The UKGC reported higher overall results for December 2020 but said it will keep an eye on data as the quick growth of GGY could be cause for concern.
5 Million Bettors in December
The UK’s Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) increased by 30.5% to £613.6 million in December 2020, the Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced today. This growth is mostly due to a 53% jump in real-event wagering turnover, at £319.6 million.
More sports events and the shutdown of brick-and-mortar casinos, as well as higher margins at the end of last year contributed to this rapid increase. However, the UKGC declared that this quick growth could be concerning. The Commission noted that the GGY results are based on data collected from about 80% of iGaming operations in the country.
The online gambling industry saw its number of players rise by 3.1%, reaching 5 million bettors over the past months. In addition to this, December’s come-back to October’s strong figures, after November’s low results, and a busier sporting schedule can explain the jump in revenue at the end of 2020.
Better Overall Results
In total, 293 million wagers were placed in December, 2.2% higher than the previous month. Slots revenue went up 12.9%, with £199.7 million, the highest number ever reported for the activity, as the number of slot players reached 3 million, a 6% increase from November. Spins results rose by 11.8% to 5.89 billion, another new record.
On average, slot gaming sessions lasted 22 minutes in both November and December, while about 2.5 million sessions passed the one-hour mark.
All other iGaming results were up 11% with £73.9 million: 2.1 million took part in non-slot online games, up 13.5% from November, while wagers rose by 15.5% to 313.2 million, bringing £7.9 million, up 10.8%. Online poker yielded £9.4 million, rising by 2.8%.
The only vertical to report a drop in revenue was esports wagering, with a 6.2% decline to £1.3 million. Other revenue totaled £1.7 million with a 29.7% jump compared to November results.
Furthermore, customer interactions declined by 3%, with most communications made via AI. According to the UKGC, the number of non-automated communications went up although it is the first time since the start of the Commission’s monthly data releases, in March 2020, that the total number of interactions has gone down.
More Vigilance Requested
The British government announced yesterday that retail betting locations should reopen on April 12. The UKGC noted that it did not compile data from retail due to most properties being closed down in December. Casinos, adult gaming centers and bingo halls are setto reopen on May 17 in England.
The UK’s December results resemble the country’s first lockdown, with online gaming becoming the leading activity of the gambling industry although the increase in the number of sporting events led to a higher betting revenue, the UKGC said.
The regulator emphasized the need for more vigilance from operators towards their customers, since people spend more time at home as lockdown is still in place.
The UKGC said it will continue collecting and tracking data and “will not hesitate to take further action” if it notices that the reported changes are “more than short-term fluctuations”.