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GB remote gambling yield reaches £6.85bn in Covid-hit 2020-21

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Remote gross gaming yield (GGY) in Great Britain hit a new high of £6.85bn (€8.05bn/$9.13bn) in the twelve months ended 31 March, 2021, a period heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and resulting lockdowns.
Gross gambling revenue in Great Britain dropped by 13.6% month-on-month in June, new figures from the Gambling Commission show, as almost all types of gambling experienced a significant decline.

The Gambling Commission revealed in its industry statistics for the year that total revenue from these sectors came on turnover of £141.38bn, up 18.1% from 2019-20.

Remote casino licensees made up most of the online GGY, as they brought in gross gaming yield of £4.02bn, up 26.4% from the same period of 2019-20. Slots made up the vast majority of this total at £2.91bn, up 22.2%.

Online betting, meanwhile, saw revenue grow 13.6% to £2.65bn, despite the suspension of a number of major sporting fixtures during the period. Almost all of this total was from sportsbooks, at £2.48bn, while betting exchange revenue was down 16.1% to £135.7m and pool betting revenue dipped slightly to £27.2m.

Online bingo revenue also grew, by 7.5% to £189.1m.

All three of these figures were the highest recorded for any full year.

Remote gambling revenue was highest during the six-month period from October 2020 to March 2021, reaching £1.87bn in the last three months of 2020 and £1.85bn in the first three of 2021. During these months, the casino sector remained strong – with revenue of more than £1bn per quarter – while sports betting revenue rebounded to new highs amid busy sporting calendars.

At the end of the period, £893.8m was held by operators in player accounts, with a total of 32.0 million active accounts during the year.

Ordinarily, the report would include the total GGY for all sectors in Great Britain, but due to the impact of lockdowns on the land-based sector, the regulator said it has not included estimates “where returns have either been late or are not yet due as we would not have confidence in their accuracy”.

The only non-remote sector for which data was provided was the National Lottery. Combined retail and online National Lottery sales came to £8.39bn, up 6.0%. Of this total, £4.87bn came from retail sales and £3.52bn from online. Of this total, £524.5m was retained by licensee Camelot.

Last week, Camelot revealed that lottery sales reached an all-time high of £3.96bn in the first half of its 2021-22 financial year, ended 25 September.

The number of licensed operators dropped by 5.4% to 2,439, due mostly to sharper drops in land-based sectors. The number of non-remote betting licensees was down by 7.8%, gaming machine technical licensees declined by 8.6% and non-remote bingo licensees dropped by 9.2%.

The number of gaming premises in the country dipped by 6.2% to 10,128, a change related to both lockdowns and a £2 stake limit on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which prompted some betting operators to close shops.

The regulator also published its quarterly sports betting integrity snapshot. This report revealed that the majority of integrity reports generated during the quarter, at 56%, dealt with football. Tennis made up 18% of reports and esports 15%.

Betting operators were the largest source of reports, providing 37%. Sports governing bodies made 31% of reports, integrity monitoring bodies and data providers combined for 19% and other regulators contributed 6%.

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