Slight Fall in Amounts Gambled in January and February

Just how much did British gamblers wager during lockdown in January and February this year? New data from the UK Gambling Commission reveals there was a slight fall in gross gambling yield (GGY).

The data examined concentrates on the period between March of last year and February 2021. Some offline data is included, though bookmakers have had to close their shops since last December due to lockdown.

Figures falling in January and February was expected. December is a traditionally busy month regardless of whether a lockdown is in place. The number of active accounts fell by 4% and bets by 6%. GGY was down 19% from December to February, so quite a large drop.

Slots are always a popular game to play online. Between December and February, there was only a slight 1% fall in GGY. £177 million was spent, that’s one heck of a lot of spins. The number of bets fell 7% and dipped just below the 5 billion mark. That figure shows just how many bets are being made though.

2.5 million players were spending over an hour on their favourite slot games, again a drop of just 1%. The averages slots session is 21.5 minutes and 9% of players are spinning those reels for over an hour. Other areas such as poker and virtual sports betting also saw slight falls in revenue.

The UK Gambling Commission continue to call for extra operator vigilance during the current lockdown. Although restrictions are being slightly eased, there are still calls for people to spend time at home if they can. This can lead to becoming more isolated and vulnerable.

Since lockdown began, the UK Gambling Commission have written to gambling companies giving them guidance. This includes paying closer attention to consumers playing and spending more on games. Also, they have requested that companies don’t try to take advantage of the current situation.

Unlike this time last year, all the major sporting leagues are being played. There are so many events that bets can be placed on. Whether it’s World Cup qualifiers, the Cheltenham Festival, big fights in both boxing and MMA are all attracting big business.

With more betting opportunities available for consumers, figures are likely to be rising. This is likely to result in the GGY increasing for the next period examined by the Gambling Commission, especially by the more experienced ones.

There are top events on the horizon such as the Grand National (which attracts news customers) and the US Masters golf. Also on its way is the re-opening of betting shops in UK High Streets. Will people flock back to them or feel that it’s safer to be gambling online, future data is certainly going to be interesting reading.