UKGC publishes ‘market impact data on gambling behaviour – operator data to June 2022’

The Gambling Commission has published its ‘Market impact data on gambling behaviour – operator data to June 2022’ (that you can download below)

Market impact data on gambling behaviour – operator data to June 2022

The Gambling Commission has published further data showing how gambling behaviour is reacting to current environmental factors in Great Britain. The operator data reflects the period between March 2020 and June 2022, inclusive, and covers online and in-person gambling with data from Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs) found on Britain’s high streets.

Caution is advised when making any year-on-year comparisons between some months during the period of this data collection, due to differing operating circumstances between 2020 and 2022.

Comparison should also not be made with the industry statistics dataset, as the market impact data may include free bets and bonuses.

This update contains operator data to June 2022. We will be publishing this data on a quarterly basis, and as a result, this analysis makes a quarter-on-quarter comparison.

Please note that this refers to quarter one (Q1) in the financial year 2022-2023 (91 days) and quarter four (Q4) in the financial year 2021-2022 (90 days).

The latest operator data shows:

  • online total Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in Q1 (April to June) was £1.2 billion, an increase of nearly 1% from Q4 (January to March). The overall number of total bets/spins increased 5% from Q4 to Q1, the average monthly active accounts1 increased 5%
  • slots GGY increased 4% to nearly £565 million between Q4 and Q1. The number of spins increased 5% to 18.7 billion, while the average monthly active accounts increased 4% to 3.6 million per month
  • the number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour increased by 5% (to 8.4 million) between Q4 and Q1. The average session length lasted 17 minutes (a decrease of one minute), with approximately 7% of all sessions lasting more than one hour
  • LBO GGY increased 6% to £584 million between Q4 and Q1, while the number of total bets and spins increased 3% to 3.3 billion.

We continue to expect extra vigilance from operators as consumers are impacted in different ways by the circumstances brought on by the pandemic and the wider economic environment. Many people will still feel vulnerable as a result of the length of the pandemic period, further uncertainty about their personal or financial circumstances or readjusting budgets and time as life returns to normal with a wider set of finance drivers.

We expect operators to:

  • continue to follow the strengthened guidance issued during the first lockdown, taking close interest in data that shows consumers expanding their portfolio of games and spending more time or money than before
  • interact directly where triggers are reached, in addition to their more generic email engagement
  • avoid any temptation to exploit the current situation for marketing purposes, in particular as consumers adjust back to a new normal and be very cautious when seeking to cross-sell products
  • take particular care when on-boarding new customers and making decisions over affordability checks which reflect the environment we are in.

The Commission continues to track market related risk by:

  • assessing the impact of the strengthened guidance issued to operators
  • monitoring key data along with collecting and publishing this additional data
  • where evidence identifies additional risks faced by consumers, taking further action to protect consumers.

and will continue to:

Note to editors

1This is the total number of times activity has taken place across all verticals; therefore, an active account may be counted more than once if they participate in more than one vertical. Additionally, a quarter-on-quarter comparison means that there is further degree of double counting in the active accounts’ data-point. For example, if an account has been active in two of the three months in that quarter, it will be counted twice in the total for that quarter. This is only applicable to active accounts and not any of the other data-points.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Gambling Commission press office.

The data itself is accessible at the foot of this Gambling Commission webpage (and can also be downloaded below), as too is an easy-to-read analysis of key aspects of the data on this Gambling Commission webpage (which you can also download below).

You should note that the Commission’s reference above to strengthened guidance is to its additional Customer Interaction Guidance for UK licensed remote gambling operators, published on 12 May 2020 at the height of the first COVID-19 lockdown, as reported by us at the time here. You can download that additional guidance below. However, all UK-licensed remote gambling operators should bear in mind that, as previously reported by us on 20 June 2022, wholly new Customer Interaction Guidance for Remote Gambling Licensees (a copy of which you can download below) comes into force on 12 September 2022.