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UK’s Online Gambling Handle Declines Despite Growth in the Land-Based Sector

Last update: May, 2024

Written by: Lisa Cheban Content writer
UK’s Online Gambling Handle Declines Despite Growth in the Land-Based Sector

According to the latest data from the UK Gambling Commission, online GGY (gross gambling yield) for the 2022/23 financial year decreased by 2% in the third quarter. This is even though land-based gambling saw an increase.

For the three months up to 31 December 2021, the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in the online sector was £1.20bn (€1.36bn/$1.44m), a minor decrease compared to the year before, according to the regulator.

The Commission noted that the decrease was because of declining betting in the real-time event and casino verticals.

The GGY from online real event betting dropped 3% to £446m, even though the number of wagers rose by 21%. The Commission also noted that the average monthly active accounts surged 20%.

UKGC suggested that the growth in betting activity was probably down to the 2022 FIFA World Cup from November to December 2023. However, the Commission noted that the suspension of the major European leagues to make way for the tournament could be why total spending went down.

In their statement, the GGY from virtual betting also decreased by 30.2%, amounting to £12.0m and 29.4% for esports betting, amounting to £2.4m.

For the quarter, the overall GGY for the online casino industry decreased by 8%, with slot machine GGY decreasing by 2% to £582m. This was despite the spin numbers rising by 8% to 19.7 billion and the average monthly active accounts rising by 13% to 3.7 million. However, the spins per active player decreased by 5%.

Other gaming Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) decreased by 7.8% to £159.7m, with poker GGY falling by 11.6% to £17.6m. The GGY from other gambling activities fell by 37.5% to £2.0m.

GGY from Land-Based Activities

In the land-based gambling sector, GGY rose by 5% to £560m compared to Q3 of 2021. In addition, the number of land-based wagers and spins expanded by 2% to 3.4 billion.

But the Commission noted that the GGY for the OTC (over-the-counter) market decreased by 5% to £158m, and the number of wagers placed declined by 4% to 140 million. According to the

Commission, the World Cup, lack of the Premier League, and cancellations of horse race meetings significantly affected December’s OTC bets, making them the lowest since the shops were fully restored post-pandemic.

The GGY for self-service betting terminals saw a 20% rise to a total of £100m, and the number of wagers made rose to 35.1 million, a 25% increase.

Machines GGY witnessed a 6% rise, reaching £302m, with the per-session expenditure of players increasing to £12.48. Players spun the machines on average 133 times for a single session in the third quarter.

The Commission additionally commented that 3% of the total machine sessions were found to be lasting longer than 60 minutes in the third quarter.

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