British online gaming yield declines in 2018-19

28 November 2019

The gross gambling yield of the British gambling industry declined 0.3% year-on-year to £14.36bn (€16.86bn/$18.56bn) in the year ending 31 March 2019, as remote gambling revenue fell 0.6% to £5.3bn despite higher stakes, according to new figures from the GB Gambling Commission.

The figures were part of the Gambling Commission’s annual industry statistics report, published today (28 November), and the decline in remote gambling yield was the first ever year-on-year decline for the sector.

Remote gambling made up 37.1% of the overall gambling sector’s gross gambling yield, with its revenue coming on £118.74bn of stakes, up 7.1%.

Remote casino games remained the largest contributor to remote betting, with a yield of £3.11bn, up 6.0%, on £89.68bn of wagers, up 8.7%. Online slots produced a yield of £2.12bn, up 5.7%.

Gross gaming yield and turnover from online roulette more than quadrupled to £448.2m and £4.48bn respectively.

Remote betting yield declined 10% to £2.03bn despite a 2.7% increase in stakes.

Football was the most popular sport for remote betting, but yield declined 1.5% to £991.2m, despite the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place during the period and leading to a 5.2% increase in stakes. Horse racing followed with a yield of £522.1m, down 15%, despite stakes rising 8.5% to £9.64bn.

Gambling consultancy Regulus Partners said offers such as Sky Bet’s Cheltenham Festival money-back campaign played a part in the decline in betting yield, but the extent of the decline suggests other factors, such as poor performance for bet365.

“This is still a big drop in betting, given the ‘knowns’ of the public market in as highly consolidated sector, suggesting a significant negative for bet365’s 2018 GB performance – likely reflecting the wider industry adoption of tougher KYC and SR measures,” Regulus said.

Non-remote betting was the next largest source of gross gaming yield, bringing in £3.25bn, almost exactly static from 2017-18.

National lottery GGY increased 2.4% to £3.08bn, while land-based casino GGY fell 10.3% to £1.06bn.

Bingo saw a 0.5% decrease in gross gaming yield to £677.0m, while large society lottery GGY rose 6.6% to £541.6m.

Gross gaming yield from gaming arcades rose 1.8% to £429.7m, as GGY from adult arcades rose 3.2% to £379.3m while GGY from family entertainment centres fell 8.0% to £50.4m.

The gambling software industry produced revenue of £823.0m, a 7% year-on-year increase.

The commission also reported that a total of 102,782 people are employed in the gambling industry, a 3.2% year-on-year decline.

The figures do not include any of the effect of the reduced stake in fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which came into effect in July 2019, after the period measured came to an end. The machines took in £1.2bn in revenue in the year, down 30.6% year-on-year.