UKGC publishes further data showing impact of COVID-19 lockdown easing on online gambling behaviour

Under the heading “Data shows the impact of Covid-19 lockdown-easing on online gambling behaviour in July 2020”, the Gambling Commission has published further data showing how the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown has impacted gambling behaviour in Great Britain.

Significantly for all UK licensing gambling operators, and despite a decline in online gambling revenue across all verticals, the Commission has concluded that consumers’ “gambling behaviours …. still provide justification for the Commission’s updated guidance to operators”.

It states as follows:

The data reflects March, April, May, June and July and covers both online and in person gambling. The latest data includes consumer research and data from Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs) found on Britain’s high streets.

July saw a slight month on month decline in the amount spent by consumers on online gambling (including online slots). The amount spent remained higher than pre-lockdown levels[1] driven by the pent-up demand for sports betting on popular events.

Additionally, with high street betting shops now reopening, the Commission will monitor to understand levels of engagement with retail gambling products as more people begin to return to town and city centres.

The new online data also reveals that:

  • The number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour decreased by 2% in the month to July, and;
  • Between June and July, the number of customer interactions undertaken by operators rose by 2%.

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.

This included guidance to online operators in May – setting out the need for improved affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers. This was reinforced for land-based premises in June when they were allowed to reopen.

The Commission continues to track Covid-19 related risk by:

  • Assessing the impact of the strengthened guidance issued to operators
  • Collecting and publishing the data being gathered
  • Supporting the industry as land-based premises begin to open
  • Where evidence identifies additional risks faced by consumers, taking further action to protect consumers.

You can download below the Commission’s: