Online Betting Dominates Latest UKGC Revenue Report

Online betting.

Online betting in the UK continues to surge while other areas of the industry take a hit. (Image: gamblingcommission.gov.uk)

Online betting in the UK is on the up, but other areas of the industry have seen a drop in activity according to the latest Gambling Commission report.

Assessing the UK’s gambling industry for the period April 2016 to March 2017, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) found that online wagers were up by 10.1 percent. In the previous accounting period, online betting topped £4.5 billion and represented the largest sector of the industry.

However, in the latest financial round-up, gross gambling yield (GGY) for the remote sector hit £4.7 billion.

Online Poker Losing Pace

Generating the most income, thanks mainly to slot games, was the online casino sector with £2.6 billion in GGY. Taking second spot in the remote revenue stakes was sports betting with an annual total of £1.9 billion.

Lagging behind and contributing the least money to the pot was online poker. With a GGY of just £101 million, the move by poker sites to offer a more casino-based experience now seems more justified than ever.

Although casino games and sports betting have traditionally generated more revenue, the latest stats show the gulf is increasing. In the last two years, the largest poker site in the world, PokerStars, has gradually angled its product towards casual punters and casino games.

Despite early complaints from long-serving poker players, the facts show that the shift makes sense from a business perspective.

Indeed, when the statistics of the industry as a whole are taken into account, online casino and sports have been the only real success story this year.

Disappointing Results Elsewhere in the Industry

Although the total GGY for UK gambling improved by 1.8 percent to £13.7 billion, revenue across in various live sectors fell. Between April 2016 and March 2016, the number of betting shops dropped by 3.9 percent, while on-course and off-course betting decreased by £29.9 million and £1.6 million respectively.

The National Lottery industry also saw GGY reduced by £438 million. In light of this, the amount of primary contributions made to good causes by the National Lottery has dropped to its lowest level since 2010 (now £1.5 billion).

Commenting on the latest results, UKGC Executive Director Tim Miller stressed that continued growth will bring new pressures and a greater regulatory oversight in order to protect players.

“We would urge all gambling businesses to be acutely aware that as their market grows so too will our focus on ensuring that consumers are protected,” concluded Miller.

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