UKGC Posts November Figures, Reveals Rise in UK Online Gambling

January 21st, 2021 4.00pm

Earlier this week, the UK Gambling Commission posted the details on its gambling licensees’ activities in November.

According to the available figures, online operators doing business in the country generated less revenue despite the rise in gambling activity. The decrease in sports betting was cited as the main factor behind the overall drop in revenue.

The country faced another lockdown in November, which didn’t impact major sports event. At least not like the previous lockdown in spring.

A Rise in Online Gambling Activity

The latest report reveals that online gambling activity grew in November. However, we haven’t seen a significant increase in gambling activity since the ongoing health crisis started in March last year.

A recent study showed that 60% of gamblers in the UK hadn’t increased their spending since March, while nearly 30% reported spending less money on gambling. Only 13% of the country’s gamblers increased their spending during the said period.

Online gambling activity went up in November, although the increase itself is only marginally bigger when compared to October. We saw a rise in the number of slot players by 1% to 2.8 million. At the same time, the number of players who chose other online casino games increased by 4% to 1.87 million. We had 4.8 million sports bettors in November, representing a neat 4% improvement.

When it comes to revenue, online slots generated £176.8 million, increasing by 3%. Although a nice one, this figure is still £10 million below the record-breaking sum from March. Earnings generated by slots sessions whose average duration lasted more than one hour went up by 3% to £2.27 million. Again, this number is below the peaks we saw in the second quarter of the year.

Brits Spent More Time Gambling

The UKGC also revealed the increase in the average gaming session’s length, which went up by 1 minute and 22 seconds. Around 8% of all sessions lasted over an hour.

We also had lots of bookmaker-favourable results in October, which unfortunately didn’t help much with the numbers in November. Sports betting revenue dropped by 28% to £209.2 million, significantly affecting the monthly revenue figures. They also went down by 13% to £471.5 million.

The number of bets went up by 4%, exceeding 5.2 billion. The same goes for the number of active accounts, which improved by 1% to 2.8 million. That way, the number of accounts reached its highest point since March.

On the other hand, virtual betting witnessed a rise in revenue, ending the month with 8% improvement or £7.2 million in total. Betting on eSports went up by a staggering 78% to £1.4 million. Online poker generated 9% more revenue, or £9.1 million. Last but not least are other gambling products, whose revenue dropped by 8% to £1.3 million.

The survey conducted by the UKGC revealed that 4% of women aged under 35 had started gambling for the first time during 2020. This is twice the rate recorded during this period. When it comes to their preferred gambling activities, online bingo and lottery games were the most popular, with 21% and 18% respectively.

The gambling watchdog tried to provide detailed information about the online activity to offer the government a right set of criteria for the upcoming overhaul of the country’s 2005 Gambling Act. These figures are also there to help the UKGC fight against a UK MP Duncan Smit’s plan, who has been trying to shut down the regulator. Despite his claims, November saw improvements, and the entire online gambling industry in the UK grew.



The gambling regulator reveals the figures for November