Due to strict regulatory rules on gambling companies and institutions, good records are kept of the habits and spending of gambling across all sectors.
The Gambling Commission collects figures from all casinos and bingo brands, both on the high street and online, sports betting, lottery play and all other forms of gambling too, they then collate that information to keep an eye on problem gambling, and the gambling habits of the nation as a whole.
The good news in that respect is that problem gambling rates are about the only thing that are static, which goes some way to show that despite gambling being available across many media it isn’t necessarily increasing problems. The figures as a whole show that the popularity of various types of gambling is increasing and this figure has increased the market as a whole.
The latest findings from the Gambling Commission bring together the figures from October 2014 to September 2015, including data from all operators. If you like to play online or buy lottery tickets and you’re interested in the popularity of online games then we’re going to crunch the numbers for you!
The first two figures cover the online market:
Possibly the most important figure of them all is the Total Gross Gambling Yield, and from October 2014 to September 2015 this was £12.6bn, up £1.4bn on the previous year. This shows that online gambling isn’t losing any of its appeal.
With online gambling so readily available now, it’s interesting to find that remote gambling accounts for just £3.6bn or 29% of the market! That figure covers remote gambling for betting, bingo and casino.
Then as we look at the high street:
There was a time that there was a betting shop on every corner of every high street but no more, and these figures show a further decline with 8,809 betting shops open in the UK, compared to 8,975 the previous year.
Maybe unsurprisingly given the decline of the high street bookmaker, the number of gaming machines in betting shops also decreased by 0.5% to 34,704 on the previous year.
It used to be that the only way to play slot machines was down at the amusement arcade, but these too are suffering a decline since online gambling became more popular. There are 1,721 arcades in the UK now, compared to 1,937 the previous year, quite a decline indeed.
Bingo halls again have seen a massive decrease with many halls still struggling to keep going. Bingo used to be the game of the nation, and maybe it still is but with a 10.1% decrease in the number of halls on the previous year, it’s clear players are getting their thrills online or from their mobile devices.
And finally at the lotteries that are available to play in the UK:
The Lotto has gone through some huge changes in recent times, but the key figures show that the National Lottery games, including EuroMillions are still a hit with players. Contributions to good causes were up 2.1% on the previous year to a massive, very charitable £1.7bn.
In recent years we’ve seen other lottery draws spring up in the UK, including the Health Lottery and the People’s Postcode Lottery and these society lottery draws have also seen an increase in contributions to good causes. In this report we see £195 go to good causes from society lottery draws, up almost 4% on the previous year!
Market trends are important to operators, but they’re also interesting to players too. What the trends show here is a further decrease in the popularity of high street gaming, as more and more bricks and mortar betting shops, bingo halls and arcades are closed, but an increase in the popularity of online and remote gambling methods.
Really, the online gaming industry has only been able to move as fast as the technology that supports it, but with such advancements in mobile technology in recent years, it’s little wonder so many people are taking advantage of the convenience of mobile gaming.
Mostly watching the market trends is important to keep gambling in the UK safe, and another year’s figures has shown that while gambling can be a small problem for a tiny number of us, for most of us it’s still a fun pastime. Despite the concern that online and mobile methods can make gambling too accessible and instant, it seems this concern hasn’t developed or come to anything and for all but a tiny number of us, gambling by whatever method remains a fun pastime.