UK Gambling Commission: The Casino Industry is Doing Better Than Ever

Joe A.
23rd September, 2019

With the rise in popularity of online casino gaming in the UK, many people are curious about what the status quo is at the moment and what the major trends are in the gambling industry. According to statistics released this year by the UK Gambling Commission (one of the primary authorities in the industry), growth in most sectors has been the norm. Let’s dig into these statistics to see what it reveals about the industry’s current state.

uk casino industry

Why the UK Gambling Commission?

The UK Gambling Commission exists to safeguard players and to ensure that the industry is safe and fair across the board. This is what allows gambling to be permitted. As long as its operators are transparent, it doesn’t support crime, and vulnerable members of society are protected, citizens of the UK can enjoy betting on casino games and sporting events.

As such, the Commission regulate all types of gambling from on-location to remote gambling and even the National Lottery. As the chief regulatory body for any type of gambling inside the UK, the UK Gambling Commission is the place to turn to for insights into how the industry is functioning.

The UK itself is also a great barometer of where the industry is headed in general, as they are the number one gambling country in the world. Studies show that up to 65% of adults above the age of 21 in the UK are regular gamblers in some form or another. Gamblers in the UK also participate in almost all forms of gambling from sports betting to horse racing to lotteries to playing in real-world and online casinos.

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The Casino Industry – By the Numbers

Most of the numbers available to us were collected by the UK Gambling Commission from the previous year (from October 2016 to September 2017). The statistics for 2018 are still being collected. However, as the numbers have been following the same trends for the past few years, there is no reason to doubt that we will see similar results once the new numbers are released. Decreases and increases are measured against the previous statistical period of April 2016 to March 2017.

Notable findings include:

  • The total Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) for the UK was £13.9bn, which is up by 0.7% from the previous year.
  • Of this, the remote sector accounted for £4.9bn, which is a 1.0% increase for this sector and which bumped it up to 35.2% of the market share.
  • Two new casino premises opened in Great Britain which brought the total up to 152
  • There are currently 183,928 gaming machines in Great Britain, which a decrease of 0.7%
  • 106,366 people are employed within the gambling industry in Britain, which is a decrease of 0.8%

The most noticeable finding was that with its current market share of 35.2% and a GGY of £4.9bn, the online gambling industry is now the largest sector within the gambling industry as a whole. In second place is the non-remote betting sector with a total of £3.3bn (22% of market share) followed in third place by the National Lottery itself at £3bn (20% of market share).

Interestingly, the non-remote gambling sector was the only one that saw a decline. However, the number of casino premises in the UK increased once again. If you dig deeper into the numbers, you see that betting centres have declined for the fourth consecutive year to number 8,532. Machines also account for the largest portion of GGY in this sector, generating 58.2% of the yield and seeing a £4m increase.

This leads to the conclusion that betting is struggling and in decline but that other casino-related gambling activities are still very much on the rise.

The Global Online Casino Boom

These types of numbers are not only seen in the UK. Worldwide, the online casino industry is gaining massive traction as people are attracted to the prospect of being able to gamble anywhere on a single account.

The online gambling market had a total volume of $37.9bn in 2015 and is expected to grow to $51.96bn by the end of 2018. This would mean that the industry will have doubled from where it was in 2009.

Although the remote gambling sector has already overtaken the non-remote sector in the UK, this is not the case in all countries. In the US, non-remote casino gaming still dwarfs remote gambling with a total volume of $71.1bn in 2015. This is also common in many other countries with a healthy number of gamblers. However, this is changing quickly, and it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before online casinos catch up.

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