Britain’s gambling market contracts after FOBT stake cut

Britain’s gambling market saw a slight drop in gross gambling yield following the publication of the latest industry statistics.

According to the latest figures from the UK Gambling Commission which covers the year to 31 March 2020, gross gambling yield (GGY) for Britain’s gambling market dropped 0.6% year-on-year to £14.22bn.

The Commission noted that during the final 11 days of the reporting period, land-based gambling facilities were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the sporting calendar was significantly reduced.

The Gambling Commission’s industry statistics

The Commission’s figures revealed that Britain’s gambling market saw a slight contraction for the year ending March 2020.

Online gambling, which consists of sports betting, casino and bingo was the biggest contributor to the industry’s revenue, making up £5.68bn of total revenue, representing an 8.1% increase.

Online sports betting saw revenue climb 15.5% to £2.33bn making it the second-largest vertical after online casino which saw revenue jump 3.7% up to £3.18bn. Bingo saw a slight 0.5% increase in revenue to £176.8m.

Land-based statistics

Land-based gambling and gambling machine revenue dropped 25.6% year on year to £2.09bn. The figures also revealed that revenue from B2 machines or fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) plummeted after the maximum stakes for these machines were cut from £100 to £2 in April 2019.

As a result of this, GGY from gaming machines dropped to £12.1m, a 99% decrease. However, this was partially offset by the growth in revenue for other machine categories, mainly B3 machines, which saw GGY jump 39.5% to £1.54bn.

B1 gaming machines, with a maximum stake of £5, saw revenue increase slightly to £214.8m. However, GGY for category B4, C and D gaming machines declined.

The stake cut on FOBTs contributed to a 26.4% drop in total betting shop revenue to £2.40bn. This was accompanied by a drop in the number of shops open by the end of the year to 7,681 facilities.

Bingo halls reported a year-on-year drop in revenue which fell by 5.7% to £636m along with casinos which reported a 4% drop in revenue to £1.02bn. As a result of this, arcades were the only land-based facilities to record growth for the year, with revenue up 8.8% at £477.3m.

The lottery vertical saw growth across large society lotteries and the National Lottery. 

Excluding the Camelot-operated National Lottery, revenue for the vertical was up 13.3% to £611.6m, however, the total amount of money generated for good causes dropped to £366.8m.

The National Lottery, however, reported £7.90bn in sales, with £5.45bn in retail sales and £2.46bn online.

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