GB's Covid-19 gambling decline to peak at 59.1% in May

13 May 2020

Exclusive data from H2 Gambling Capital lays bare the decline in British betting and gaming gross win as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), though iGB's principal data partner suggests the igaming sector should help the sector rebound.

With all bricks and mortar premises closed from mid-March, H2 now expects a 37.8% decline in retail gross win for the year, mitigated in part by an 0.4% increase in online yield. However, this will still ultimately result in a 17.7% decline on its market projections prior to Covid-19.

This, H2 noted, effectively takes market revenue back to 2013-14 levels. 

The decline is set to peak in May, with revenue down 59.1% from original projections, though a rapid rebound for the channel is unlikely, with entertainment premises likely to remain shuttered into July. This will drag total market gross win down, with the sector only returning to growth with an 0.4% rise from November. 

H2's best case scenario assumes that sports will resume from June, with licensed offices, casinos and arcades reopening a month later. Should betting shops be among the first wave of shops to reopen in June, the decline for that month is likely to be reduced marginally, from 38.6% to around 35%, with land-based win down 17%, and online seeing revenue reduced by around 1%, as retail customers return to their preferred channel. 

However, the market decline has been mitigated in part by a more robust online market. That channel is facing significant year-on-year declines considering the importance of sport, and this will also peak in May. For that month, online is expected to fall 19.5% below original forecasts. 

Should sport resume from June, this is expected to release pent up demand, resulting in the channel experiencing a 16.3% increase in gross win for the month. This won't be sustained going forward, with customer spending power reduced by the likelihood of a recession resulting from the economic damage caused by the pandemic.

Online gross win will therefore fall to more modest growth of 7.6% in July, and after a slight rise to 8.0% in August, is expected to decline steadily throughout the remainder of 2020.

Scroll down to see H2's projections for the British gambling market for 2020, and look out for the weekly Covid-19 tracker - published every Friday - which analyses the pandemic's impact on the global gaming market.