The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been collecting information regarding our gambling behaviours since the early days of the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak.
Each month, the Commission releases the latest set of monthly data which, in this instance, relates to October 2020.
In October, when there was a range of different restrictions in place in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, the UK online gambling market grew significantly. The number of active player accounts increased by 7% and the number of bets grew by 12% while GGY (Gross Gambling Yield) rose by 29% from the previous month.
The Gambling Commission believes that the growth was due to more real events occurring in October such as football, rugby, darts, golf, and horse racing.
Aside from the boost in the sports betting market, player activity at online casinos also increased in some areas. For example, there was a rise of 12% in the number of online slots sessions that lasted longer than 60 minutes, although the average session length of 21 minutes remained relatively steady.
However, the picture may change once again over Christmas and New Year due to the impending national lockdowns which are planned for both Northern Ireland and Wales.
Plus, with many English regions moving from Tier 2 into Tier 3 restrictions, fewer sports fans will be able to attend upcoming events such as the King George VI Chase at the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival at Kempton on 26th and 27th December 2020.
Land-based betting venues also continue to be affected by the ever-changing governmental rules. In Wales, for example, all bingo halls and casinos have been told to close until further notice. Then when Wales’ non-essential businesses must shut their doors when the country enters Tier 4 on Christmas Eve, high street bookmakers will close as well. Meantime, in England, casinos and bingo halls in Tier 3 locations are unable to open either. The situation does not look set to improve for the high street gambling sector any time soon, so the watchful eye of the Gambling Commission is very good news.