The October Evolution, Covid’s New Data Message from the UKGC

As large swathes of Britain enter the sharpest lockdown since the advent of the coronavirus Covid-19 virus, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued some belated cheer and future indicators for the nation’s gambling industry.

Top headline is further data-crunching proof that iGaming and online—driven by the return of real-event sporting action–is here to flourish.

The online Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in October grew by 29 per cent over September to £524m (US$708m/€578m), the number of bets increased by 12 per cent and there were seven per cent more active punters.

Specifically, the sports betting yield topped £290m (US$392m/€320m), up just over 50 per cent compared to September.

According to UKGC figures—amassed from online monitoring and High Street betting shops–this was the highest monthly total recorded during the Covid-19 emergency.

With the continuing evolution of gambling behaviours accelerated by the pandemic, the commission has simultaneously urged gaming operators to double-down on safeguards for at-risk players, with particular emphasis on improved affordability checks.

The number of bets placed in October increased by eight per cent (to just over five billion) and there were 2.8-million account holders — the highest total during the Covid-19 period.

Online slots yielded 10 per cent more, month-over-month, generating £172.5m (US$233m/€190m) – the biggest total in six-months.

Revenue from other online gambling increased 11 per cent, over September, to £362.7m (US$490m/€400m) and although the number of across-the-counter bets fell marginally their yield increased three per cent, to £74.5m (US$100.7m/€82.1m) – yet another Covid-19 record.

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