- iGaming GGY hits £6.85 billion
- COVID-19 lockdown helps boost remote gaming sector
- Land based operations still struggling to recover
Strict lockdowns in the United Kingdom (UK) forced many sectors to shut down and incur significant losses with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions was the online gaming market in the UK.
Reports now show that the online Gross Gaming Yield (GGY) soared to an impressive £6.85 billion between April 2020 and March 2021, spurred on by the lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Casino and Sports Betting Revenue Rises
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released a report which showed the total revenue from gambling sectors has increased significantly during the last 12 months. In an unprecedented rise, the revenue generated in the last 12 months amounted to £141.38 billion, which was 18.1% more than 2019-20. The report was prepared after excluding land-based gambling estimates, as it the numbers were yet to come in.
Remote gambling revenue peaked at £3.72 billion from October 2020 to March 2021. Casinos and sports betting were strong sectors as they continued to soar despite a slowdown in sporting schedules.
Sector-wise division shows that remote casino licensees generated a major chunk of the overall increase with a £4.02 billion yield. Within the online casino sector, slots constituted a hefty 22.2% of the gaming yield.
Online betting also saw rising revenues of £2.65 billion respectively. Even though revenues from pool betting and betting exchange dipped, the minor dips had little impact on online betting revenue and were offset by £2.48 billion from sportsbooks.
Non-Remote Licensee Numbers Plunge
National lottery remained the lone non-remote sector with combined retail and online sales. Recording an increase of 6%, the total sales came to £8.39 billion out of which Camelot kept £524.5 million. Camelot reported all-time high lottery sales of £3.96 billion in the initial half of 2021-22
However, the lockdown had a predictable effect on non-remote licensed operators whose numbers dropped sharply owing to a 6.2% decline in land-based gaming sectors. Additionally, the £2 FOBT stake limit forced operators to close for good. Non-remote betting licensees, gaming machine technical licensees, and non-remote bingo licensees bore the brunt of the crisis and suffered a significant decline in revenues.
As a result, the total number of licensed non-remote gaming operators fell to 2,439 which is a 5.4 percent decline, land based betting operators dropped by 7.8 percent and non-remote bingo licensees fell by 9.2 percent.