The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) which is the gaming regulator in the United Kingdom recently published a report which showed that the online gambling market in the country was continuing to experience significant growth, spurred on by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The UK is one of the countries that have been impacted heavily by the coronavirus pandemic and the government has ordered extended lockdowns. Brits trapped at home are spending more time at online casino and betting sites to entertain themselves and see if they can win some money betting online.
The UKGC report showed that the top licensed gambling operators in the country reported a 30 percent increase in their gross gaming yield during November and December 2020. The number of active players during these two months increased by 6 percent while the combined total bets increased by 12 percent.
The biggest increase was found in the online slots category. The report which surveyed 80 percent of the online gambling market said that there were 3 million active slot users in December and while the total number of slot bets during December rose to 6 billion. Both of these are new records for the online slot market during the COVID-19 lockdown.
One of the reasons for the spike in online gambling activity is because the UK shutdown casinos and betting shops throughout the country for an extended period of time. A lot of the regular brick and mortar gamblers decided to take their action online and this was one of the factors that resulted in an increase in online gambling traffic and new player accounts.
UKGC Continuing to Police Operators
While the boom in online gambling is a positive for licensed gaming operators and the industry as a whole, it continues to remain a concern for the gambling watchdog and the UK government.
The UK government has commission a special commission to review the 2005 UK Gaming Act which is rather outdated and not stringent enough to protect UK players from gambling harm. Problem gambling numbers have soared in recent years and the UKGC is keen on stemming this increase.
The UKGC has already asked online casinos to slow down their reel spins to a max speed of 2.5 seconds per spin. The special commission is now looking to bring about new measures that will protect players from gambling harm and curb some of the freedom that licensed operators currently enjoy.