As the UK government’s COVID-19 lockdown limitations are eased, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reported a steady drop in online gambling activity.
The Commission is continuing to examine online gambling behaviour that has been impacted by COVID-19 and lockdown situations, based on data collected from licenced operators between March 2020 and May 2021.
Active gambling accounts
The number of active online gambling accounts fell by 14 percent to 10.8 million in May, falling short of the 12.5 million gamers recorded in March and April, according to the UKGC.
May’s online gambling gross gaming yield (GGY) fell to £5.3 billion, down 5 percent from April’s £5.6 billion.
Active sportsbook accounts fell to 5.1 million in May, a 24 percent drop from April’s peak of 6.7 million accounts, which was ascribed to high involvement with the Grand National Festival.
GGY reductions were seen across the board, with sports betting registering its lowest month of the year at £238 million – a figure that will be topped by bettors on the UEFA Euro 2020 championships this summer.
However, according to the figures, Slots GGY climbed to £211 million during the time, with a 2 percent increase in spins despite a 5 percent decrease in active accounts to 3 million.
Qualitative customer feedback
In addition to registering operator statistics, the Commission has began to publish qualitative customer feedback gathered by 2CV throughout the epidemic period, which examined and questioned online gamblers’ behaviour.
The Commission noted that the qualitative input backed up the findings of its quantitative research, which found that participants spent more time gaming than they used to and experimented with new gambling products.
The UKGC statement read: “We recognise that the country is now entering a different phase as we continue to ease out of lockdown.
“Operators still need to be mindful about the potential of some consumers to be increasing their spend on some of the more intensive products whilst at the same time still engaging in real event betting activity.”