Britain’s GGY hits £546.2m in March while slot revenue hits new high

The Gambling Commission has reported a month-on-month increase in online gross gambling yield in March.

According to the latest figures from the Gambling Commission, Britain’s online gross gambling yield (GGY) amounted to £546.2m in March, which was up by 4.1% month-on-month.

The Commission’s figures were compiled using data from operators that represent around 80% of the online gambling market.

This is now the thirteenth month the Commission has reported on the financial performance of Britain’s online gambling market. However, the regulator said it is “not advisable” to compare year-on-year figures due to “different operating circumstances.”

The Commission’s figures

During March, which was the final full month of lockdown in England, revenue from online slots hit a new monthly high of £202.9m, up from the previous high of £199.7m from December 2020.

The number of online players also hit 3.3m which is a new record for the vertical and the total number of spins passed 6bn for the first time. 

However, the average slot session length dropped to 21 minutes, the lowest recorded by the Commission. Despite this, the number of sessions that lasted longer than an hour grew by 8% month-on-month to  2.7m.

Meanwhile, online sports betting revenue in March dropped 5.1% to £250.5m, despite the Cheltenham Festival taking place the same month.

For the first time, the number of sports bettors passed the 6m mark while the number of bets hit a new record of 375.2m.

Other online gambling options excluding slots, bought in £71.2m which was up 10.8% month-on-month. However, poker revenue dropped to £9.2m in March.

The Commission also recorded a 17.7% month-on-month growth in virtual betting and 16.9% month-on-month growth in esports betting.

Revenue generated from “other” verticals amounted to £2.1m which was down slightly from February.

In addition to the monthly figures, the Commission also published results from a survey examining how gambling habits have changed since the start of lockdown.

The Commission’s survey

According to the survey, 23% of gamblers reported their gambling had decreased since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 compared to 18% who said it had increased.

Out of all respondents, 3% said their gambling had increased “a lot” during lockdown while 12% said their gambling had decreased “a lot.”

On top of this, the survey found that those who had gambled three or more times in the month before being surveyed were more likely to report an increase in activity, with 40% of respondents reporting an increase compared to 16% who said play decreased.

Men and particularly young men were more likely to say their gambling had increased.

The main reason given for an increase in gambling activity was boredom, with 47% of respondents giving this reason. Meanwhile, 35% of respondents said they had more spare time.

The survey also showed that 20% of respondents said they gambled because they had more money, 33% said they “just wanted to” and 13% of respondents said it was to make up for lost income.

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