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Britain’s gambling yield drops again in August

The decline in gambling yield recorded in July has continued into August.

New figures from the UK Gambling Commission show that July’s decline in gambling yield across all regulated verticals continued into August.

According to the latest figures from the Gambling Commission online gambling revenue fell across all verticals in August, along with a drop in custom participation.

The data reflects March, April, May, June and July and covers both online and in-person gambling and is based on figures from operators that represent 80% of the UK gambling market.

Each online vertical’s performance

One of the industry’s biggest declines in yield was recorded in the sports betting vertical, which saw gross gaming yield (GGY) drop 21.4% month-on-month to £164.4m. 

In its report, the Commission said this could be attributed to the lack of top tier sporting events that took place in August. However, the Commission data indicated a drop in yield across almost all other verticals. The regulator chalked this up to the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions providing customers with more discretionary spending options.

The slot vertical saw a slight decline in yield in August, however, revenue grew by 0.8% to £164.1m making it the second-highest revenue generator in the gambling sector. Other online casino games came in third place however GGY fell 9.9% to £59.5m.

Poker continued to decline in August as GGY saw a 7.5% drop to £8.3m. Since April, poker GGY has now dropped from its peak of £20.1m. Virtual sports record £6.7m in GGY representing a 16.1% month-on-month drop.

Esports betting was unable to grow its revenue and with traditional sporting events back, GGY continued to decline in August. In August esports betting yield came to £1.8m down 29.5% month-on-month.

Looking at the betting shop market, data from operators representing 85% of the market, revealed that although gaming machine yield dropped by 2.1% month-on-month, the £79.9m generated from the vertical outperformed sports betting.

Player habits

The number of active players also fell across all online verticals in August. The number of people betting online dropped 9.7% to 3.8m people, however, it was still the largest vertical in terms of player numbers. Slot games saw a marginal 2.1% drop in players to 2.4m in August.

The average online gambling session remained at 21 minutes as it had in June, however, the number of sessions lasting over one hour fell to 2m.

Player data suggested that there was little change in customer habits with the majority of those surveyed in the latest round of player polling said that 70% had not changed their gambling habits since lockdown was lifted. Of those surveyed, 18% of people said they had decreased gambling spend and only 8% admitted to increasing their gambling spend.

The Commission’s post-lockdown figures indicate that the number of players to increase gambling spend under lockdown had dropped, from an initial 12%. However, the number of players spending the same amount of money has increased from 59%.

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