UK Sports Betting Increase in September, Gambling Commission Says

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The UKGC sees increased sports betting activity in September owing to live sports return and reports higher gross gambling yield (GGY) in the month.

September’s Live Sports Betting Increases, UKGC Says

The United Kingdom has seen a small spike in the country’s sports betting activity, following the return of the Premier League. According to new data released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the relaxation of COVID-19 measures has also impacted gambling behavior in the United Kingdom. The data pertains to the period between March and September.

Based on the September reading of the numbers, the betting activity on sports events during the month jumped by 3% in gross gambling yield (GGY). Meanwhile, September also saw a 7% uptick in active accounts during the period. Real event betting was up 15% GGY and 14% increase in active accounts for this type of betting.

The Commission took a look at the average length of online slots sessions, which remained largely unchanged at 21 minutes. In fact, the sessions that lasted over an hour dropped by 3%. The UKGC looked into different metrics, including stress and boredom during the period.

Stress, Boredom, and More Free Time

According to its findings, 46% of the population has experienced more stress between March and September. Another 43% reported more boredom. The data comes handy for the Commission which is trying to see if there is a link between those factors and gambling behavior.

One finding shows that those who gambled during the period were just as likely to experience increased stress as were non-gamblers. The result indicates that the activity may be unrelated to aggressive gambling. The Commission said that one of the driving factors behind the increased levels of gambling was people having more spare time.

Based on the answers of 119 adults (16+), gambling was an activity engaged with due to boredom (39%) or having more spare time (45%). For another 32%, it was a matter of not being able to do something else during the lockdown.

Lack of Sports Causes Dip in Activity

Based on the UKGC’s findings, the lack of sports was the main factor for the lower interest in gambling. This was exemplified by the return of the Premier League in August, driving live event GGY up 15% to £190 million.

Another noteworthy increase was in the activity of over-the-counter (OTC) venues and betting shops. Both posted a 3% increase in total bets and a 2% increase in the overall GGY in September as compared to August.

In the overall update, the Commission vowed to continue and monitor gambling behavior amid the pandemic as the situation continues to evolve. The regulator will offer operators guidance and adjust any recommendations as they become necessary.

Nevertheless, the Commission is prepared to take further actions in the areas where it has identified sufficient risks to consumers. The regulator will continue to observe the situation.

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