Examining The UK's Annual Gambling Sector ReportDecember 22, 2016 10:21 am
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently published its annual report covering the period April 2015 to March 2016, revealing that online gambling is now the dominant form of gambling in its domestic market. In fact, online gambling sites were responsible for generating £4.5 billion in gross gaming revenue over the period, accounting for one-third of all gambling revenues, while the National Lottery came in second with £3.4 billion, and sports betting shops a little further behind on £3.3 billion.
This latest report from the UK Gambling Commission was highly anticipated, as it was the first to provide an in-depth look at the state of the country’s online gambling industry since the government made sweeping reforms to the way it was run at the end of 2014. That was when the UK opened up its online gambling market to those foreign operators who first obtained the necessary iGaming licenses from the UKGC.
So just what are Brits playing online?
Online casino games have proven to be the most popular segement, bringing in £2.6 billion for the year-long period, with slots the top game accounting for £1.8 billion of gross gaming revenue. Sports betting through online sites also made a significant impact with £1.6 billion of revenues, while online betting exchanges brought in £152 million, and online bingo a further £153 million.
Elaborating on the impressive figures, the UKGC stated that the popularity of its online gambling sector is owed to the industry taking its time to develop games and incentives that are technologically advanced, as well as exciting to the players. The commission also explained that advertising is also likely to have played a major role, as many online casinos and sportsbooks have been taking advantage of opportunities to sponsor major live sporting events, as well as purchasing television advertising slots.
While the UK Gambling Commission report was good news for the country’s online gambling industry, not everyone is celebrating its success. For one, the media has put a dark spin on the news, casting a shadow over the profitable year that online gaming operators enjoyed in the UK. In fact, The Times even published an article claiming that the success of the industry comes at the expense of Brits, who are gambling irresponsibly and putting themselves in financial hardship as a result. The scathing piece claimed that British players lost 10 percent more during the year.