01/16/2012 : ONLINE GAMBLING GROWTH IN THE UK REMAINS MODEST
Latest gambling prevalence statistics released by UK Gambling Commission
The latest gambling prevalence statistics have been released by the UK Gambling Commission and show moderate increases in internet gambling, with most online activity still centred on the National Lottery.
The report covers three 12 month periods, with the latest being April 1 2010 to 31 March 2011.
Looking at the remote and non-remote gambling market in the UK generally, the Commission notes that during the period April 2010 to March 2011 the British gambling industry, as regulated by the Commission, generated a gross gambling yield (GGY) of GBP 5.5 billion, reflecting only a marginal change compared to the same period the previous year.
The gross gambling yield generated by the British non-remote betting sector increased by 5 percent during 2010/11 compared to the previous 12 months. This was driven largely by a 10 percent increase in revenue from gaming machines. At the same time GGY declined for on-course betting, as did the total number of betting sector employees (-2 percent).
The non-remote betting sector represented the largest market within the industry with a 53 percent share, followed by the casino sector (14 percent) and the British regulated remote [internet] sector (12 percent).
However, the Commission observes that most British consumer online gambling activity is on overseas regulated websites. As an example, estimates put the UK consumer market at GBP 1.9 billion for 2010, approximately three times the size of the British regulated internet gambling market.
The Commission's report quotes global internet gambling numbers from H2 Gambling Capital, which estimates that global remote gambling GGY (excluding telephone betting) was GBP18 billion during 2010, representing a growth of 23 percent since 2008.
By contrast, UK consumer GGY (includes GGY generated with operators regulated overseas and telephone betting), is estimated to have grown by a similar percentage between 2008 and 2010 to reach GBP 1.9 billion.
Regarding remote betting on bingo and casino games, the Commission makes the interesting observation that in the last two years since it started regulating both UK and overseas consumer activity conducted on its licensing, GGY has decreased by 19 percent due to the relocation of significant UK brands overseas.
"The 5 percent increase in the GGY of Commission regulated operators in the last 12 months is primarily attributable to growth by existing operators rather than new entrants to the market," the report notes.
"We expect the GGY from Commission licensed operators to decline in the future as the effect of Betfair moving offshore is seen in regulatory return data. Further relocations of operators overseas cannot be ruled out."
Non-remote gambling player participation
In non-remote gambling over the year to March 2011, 56.2 percent of the 5,000 adults surveyed said they had participated in at least one form of gambling in the previous four weeks. This figure compares with the 2010 calendar year figure of 55.5 percent, and the 2009 calendar year figure of 55.2 percent.
In the year to March 2011, the most popular gambling activity was National Lottery tickets (46 percent of respondents), followed by tickets for society or other good cause lotteries (11.4 percent) and National Lottery scratchcards (10.3 percent).
Betting on horse races, the football pools, and fruit or slot machines were the next most popular activities (4 percent, 3.1 percent and 3 percent respectively).
Player participation in remote gambling
In the year to March 2011, 11.2 percent of the 5,000 adults surveyed said they had participated in at least one form of remote [internet] gambling in the previous four weeks. Around half of these had participated only in National Lottery products. This figure constitutes a very moderate rise in activity compared with the 2010 calendar year figure of 11.1 percent, and is in keeping with historical gains as follows:
* 2009 calendar year figure of 10.5 percent;
* 2008 calendar year figure of 9.7 percent;
* 2007 calendar year figure of 8.8 percent;
* 2006 calendar year figure of 7.2 percent.
The Commission comments that the growth in participation in remote gambling between 2006 and 2011 is explained very largely by increased online participation in the National Lottery. If those only playing National Lottery products remotely are excluded, 5.9 percent of respondents had participated in remote gambling in the year to March 2011, compared with 5.7 percent in 2010, 5.7 percent in 2009, 5.6 percent in 2008, 5.2 percent in 2007 and 5.1 percent in 2006.
Overall, in the year to March 2011, 8.6 percent of respondents said they had used the internet to purchase tickets for the National Lottery draw in the previous four weeks.
Remote gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device was the most popular remote gaming channel (9.8 percent of all respondents), followed by gambling via mobile phone (3.1 percent) and interactive/digital TV (1.4 percent).
The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010 measured the levels of problem gambling in the adult population in Great Britain using two internationally recognised scales in order to double check accuracy and compare findings with those found in similar studies around the world.
The DSM IV screen found that the rate of problem gambling in the adult population was 0.9 percent, which equates to about 451,000 adults. This figure was higher than that reported in 2007 and 1999 (0.6 percent for both years), but is at the margins of statistical significance.
The PGSI screen identified 0.7 percent of the adult population with a potential gambling problem, or around 360,000 adults. This also does not constitute a statistically significant increase on the BGPS 2007 figure.
Carried out by NatCen on behalf of the Commission, the survey sampled 7,756 adults between November 2009 and June 2010, and found that:
* 73 percent of the adult population of the UK (about 35.5 million adults) had participated in some form of gambling activity within the past year.
* Excluding people who had only gambled on the National Lottery in the past year, 56 percent of the population had participated in another form of gambling in the past year.
* The most popular gambling activities in Britain in 2010 were the National Lottery (59 percent); other lotteries (25 percent), scratchcards (24 percent), betting on horse races (16 percent), playing slot machines (13 percent) and private betting (11 percent). Less than one in ten adults took part in each other activity.
* In the past year 4 percent of adults had bet online, a greater proportion of adults (13 percent) had used the internet to participate in other online gambling (ie the National Lottery and its related products, other lotteries, bingo, football pools, casino style games or online slot machine style games).
UK industry employment numbers were down 12 percent at 6,387, compared with 8,918 between April 2008 – March 2009.