The UK retail betting sector continued to bear the brunt of the FOBT decision of last April, with data released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) showing a 12.1 percent decrease in the number of shops between March 2019 and October 2019.
The number of betting shops on high street in the UK decreased to 7,315 in September 2019, while the overall number of gambling premises was stated to be 9,745. The downturn leads to a 4.4 percent decrease in the sector’s workforce, with 98,174 employees working in the industry.
Following the decision to cut FOBT maximum stakes from £100 to £2, B2 devices’ overall gambling yield (GGY) was 46.4 percent hit compared to the period April 2018 – March 2019, with UKGC data showing that GGY was £624 million for the terminals.
On the contrary, between October 2018 and September 2019, B3 machines produced £1.3bn in GGY, an rise of 18.5 percent.
Total GGY for gaming machines fell by 11.8 percent, except those needing only a local authority permit, totalling £ 2.5bn.
Overall GGY for the gambling industry dropped to £14.3bn, a decrease of 0.5 percent. This number decreased further when excluding Lottery-type gambling items, with statistics showing that GGY contributed to £10.5bn – a decrease of 1.9 percent.
Despite the grim outlook for UK retail betting, the online market in the industry has managed to defy the trend with growth across the board.
The remote betting sector saw a 4.3% growth to £2.1bn between April 2018 and March 2019, while remote bingo yield was £198m, an increase of 12.5%.
And although land-based casinos saw a 0.6 percent decline in GGY to £1.1bn, the remote casino sector expanded by 3.9 percent to £3.2bn.