Data: Betting shop closures lead to overall gambling revenue decline in Great Britain

By Iqbal Johal

The closure of betting shops was a contributing factor for the 0.5% decrease in gross gambling yield (GGY) in Great Britain, between October 2018 and September 2019.

Gambling Commission statistics show GGY fell to £14.3bn ($17.63bn) in the year ending September 2019, compared to the period between April 2018 and March 2019.

However, online gaming rose by 4%, with online casino generating GGY of £3.2bn, mostly from slot games, and betting contributing £2.1bn.

Football wagering accounted for 47% of the overall betting amount, with horseracing betting rising 11% and virtuals 8%.

National Lottery was the second-largest sector in terms of GGY, increasing 4% to £3.2bn, with contributions to good causes rising by 7% to £1.6bn.

Land-based activity fell, however, decreasing 14% to £2.8bn as off-course and pool betting declined.

A primary factor here was the regulation which came into force in April 2019, limiting the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOTBs) to £2, previously £100.

As a result, GGY for B2 machines – FOBTs – fell 46% to £624m. This also led to the total number of betting shops decreasing to 7,315 in September 2019, down 12% from six months earlier.

The number of licensed gambling premises also decreased in the same six-month period, falling 10% to 9,745.

The amount of licensed operators fell by 36 to 2,652, from March to September 2019, while the number of employees in the gambling industry was down 4% to 98,174.

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