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U.K. GGY still 2% below pre-pandemic levels, but younger groups returning

Posted: Nov 25, 2022 11:32 Category: Europe , Online , Sportsbetting , Posted by Sharon Singleton

Gross gambling yield (GGY) in the U.K. from 2021 to 2022 is still two percent lower than prior to the pandemic, but there are signs of younger age groups returning to play, according to the Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The UKGC issued a report following its latest statistical update analysing trends in the regulated gambling industry in Great Britain. 

Since Covid restrictions were lifted in 2021, reopening a wider selection of products for gambling, the overall participation rate has reached 28 percent, compared with a 32 percent participation rate prior to the pandemic. 

However, it said gambling amongst younger age groups, 16-to-24, and amongst males in retail outlets is beginning to rise. 

Online gambling gaining traction

The UKGC said there has also been a steady but consistent rise in online gambling, with the share of GGY rising to 61 percent in the 2021-22 year from 42 percent in 2015-16. These figures exclude the National Lottery. Actual GGY from online slots rose to GBP3 billion in the most recent year, almost double that of 2015-2016. 

In terms of retail gambling there has been a downward trend. Retail betting and bingo saw GGY decrease by 36 percent and 44 percent respectively between 2015-16 and 2021-22. 

Still, concerns that Covid would have a significant negative impact on retail gambling don’t appear to have materialised, the UKGC said. In person participation increased in September this year from last, mostly amongst males and younger adults up to 24.

Changing landscape

In 2007, the two most popular gambling activities were horse racing in-person at 17 percent of the population and slot machines at venues at 14 percent.

By 2018, those figures had declined to 8 percent and 6 percent respectively. 

The UKGC said that from April 2021 to March 2022 GGY in Great Britain was GBP14.1 billion. The figures were contained in its November update.

GGY excluding lotteries was GBP9.9 billion, up 16.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, but down 2.4 percent from 2019-20.

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