The British betting industry is a massive money-making business, which depends upon the misfortune of its customers. It is the job of the Gambling Commission to regulate gambling and supervise gaming law in Great Britain. As part of that role the commission produce a yearly report on the industry. In the report you’ll find all the statistics related to the UK betting markets such as gross earnings, along with the numbers of licensed operators, premises and people employed within the industry. The report for 2019 was released last month and highlighted some interesting things about gambling in the United Kingdom as we head into a new decade.
Firstly, it’s important to note exactly how the betting industry is divided up. The majority all modern-day gambling is done remotely with 37.1% being done from a phone, laptop or any other internet source through bookmakers with UK licenses. Over 1/3 (£5.3bn) of all British betting money is brought in by online gambling and betting sites. The other key money makers are made in person betting with 22.7% of bets being place at one of 8320 betting shops. Also, you have the National lottery which makes up 21.4% of the market. The other 18.9% is made up from bingo, arcades, large society lotteries and casinos.
Over the past year the betting companies have grossed £14.4bn from April 2018 to March 2019 according to the industry statistics released by the Gambling Commission. Despite boasting such high returns, the UK betting industry is showing signs of decline, although they are only slight.
The £14.4bn grossed between April 2018 and March 2019 is down 0.3% based on last years earnings. That may sound insignificant to some but when dealing with amounts like this we are actually talking about the market taking a £46m hit over a 12-month period.
This slight dip in performance of the industry has been apparent across the board. The number of licensed activities has decreased by 3.4% to 3,655. Whilst he numbers of licensed gambling premises in Great Britain has fallen to 10,761 (-3.2%).
This appears to have had an impacted-on employment in betting which is also taking a hit. According to the statistics reported by betting operators 102,782 people are employed in the industry as of March 2019. In comparison to a year prior that is a significant drop of 5.5% from 108,820 people working in gambling in March 2018.
New laws were brought in earlier in the year to reduce the amount a customer can bet on Fixed-odds Betting Terminals. Previously people where able to bet £100 every 20 seconds whilst using the machines for electronic casino games such as roulette. Now customers are limited to a maximum stake of £2. These changes did not come into effect until after this statistical information was gathered. Despite this we already see a drastic drop in people using these machines as last year’s Gross Gambling Yield £1.7bn and this year’s is down by 30.6% to £1.2bn. The true impact of these new laws will be truly seen in next years report which will likely show even greater losses in this area and an overall downturn for the British Betting industry.
In conclusion, the report from the Gambling Commission shows the British Betting Industry to be at the beginning of a period of decline. Although nothing majorly significant yet, we are seeing large portions of the industry suffering losses. The overall GGY is down by 0.3%, as is the money made from gaming machines, remote gambling and casinos. Whilst the most worrying statistics show betting companies are now scaling back their operations in the UK. Significant dips in overall employment, betting premises and shops are very apparent. These are all red flags for the industry as we head into 2020, which is likely to be an even tougher year for gambling than this one. The new laws brought in to govern gaming machines could have a detrimental effect. By reducing the stake from £100 to £2, the governing body have basically wiped out one of the betting industry’s biggest markets. The true impact we will see this time next year when another Gambling Commission report is released. At that point this slight dip may actually become an industry crisis.