GC data shows May recovery for UK sports betting; virtuals and poker down

By Owain Flanders

New data published by the Gambling Commission shows a May recovery for sports betting after months of sports cancellations and lockdowns.

Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the GC study looks into the performance of the UK gambling industry for the months of April and May. The study covers a sample of 2,000 British adults each week and utilises submissions from the market’s largest operators.

As a result of the cancellation of sporting events and major leagues, the total number of active players fell 55% for sports betting in April.

However, May saw the return of top-flight football with the German Bundesliga. As a result, the number of active players rose by 13% month-on-month. The total number of bets placed also increased by 60% for the month of May, while gross gambling yield (GGY) grew by 64% for the vertical.

In contrast, virtuals betting and poker both took the steepest drop from the prior month. The number of active players fell 48% for virtuals and 11% for poker month-on-month. GGY also fell 12% and 8% respectively.

Overall average spend per customer increased by 17% in May compared to April.

Only 0.4% of all adults surveyed stated that they had started gambling for the first time during the surveyed period. In comparison, 2.1% of adults had stopped gambling altogether. 



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