Online gambling has always been a popular activity in the United Kingdom. The Brits simply enjoy the convenience and accessibility that online gambling operators provide. As 2023 unfolds, the latest statistics suggest that online gambling continues to thrive in the UK.
Based on a report released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the online gambling, the industry generated £5.7 billion in gross gambling yield (GGY) between October 2021 and September 2022. This shows an increase of 1.2% in GGY compared to the previous year.
One of the key drivers of growth in the online gambling sector is mobile gambling. The UKGC report states that 57% of all online gambling activities are from mobile users. That’s more than 53% of how many people gambled on their mobile devices in the previous year.
Mobile gambling is also expected to continue in the coming years.
Sports Betting and Casino Games are the Most Popular
Sports betting and real money casino gaming continue to be the most popular forms of gambling in the UK.
Sports wagering accounted for 41% of all online gross gambling yield (GGY), while online casino games contributed 33%. Other forms of online gambling that are also popular in the UK are bingo, poker, and virtual sports. All those are responsible for the remaining 26%.
When it comes to the most popular sport that people wager on, it’s no surprise that it’s still football. Based on the same report, football accounted for around 65% of all the bets placed in the country.
Next to football is horse racing which makes up 17% of all bets placed in sports. Aside from these two, many Brits are also keen on placing bets for sports like tennis, cricket, and rugby.
At Online Casinos in the UK, online slots are the most popular category of online casino games, accounting for 65% of all online casino GGY. Other table games, such as blackjack and roulette, contributed 17%.
Other real money games, such as bingo and scratch cards accounted for 18% of the GGY.
The Rise of Esports Betting
Esports betting is a small but growing sector of the online gambling industry and has generated £20 million in GGY between October 2021 and September 2022.
That shows a 33% increase compared to the previous year. Esports betting is more popular with the younger demographics as they are the ones more interested in competitive games.
Some of the popular eSports games in the UK are FIFA, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, and Overwatch. Many online sportsbooks are now accepting eSports bets including pre-game and in-game wagers.
Responsible Gambling in the UK
The UKGC report also highlighted the importance of responsible gambling measures, with 55% of online gamblers indicating that they were aware of the tools and resources available to help them manage their gambling behavior.
The UKGC has been actively ensuring the safety of UK gamblers. In recent years, several measures aimed at promoting responsible gambling in the UK have been implemented. That’s to help protect consumers, especially vulnerable individuals from the risks of online gambling.
One of the most significant measures is the introduction of GameStop which is a self-exclusion scheme.
This allows individuals to exclude themselves from all licensed gambling websites in the UK for a specified period. The UKGC has made it mandatory for all licensed operators to participate so all individuals who want to self-exclude won’t be able to access any form of online gambling activity.
There are also regulations regarding the use of credit cards for online gambling, which came into effect in 2020. Because of this, people can no longer use credit cards to gamble money that they do not have. It’s a great way to keep people from drowning in debt because of online gambling.
These are just some of the regulations the UKGC implemented over the last few years, and with the continuous growth of online casino gaming and sports betting in the UK, there may still be more to come from this governing body.
Overall the latest UK online gambling statistics suggest that the industry is not only thriving but also growing.
While there are concerns about the potential risks associated with online gambling, the industry along with the UKGC is taking steps to promote responsible gambling and provide support to those who need it.
It will surely be interesting to see how the online gambling industry develops in the coming years. Aside from its growth, it will also be interesting to see what challenges will be tackled surrounding responsible gambling.