BUSINESS

UK online gambling grows but not as fast as land-based casinos

TAGs: UK Gambling Commission

uk-gambling-online-casino-growthOnline gambling activity in the UK continues to grow, but not as fast as land-based casino gambling.

On Thursday, the UK Gambling Commission released its latest compilation of the nation’s gambling activity, spanning the 12-month period between October 2015 and September 2016, during which the overall gambling market’s revenue rose nearly 3% to £13.82b.

As in the UKGC’s most recent report, online gambling remains the top revenue earner at £4.46b, compared with £4.23b in the 12 months spanning April 2015 to March 2016. (The figure covers only revenue derived from British punters playing on UK-licensed operators; total remote betting accounted for nearly £4.8b.)

Spurred by the Euro 2016 football tournament, remote betting was up nearly 10% to £1.7b, while exchange betting added a further £170m. Online casino revenue retained its top dog status with £2.4b, but this represented growth of less than 3%. Online bingo suffered a slight decline to £149m, while pool betting was up 16% to £30.2m.

There were over 28.4m new online customer accounts registered in the period, up from 23.7m in the previous period. Given the UK’s total adult population is only around 50m, that’s a pretty staggering figure. The number of active accounts ticked up from 20m to 21.4m.

On the social responsibility front, nearly 813k UK residents took advantage of online operators’ new self-exclusion programs, or roughly 3.7% of the number of active accounts.

The UKGC also tallied revenue for gambling software, which totaled £520.1m, down from £538.3m in the previous period. The decline was due to sales falling nearly 14% as revenue share posted a slight increase.

Land-based betting usurped the National Lottery for second place on the revenue chart, with betting up nearly 3% to £3.4b while the Lottery fell 4.3% to £3.26b. Over the counter wagering was up 2% to £1.6b while machine gaming revenue was up 3% to £1.8b. The number of retail betting locations fell 1% to 8,788 and betting employee ranks fell slightly to just over 53k.

Land-based casinos enjoyed the biggest revenue bump, rising 19% to £1.19b. The casino gains were primarily due to table game revenue (punto banco baccarat in particular), which shot up nearly one quarter to £987.7m while casino gaming machines rose only 3.5%.

As for other verticals, bingo suffered a modest decline to £682.3m, arcades were basically flat at £412.6m, and large society lotteries inched up nearly 7% to £404.2m.

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