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Online Gaming Boom in the UK Petering Out After 2020 Highs

Stock Decline ChartThe UK Gambling Commission has revealed that online gambling in the United Kingdom remains at ‘above pre-Covid levels’, despite gross gambling yield (GGY) dropping by 4% between June and July.

Figures released by the UKGC reveal that July saw a slight ‘month-on-month decrease’ in the amount spent on online gambling, which factors in the revenues accumulated from sports betting, online slots and casino games, poker and other verticals.

A statement from the Commission read: “Gambling behaviours continue to evolve as the country continues to move out of full lockdown into the autumn months but still provide justification for the Commission’s updated guidance to operators.” Those guidelines included the recognition and reporting of problem gambling, which many feared could escalate during the months in which the UK was in full lockdown.

The trends suggest that online gambling activity is starting to wane now that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland return to work, with GGY decreasing for the first time month-on-month since April when the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

While sportsbooks performed particularly well with the return of football and horse racing, online casino ‘engagements’ were down 2% between June and July, with total revenue down to £162 million.

However, while slot gaming sessions of more than an hour in length were down 2% for the period, the actual total number of player interactions increased by 2%. And the bottom line is that players seem to be winning more money – as confirmed by the UKGC. “This increase in active players and a slight decrease in overall GGY means again during July there has been a slight decrease in the average loss per player.”

Alexa….Where Can I Find the Best Online Casino Games?

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One of the key takeaways from the lockdown period is the staggering increase in people searching for online casinos in search engines.

Google’s ‘Trends’ feature showed that searches for ‘online casino’ increased by more than 400% in May, and once engaged there was a considerable increase in the amount that players were spending – both in terms of time and money – on the gaming sites.

The biggest increases in search volume in the UK were recorded in Hull, Stoke-on-Trent (where a well-known online betting operation is based), Bradford and Bolton, with a clear north/south divide in terms of appetite for gaming.

However, in August the numbers of searches for ‘online casino’ and associated phrases HAD decreased to pre-lockdown levels, suggesting that boredom, as much an anything else, was responsible for the spike earlier in the summer.

Online Casino Gaming Continuing to Take a Bite Out of Sports Betting

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More stats from the UKGC confirm that the tastes of bettors in the UK are continuing to change, with online casino gaming still the most popular sector of the industry.

The figures show that remote casinos account for £3.2 billion in gross gambling yield per year – that’s around 30% of the total gross gambling yield of the gambling industry as a whole when lottery profits are discounted.

Online casino gaming makes more revenue than remote sports betting (£2.1 billion), FOBT machines in betting shops (£2.5 billion) and online bingo (£198 million), confirming its slot as the king of the online gambling sector.

Indeed, land-based casinos total £1.1 billion in gross gambling yield per year, and so the appetite for online casino gaming is clearly as high as ever….