GC reveals overall decline in British gambling revenue

28 May 2020

The GB Gambling Commission has reported a 0.5% decline in gross gambling yield (GGY) for the 12 months from October 2018 to September 2019, though this was mitigated in part by an increase contribution from online gaming. However, year-on-year comparisons reveal a 1.8% decline in online revenue.

Overall market revenue for the year ended 30 September, 2019 fell to £14.26bn (€15.89bn/$17.47bn), down from £14.33bn reported in the 12 months to 31 March, which includes a six month overlap. However, a like-for-like comparison, with the year ended 30 September 2018, revealed a 1.4% decline.

The sequential decline, the regulator explained, was due to the land-based sector's struggles. During the period in question, the number of gambling premises fell 9.6% to 9,745, while the number of betting shops - following the B2 stake cut in April 2019 - fell 12.1% to 7,315.

This cut contributed to revenue from B2 machines dropping 46.4% to £624.0m, with Category B3 machines' contribution falling 18.5% to £1.3bn. As a result, total gaming machine yield was down 11.8% to £2.5bn. 

Revenue for land-based casinos was also down, falling 0.6% to £1.05bn. 

Turning online, the Commission said that gross yield for the 12 months to 30 September amounted to £5.51bn. While this represented a 4.3% increase compared to the year to 31 March 2019, it was down 1.8% year-over-year. Online casino accounted for £3.19bn of the total, followed by £2.12bn from betting and £198.1m from bingo.

As of 30 September 2019, players held 30.2m accounts with licensed operators, down 2.7% from 31 March that year, while new account registrations fell 5.6% to 31.5m for that same period.

The national lottery, meanwhile, saw sales rise 3.9% to £7.49bn, of which £4.30bn was awarded to players as prizes. The lottery issued £1.58bn to good causes, and paid £901.7m in lottery duty. Retailers received £304.3m in commission, leaving operator Camelot with £395.9m. 

Other lotteries, both online and land-based, generated sales of £775.6m in the 12-month period.

The regulatory body intends to publish the next set of data results, covering the year ended 31 March 2020, in November. The most recent set of results for this reporting period saw overall market GGY amount to £14.4bn.