UK: strong recovery in online sports betting

Online sports betting GGY climbed 115% month-on-month in June
Online sports betting GGY climbed 115% month-on-month in June

Gross gaming yield for online sports betting in Britain rebounded to £217.5m in June as other iGaming verticals declined.

UK.- Gross gaming yield for online sports betting saw a strong rebound after the resumption of the main football leagues in June. 

Figures released by the Gambling Commission in the latest edition of its monthly monitoring reports on the gambling market during the pandemic show gross gaming yield (GGY – stakes after payouts) for the segment increases 115 per cent month-on-month to £217.5million.

The amount wagered rose 146 per cent from May to June, reaching £255.5million. The number of active players climbed 81 per cent month-on-month.

The English Premier League resumed on June 17. The Gambling Commission believes the frequency of fixtures and the decision to broadcast some matches on free-to-air channels impacted on player behaviour.

It said: “The data indicates the release of pent-up demand, particularly for football-related betting and should be seen in the context of the lack of availability or reluctance of some consumers to bet in licensed betting offices.”

But there were signs some of the growth seen in other verticals during lockdown fell away. All other iGaming verticals saw month-on-month drops in GGY in June. Revenue from online slots dropped 10 per cent to £166.5million, other online gaming fell 12 per cent to £68.5million, and virtual betting dropped 15 per cent to £9.6million.

Esports and poker, which had both soared during lockdown, fell 25 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. Esports GGY was £3.5million, and poker £11.7million.

Slots still accounted for the most bets, and also the highest number of active users, but though the number of players using slots grew by 1 per cent to 2.5 million, bets fell 5 per cent month-on-month to £5.03billion. Casino bets fell 10 per cent, virtual betting fell 21 per cent and poker stakes 31 per cent.

Total active players across online gaming climbed marginally from 14.7 million in May to 14.8 million, but all verticals other than sports betting saw users fall with the steepest drop in poker (down 25% in June)

Players also spent slightly less time gaming with the average session down 1 minute to 21 minutes.

However the Commission said operators should still be alert on responsible gambling issues.

It stated that though the proportion of players using more than one gambling product fell to 35 per cent, operators should monitor users for signs of unsustainable gambling across multiple verticals.

It said: ‘In light of the challenges and changes brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, we have been clear that we expect operators to identify and interact with consumers where necessary.”

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