The latest data from the UK Gambling Commission shows a further contraction of the online gaming market in August.

Data from online operators accounting for approximately 80 per cent of the market shows a decline in gross gaming yield (GGY) from all products except slots, while retail betting outlets reported stable GGY compared to the previous month as growth in over the counter betting offset lower yield from gaming machines and self-service betting terminals.

Online GGY fell by 12 per cent in August to £406m from £459m in July, with online slots GGY 1 per cent higher than the previous month at £164.13m, despite a 1 per cent fall in the number of bets placed and a 2 per cent fall in the number of active customers.

All other online products recorded a month-on-month fall in GGY, with the biggest declines in eSports betting (-29 per cent at £1.83m), real event betting (-21 per cent at £164.42m), and virtual betting (-16 per cent at £6.68m).

GGY from other online games including casino fell by 10 per cent to £59.50m, while online poker GGY was 8 per cent lower than the previous month at £8.35m. Other online GGY feel by 9 per cent to £1.32m in August.

All online products recorded a fall in active player numbers and number of bets placed during the month, with the average session duration of 21 minutes unchanged from July.

Retail betting outlets representing approximately 85 per cent of the market reported August GGY of £167.5m compared to £167.3m in July, as 14 per cent growth in OTC yield to £71.2m offset a 29 per cent fall in SSBT yield to £16.4m and a 2 per cent fall in machines yield to £79.9m.

The number of OTC and SSBT bets increased by 5 per cent and 1 per cent respectively in August, while machines bets fell by 2 per cent.

The Gambling Commission said that the fall in online GGY may be attributable to the break in the English Premier League, the holiday season and the loosening of restrictions allowing for more discretionary spending options.

The commission’s consumer research also shows that people have not significantly changed their gambling behaviour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more pre-lockdown gamblers reducing their gambling spend during lockdown than increasing it. Post lockdown, 70 per cent plan to maintain the same level of spending, while 8 per cent plan to increase it and 18 per cent plan to decrease it.

Looking ahead to the next three months, respondents were more likely to anticipate a decrease in their gambling spend (29 per cent) than an increase (5 per cent).

Gaming Intelligence

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