UK Online Segment Now Biggest Part of Gambling IndustryNovember 29, 2016 11:44 am
The UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) recently released its annual revenue report, with the big news being that the country’s internet betting segment now represents the largest part of its gambling industry. This is a huge turnaround since the early days when the segment occupied a secondary role to live betting, instead of nowadays forming the foundations of many betting companies.
According to the report, online gambling accounted for 33% of all gambling revenues that were generated during the 12 months between April 2015 and March 2016, or equivalent to £4.5 billion ($5.5bn) in Gross Gambling Yield (GGY). That now places the sector ahead of other giants of the industry, including the National Lottery (£3.4bn), high street betting shops (£3.3bn), and land-based casinos (£1bn).
Furthermore, around 58% of all online gambling revenues were derived from online casino games, such as slots (£1.75 bn), roulette and blackjack. In the meantime, sports betting contributed £1.8b of the overall figure, followed by online poker (£99m), bingo (£152.6m), exchange betting (£152m), and pool betting (£26m).
Online poker revenues were helped along by the UK having one of the most progressive and open online gambling industries in the world. By comparison, in France which still has a ring-fenced online poker market, the country generated paltry revenues of $12.5 million for the whole of 2015. This is despite both European countries having roughly equal populations, with the financial results clearly demonstrating the benefits of being able to offer players more competition, games and prizes.
In addition to 8,709 betting shops, the UK also has 148 land-based casinos, which saw their revenues fall by 14% versus the previous period. Generating a dominant 43.4% share of the casino’s business was roulette, followed by blackjack (25.4%) and electronic gaming (19.7%). Meanwhile, land-based bingo saw its revenues improve by 4% to £687 million, although the sector saw the number of its licensed premises fall by 4.3% to 575.