UKGC reveals 12% retail decline

Data released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that the retail betting sector within the country is continuing to feel the impact of last year’s FOBT ruling, with data showing a 12.1% decline in the number of shops between March 2019 and October 2019.

Correlating with a 4.4% decrease in industry workforce, the number of betting shops on the UK high street dropped to 7,315 in September 2019, while the total number of gambling premises was reported to be over 9,000.

Regarding overall gross gambling yield (GGY) for the gambling industry, the data revealed it dropped to £14.3bn, a fall of 0.5%, with the figure dropping further when lottery-type gambling products are excluded – amounting to a 1.9% fall of £10.5bn.

This follows on from the ruling to drop FOBT maximum stakes from £100 to £2, gross gambling with GGY for B2 machines taking a 46.4% hit compared to the period April 2018 – March 2019, with UKGC data showing that GGY for the terminals amounted to £624m.

On the contrary, B3 machines generated £1.3bn in GGY between October 2018 and September 2019, marking an 18.5% increase.

Overall GGY for gaming machines, excluding those that only required a local authority permit, fell by 11.8%, totalling £2.5bn.

Despite the bleak outlook for UK retail betting, the industry’s online sector appeared to buck the trend with across-the-board growth as the remote betting sector saw a 4.3% growth to £2.1bn between April 2018 and March 2019, while remote bingo yield was £198m, an increase of 12.5%.

Moreover, while land-based casinos saw a 0.6% drop in GGY to £1.1bn, the remote casino sector grew by 3.9% to £3.2bn.