2016 was a record growth year in the UK gambling industry. In this post, we focus on the performance of its main three critical aspects including yield, participation and problems.
According to the latest Industry Statistics document by the UK Gambling Commission*, total gross gambling yield (GGY) of the industry in Great Britain for the period Oct 2015 – Sep 2016 amounted to £13.8bn.
The above figure, which includes the operators licensed and regulated by the Commission itself, shows continued growth in most areas with the exception of bingo and the National Lottery.
In particular, remote gambling (mostly online casinos) is the largest sector, with a 32% share of the overall market and £4.5bn GGY. Within the remote sector, online casinos in UK have generated the highest turnover and £2.4bn in GGY, mainly through slots games (£1.6bn). GGY for remote betting, including betting exchanges and pool betting, totals £1.9bn, powered by football and horses.
The National Lottery and non-remote betting continue to represent two of the other largest sectors. National Lottery sales were £7.4bn for the period October 2015 to September 2016 (a 3% decrease compared to the year prior). In terms of non-remote, the betting sector (including machines) accounted for £3.4bn GGY while Bingo games GGY decreased slightly to £371.6m, matched by a similar decrease in bingo machines GGY to £310.7m (the first decrease since 2010).
In the same period, returns to good causes were £1.7bn (6% lower than in the previous 12 month period).
In 2016, overall gambling participation has increased, driven by the UEFA European Football Championship 2016 and the Rio 2016 Olympics. 17% of people have gambled online, with younger age groups seeing the largest increases in participation. Betting activities, other lotteries and casino games have seen an increase in online participation.
Amongst online gamblers, laptops remain the most popular device but use of tablets and mobile phones is increasing, with 43% of online gamblers using either device. Men are more likely to gamble using a mobile phone, whilst women are more likely to gamble using a tablet. The majority of online gamblers play at home, but younger age groups also do it at work, whilst commuting, in a pub or club. 26% of online gamblers have bet inplay, with rates highest in 18-24 year olds. On average, online gamblers have three accounts with online operators.
Awareness of self-exclusion from a gambling company has increased among people who have never excluded to 37%. Gamblers aged 25-34 are most likely to self-exclude while 10% of them use financial limits to manage their gambling. 23% of gamblers have read terms and conditions, of which 24% felt that they had been in a situation where terms and conditions had been unfair, this representing an aspect to improve.
Overall 32% of online gamblers follow a gambling company on social media platforms with rates higher among 18-34 year olds and Facebook being the most
popular platform. Importantly, online gamblers are more likely to spend money by advertising than social media posts, particularly 18-24 year olds.
PROBLEM GAMBLING PREVALENCE
According to surveys by the Commission, overall 0.7% of respondents were identified as problem gamblers, with men more likely than women to be categorized as such (1.2% compared to 0.1%). 16-24 year olds are most likely to be categorized as problem gamblers (1.4%), followed by 35-44 year olds (1.1%) and 25-34 year olds (0.8%).
* Established under the Gambling Act 2005, the Gambling Commission is an executive non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom (the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland.) with the exception for granting planning permission for bookmakers shops on the high street.