consultation

UKGC records stable July activity but concerns appear on higher slots engagement 

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has recorded a ‘stable July’ as it continued to track the activity of the online gambling sector under COVID-19 circumstances. 

Publishing its latest online monitoring report gathered from operator data, the regulator revealed that July registered 11.3 million active players, matching June results.

July’s active player numbers remain well below the Peak +12 million recorded during March and April – attributed to public participation in the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National racing fixtures.

Online gross gambling yield for July was recorded at £457 million, down 1% on July results of £496 million – as the period registered a significant 19% drop in betting event activity following the conclusion of the UEFA EURO 2020 Championships.

As anticipated, online sports betting recorded month-on-month declines across all metrics as total bets recorded dropped by 7% to £252 million, with active player numbers decreasing by 2% to 5.5 million.

Despite the overall decline, the UKGC noted concerns of a visible month-on-month increase in online slots activity that registered a 4% GGY increase to £187 million during the period from June to July.

Further online slot results saw July spins increase by 6% to 5.9 billion, as the vertical’s active player numbers grew by 1% to 3.1 million.

Monitoring slots, the UKGC noted that the online sessions lasting longer than an hour increased by 4% to 2.4 million. The average session length remained steady at 19 minutes, with nearly 8% of all sessions lasting more than one hour.

Despite recording increases, slot activity and wagering remained below the peak highs recorded during the lockdown months of March and April which saw wagering break the £6 billion mark.

“We know that some consumers, such as highly engaged gamblers who play a range of products, are likely to spend more time and money gambling and with high-level sporting events which took place over the summer where there were more opportunities for betting customers to gamble,” the Commission explained. 

“This is relevant to the July dataset reported as it covers the latter half of the Euro 2020 tournament and remains relevant in the future months when the Premier League restarts.”

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