including:
- retail not in operation for a full month in March and June 2020
- phased openings of premises after restrictions began to lift from June 2020
- local restrictions throughout 2020
- impact of restrictions on other retail gambling sectors.
GGY reported for Quarter 1 (April to June) increased by 0.7 percent from Quarter 1 last year to £588 million, while the number of total bets and spins decreased 2 percent to 3.3 billion.
Over the Counter (OTC)
The number of bets placed over the counter decreased 4 percent in the quarter compared to the same period last year to 150 million, while GGY decreased 7 percent to £181 million.
Self-Service Betting Terminals (SSBT)
SSBT’s continued to grow in popularity. The number of bets placed on SSBTs increased by 27 percent year-on-year to 34 million in this reporting period, while GGY increased by 20 percent to £116 million.
Machines GGY increased 1 percent in Quarter 1 year-on-year to £292 million, with average spend per session increasing slightly to £12.12. The average number of spins per machines session decreased to 128 spins in this quarter.
Safer Gambling Indicators
Consistent with last year, 3 percent of total machines sessions lasted more than an hour in this quarter.