UKGC releases update to gambling industry statistics

By Harrison Sayers

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released its six-month update of the country’s gambling statistics, providing an insight into the latest trends in the market.

In its update, the commission revealed that total gross gambling yield (GGY), reached £13.9bn ($18.53bn) during  the period October 2016 to September 2017, representing growth of 0.7% for the industry, according to figures received by the UKGC from licensed and regulated operators.

Remote gaming strengthened its position as the industry’s leading sector by increasing its market share by 1% to 35.2% between April 2016 and March 2017. The sector totalled £4.9bn ($6.53bn), of which £2.7bn ($3.60bn) was generated from casino games of which £1.8bn ($2.4bn) was received from slot machines.

Non-remote gaming saw a decrease of £93.7m ($124.8m), totalling £3.3bn ($4.4bn) as it remained the UK’s second largest gaming sector.  58.2% of the entire GGY of non-remote gaming was from machines.

The figures for non-remote gaming could decline further as the total number of betting premises declined once again for the fourth consecutive year to 8,532 representing a 3.2% decrease from March 2017.

The third largest sector in the UK gaming industry is the National Lottery which represented 22% of GGY having increased £35.8m ($47.7m) to £3.0bn ($4bn). The increase was led by a £103m ($137.2m) increase in ticket sales which reached £7bn ($9.3bn). This was good news for charitable causes which saw their donations increase by £10.5m ($13.9m) to £1.5bn ($2bn).

The amount of people employed by the gaming industry in the UK was reduced by 0.8% from March 2017, reflecting the declining non-remote gaming sector.

Despite the increase in overall GGY, there are some ominous signs for the UK gaming industry in the UKGC’s update. Following the UK government’s decision to slash FOBT machine maximum stakes by 98% in May this year, many analysts predict that there will be more betting shop closures and a reduction to the industry's work force size, as a result of a decreased income.

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