Publishing its May statistics, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed that the online gaming sector is on the rise, while the UK retail scene is faltering.
Generating a gross gambling yield (GGY) of £14.5bn for the October 2017 to September 2018 period, the online sector made up £5.6bn of the industry, representing 2.9 per cent for the period. Market share also jumped by 1.2 per cent up to 39 per cent.
Ben Haden, programme director for industry insight at the UKGC, commented on the most recent biannual statistics: “Despite the marginal decline across the wider gambling industry, the online gambling sector continues to grow. Our role as regulator will continue to see us working to raise standards right across the industry.
“Following our comprehensive review of the online gambling sector in 2018, this year we have implemented new rules to strengthen age and ID verification checks and we’ve also been working with partners in financial institutions to develop the role they can play to protect vulnerable consumers.
“Last month we published the new national strategy to reduce gambling harms which has a renewed focus on plans to widen research, take a preventative approach to gambling harms, assess treatment provision, embed a culture of evaluation, and encourage industry to collaborate to make gambling safer.’’
Alongside the successes of the online industry, contributions to good causes from The National Lottery had also increased to £1.5bn, a 0.3 per cent growth from the previous period.
Other headline finding saw a series of decreases across employee numbers (falling 1.4 per cent to 106,670), as well as the amount of both betting shops and bingo premises, which declined 1.5 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively to 8,423 and 650, with 152 casinos in existence across Great Britain, an increase of one.
Representing a struggling retail landscape, however, the total number of betting shops has dropped to 8423. These declines reflect the adjustments which have been undertaken by UK retail bookmakers in a bid to offset the impact of the recent FOBT judgement.
FTSE250 William Hill was the first bookmaker to confirm betting shop closures, declaring during its full-year 2018 results that it had committed to shutting down 900 stores across the UK.
Meanwhile, Ladbrokes has recently stated that it has identified approximately 1,000 betting shops which could shut their doors for good during 2019.
Some insight has been shared via a Twitter report on what consumers on its platform are looking for from