On Friday, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released further data showing the Covid-19 lockdown’s impact on gambling behaviour.
The data represents April’s first full month of lockout and reveals that total attendance has declined but some dedicated players expend more time and money playing on some goods.
It was found that past four-week gambling participation remained relatively stable in the four waves of the YouGov survey conducted from 16 April to 7 May, with the exception of significant declines in engagement in National Lottery draws and sports betting, and a significant increase in those playing National Lottery online instant winning games.
Operator data on active player accounts shows a 5 percent fall between March and April 2020, powered by actual event betting (active players down 55 percent) and representing the absence of top-quality sport in April.
26 percent of consumers appeared to be engaged in more than one online activity during April 2019, a figure that rose to 42 percent in April 2020. The study on YouGov reveals that about a third of former four-week gamblers claim they first attempted one or more gaming practises after lockdown. This percentage rises to more than half (54 percent) of committed gamblers — meaning those who have invested in three or more gaming practises in the past four weeks — with 18 percent of this group having attempted betting on simulated races or games, and a comparable proportion having tried online bingo for the first time in the past four week.
Total gamblers tend to be enjoying goods at the same pace or less, but most of those who have taken part in three or more gaming events during the last four weeks appear to invest more time or money on one or two events. This represents the increase in the total number of bets on certain goods per client.
The average length of the session reported by operators hasn’t changed between March and April 2020. Under this, the number of sessions this lasted over an hour rose to 2,274,521. This means the percentage of sessions lasting over an hour stands at around one in eight.
This latest data has been gathered from the biggest online operators and tracker YouGov Covid-19. This is compatible with the first package of data released on 12 May by the UKGC, following which the regulator provided new advice to operators on the need for better reviews on availability, avoidance of reverse withdrawals and limits on discount deals.
The data was taken from the Covid-19 tracker from YouGov, which covers a representative sample of nearly 2,000 adults each week in the UK, and from submissions from the largest operators, covering around 80 percent of the entire online gambling market.