Insights Gambling Commission publishes further data showing how online gambling behaviour is reacting to the easing of lockdown measures in Great Britain

The operator data reflects the period between March 2020 and July 2021 inclusive, and covers online operator data. The Commission warns that it is not advisable to make year-on-year comparisons between months in 2020 and months in 2021, due to differing operating circumstances of 2020 and 2021.

The latest online operator data for July 2021 shows:

  • overall activity in the online market remained relatively stable in July; active players (the total number of times activity took place across all verticals, meaning that an active account may be counted more than once) stayed steady while bets increased 5% and gross gambling yield (GGY) decreased 8%;
  • slots GGY increased 4% to £187 million during the period from June to July; the number of spins increased 6% while active players increased 1%; and
  • the number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour increased by 4% (to over 2.4 million); the average session length remained steady at 19 minutes, with nearly 8% of all sessions lasting more than one hour.

The Commission recognises that the country is now entering a different phase as we continue adjust to life out of lockdown. It continues to expect extra vigilance from operators as consumers are impacted in different ways by the circumstances. Many people will still feel vulnerable as a result of the length of the pandemic period and further uncertainty about their personal or financial circumstances.

The Commission said that it is also likely that some have picked up new gambling routines and habits during lockdown that may be hard to change as things return to normal, even as normal spending on other things resumes. This could be challenging for some and important for operators to identify through their monitoring.

Further, some consumers, such as highly engaged gamblers who play a range of products, are likely to spend more time and money gambling and with high level sporting events which took place over the summer where there were more opportunities for betting customers to gamble. This is relevant to the July dataset reported as it covers the latter half of the Euro 2020 tournament and remains relevant in the future months when the Premier League restarts. To read the Commission’s press release in full, click here.