February 10, 2023 3 min read


Safer Gambling Will Define the Gambling Landscape in the UK

Rhodes touched on some industry trends as a result of safer gambling measure implementation and affordability checks

Gambling in the UK most likely has “settled into a new normal” according to Gambling Commission’s chief executive officer Andrew Rhodes who delivered a keynote speech at ICE London 2023.

Every Player Matters    

Speaking in the Consumer Protection Zone of ICE London, Rhodes outlined the near-term perspectives of the gambling market in the UK within the evidence-led and people-focused view of the industry watchdog while also keeping an eye on the unknown balance factor from the upcoming White Paper.

“We are interested in the experience and behavior of every person who gambles in Great Britain, Rhodes said, stressing that this includes the millions who enjoy gambling and the hundreds of thousands who suffer from gambling harm, adamant that “they are all different.”

Pointing to the extensive research on how different each consumer can be, including the Commission’s Path to Play on the influences on people making choices about their gambling, as well as on the various motivations they have for gambling, Rhodes stressed the importance for operators to accommodate these differences in their customer interaction.

He then provided some operator data related to the implementation of customer protection measures to bring a better understanding of where the market is going and will continue to head in the future navigated by safer gambling policies.

Safer Gambling Brought Changes

Across the largest operators in the UK, there are some steady tendencies due to safer gambling measures implementation leading to gross gaming yield (GGY) falling by around 16% and the amount of money staked down by just over 13%. The number of players who lose more than £500 ($609) a month is down by 8% and of those who lose over £200 ($243) a month is down by just over 2%.

The number of players staking £50 ($61) or more per slot spin is down by 76% on average, with the largest operator drop being over 98%, yet the number of total bets is up by just under 5% and the number of active player accounts is up by almost 6%. And while he refrained from drawing conclusions from the data, Rhodes sounded convinced that “some patterns have changed during the last year” and will continue to change going forward.

Rhodes also provided some industry-wide data to facilitate an understanding of recent industry trends. He said that, as of September 2022, participation rates remain stable, with both online and land-based rates also stable, arguing that the anticipated explosion in online gambling did not materialize, requiring more innovation from operators if they want to continue to grow. Or to diversify abroad.

Affordability Defined by Operators

On the hot topic of affordability checks, Rhodes outlined the Commission’s approach of not imposing specified limits on what people should be allowed to spend gambling, and is rather encouraging operators to consider a range of factors when assessing the risk for a consumer, including the consumer’s financial situation.

“It is for operators to set limits themselves based on their customer types, business and risks,” he said, stressing that preventing cases of excessive gambling outside of a consumer’s finances is also their responsibility as the industry needs to eradicate such cases completely.

Lead Author

With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.

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