Online Gaming Revenue Up to £4.9 Billion in the UK

Online gaming revenue has grown by 3.7 percent according to the latest industry report from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

UKGC industry stats.

The latest UKGC figures show that online operators are thriving while high street betting shops are faltering. (Image: buildfire.com)

Part of its six-monthly updates schedule, the gaming regulator has published the statistics covering the period from October 2016 to September 2017. As per the report, remote gaming raked £4.9 billion in gross gambling yield (GGY), for an improvement of almost 4 percent.

Online Success Highlights Offline Woes

With online betting and gaming increasing its market share by a single percent, the report also highlights a drop in high street revenue. According to the information provided, the total number of betting shops as of March 2018 was 3.2 percent lower than at the same time in 2017.

What will be a concern for operators with an interest in this sector is that things could drop even further over the next 12 months. Following the government’s decision to cap fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) bets to £2 per round, shops stand to lose a significant portion of their revenue.

According to official UKGC data, £1.8 billion was wagered on FOBTs in 2016 thanks to players being able to stake up to £100 per round. With almost 35,000 terminals, that average machine was able to earn a betting shop £52,887.

May’s decision to reduce the maximum wager will impact these figures and, in all likelihood, mean more closures on the high street.

UK Remains a Thriving Gaming Market

Despite the fall in offline revenue, the industry as a whole has shown a 0.7 percent increase in GGY. With total revenue hitting £13.9 billion, UK gaming operators are still part of a thriving market despite any changes in the FOBT landscape.

For its part, the UKGC has continued to push the boundaries in terms of social responsibility and customer service. Following the publication of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s (RGSB) progress report on May 3, UKGC executive director Tim Miller reaffirmed that more needs to be done to protect players.

“We are now in the final 12 months of the three-year plan, and we remain concerned that many of the priority actions have not moved along as far as they should have,” Miller noted in a May 3 press release.

This drive has resulted in a number of high profile fines for the likes of 888Gaming and BGO. However, those at the UKGC believe this is a necessary consequence of making things better for players and, in turn, helping the industry continue its current growth rate.

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