Finance

GB gambling yield falls again in August

3 minutes read
New Gambling Commission figures show that July’s decline in yield across all regulated gambling verticals continued into August, alongside a drop in participation among customers.

At a time when the European football season entered its short summer break, one of the biggest declines in yield was recorded for sports betting, with GGY dropping 21.4% month-over-month to £164.4m (€182.3m/$214.5m), based on figures from operators representing 80% of the British market.

While this was largely blamed on the lack of top tier sporting events taking place in August, it was coupled with a decline across almost all other verticals, as the easing of lockdown measures provided more discretionary spending options to consumers. 

Slots were the only vertical to report a sequential decline in yield for August, though revenue only grew marginally, rising 0.8% to £164.1.m. Coming in third in terms of revenue were other casino games, though again GGY was down, falling 9.9% to £59.5m. 

Poker, meanwhile, continued its decline from its lockdown peak during the month. GGY fell 7.5% to £8.3m. This represents a 58.4% drop from its peak of £20.1m in April, at the height of the pandemic’s first wave in Britain. 

Virtual sports was on a similar trajectory, with its £6.7m monthly total down 16.1% from July, and down 47.9% from its April peak of £12.8m. 

Esports betting, on the other hand, was unable to grow revenue to double figures during lockdown, but with traditional sports back in action, has seen GGY steadily decline. For August its total came to £1.8m, down 29.5%. Other forms of legal real-money gambling saw GGY drop 8.8% month-over-month to £1.2m. 

This decline in yield was accompanied by active player numbers falling across all online verticals. For online betting, active players declined 9.7% to 3.8m, though it remained by far the largest in terms of customers. For slots, the drop in players was more marginal, falling 2.1% to 2.4m. 

The average online gambling session, however, held steady at 21 minutes, as it has since June, despite the number of sessions lasting over one hour falling to 2.0m. 

In the British betting shop market, data from operators representing approximately 85% of the market revealed that despite a 2.1% month-on-month fall in gaming machine yield, its £79.9m contribution outstripped that of sports betting. 

Over the counter GGY was up 13.9%, as more betting shops reopened, to £71.2m, though self-service betting terminal revenue dropped 29.3% to £16.4m. 

Player data, meanwhile suggested little change in customer habits; the majority of those surveyed in the Commission’s latest round of player polling said that post-lockdown, 70% had not changed their gambling habits. A further 18% of respondents said they had in fact decreased their gambling spend, with just 8% admitting to increasing spending. 

The post-lockdown figures suggested that the number of players to increase spend under lockdown had declined (from 12%), while the number to keep spending levels the same had increased markedly, from 59%. Those to decrease their spend also declined, from 25% under lockdown.