Posted on: August 5, 2022, 08:20h. 

Last updated on: August 5, 2022, 08:20h.

Gamblers in the UK weren’t as active last month as they have been previously. New data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) shows that gambling spend is down, a possible side effect of the country’s soaring inflation.

Tower Bridge over the River Thames, London
Tower Bridge over the River Thames, London, England, at dusk. The country’s gambling industry continues to go through changes, with revenue slipping in the second quarter. (Image: Getty Images)

This past February, the gaming regulator’s data showed that more Brits were embracing the concept of gambling. However, gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the first quarter lost 1% of its amount from the fourth quarter of last year.

Now, there has been an even larger slide. Compared to May, both online and land-based gaming slipped in June, although the online segment had a bigger fall.

Legal Gambling Loses Ground

The UKGC drew its figures from what operators reported for the month; however, not all of the reports were available in time. As a result, the numbers could be slightly higher.

Online gaming’s gross gambling yield (GGY) in June dropped 13.6% to £370.2 million (US$449.57 million). It was a significant fall – 20% – from January, which was the best month for the segment. However, it wasn’t as bad as March, the worst month of the year so far.

Online slot revenue slipped by 7.4%, with June reporting £179.1 million (US$217.42 million). Online sports betting took a larger hit, losing 22.6% as it closed at £130.6 million (US$158.57 million).

Online poker couldn’t keep up, either. Its revenue for June was just £5.7 million (US$6.92 million. In addition, virtual sports betting was only £3.8 million (US$4.61 million).

The drop for the retail sports betting segment dropped, as well, but not nearly as much. The revenue was £181.7 million (US$220.62 million), a difference of 5.6% from May to June.

GGY for the segment had a hard time finding solid ground. For over-the-counter bets, the total was £62.4 million (US$75.33 million). However, self-service betting terminals became uninteresting to bettors, losing 26.5% of the GGY they reported a month earlier. Still, the total was £26.4 million (US$31.87 million).

Even the use of gaming machines was not as popular. Retail betting shops that host the devices had revenue of £94.6 million (US$114.3 million), 5.9% lower than in May.

Second Quarter Performance Hangs On

In spite of all the declines, the GGY for the second quarter gained slightly. Online GGY for the period was £1.2 billion (US$1.45 billion) for just a 1% increase. This was the result of a 4% improvement in slot revenue, as sports betting and poker lost 2.8% and 4.7%, respectively.

Esports betting helped keep the revenue figures from being worse. For the quarter, the revenue lost 11.4%; however, in June, it added 38.3%. Nevertheless, it’s still the weakest of all the forms of betting, accounting for just £924,300 (US$1.11 million) in revenue in June.

Even though slot revenue dropped, it still proved popular with gamblers. There was a higher number of sessions that lasted more than an hour, although the average session was shorter.

The second quarter of the year is typically slower in the gaming industry, especially in the sports betting segment. This is because there are fewer contests to bet on after the end of the NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball seasons.

However, NFL and NCAA football are now almost ready to kick off, and the NBA isn’t too far behind. In addition, the English Premier League season is now underway, giving bettors a lot of action to choose from.

It’s common for the second quarter of the year to be a little slower for gambling. However, the UK is experiencing more fluctuation. It’s unclear if this has anything to do with the regulatory and legislative changes that are coming, which might be leading to some gamblers seeking alternative options.



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