United Kingdom Gambling Revenue Drops 14% in June

Gambling revenues plummeted by almost 14% in the United Kingdom last month, with inflation at an all-time high.

Our United Kingdom cousins enjoy a flutter almost as much as we do. Over 45% of the British adults popular gamble monthly, with 22% placing a bet of some sort more than twice per week. Almost half of those gamblers bet online, but something happened in July that curtailed their enthusiasm.

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the country’s gambling regulator. It regularly publishes gambling-related stats, including gross gaming revenue. Recently published figures reveal the gross gaming revenue in the United Kingdom fell 1% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Although this is not a huge sum, it appears to be the start of a worrying trend for bookmakers and online casinos.

The drop in gross gaming revenue from May to June is alarming. Retail sports betting witnessed a 5.6% drop to £181.7 million ($317.05 million). Online poker revenue accounted for only £5.7 million ($9.94 million). However, online pokies, or slots as they are known in the United Kingdom, saw a 7.4% drop. Britons wagered £179.1 million ($312.51 million) in June.

Online sports betting faired the worst with a massive 22.6% reduction to £130.6 million ($227.88 million). Overall, the online gambling world’s revenue fell 13.6% to £370.2 million ($645.97 million). That total represents a fall from grace of some 20% compared to January, which was the best month.

What Is Causing the Fall in United Kingdom Gambling Revenue?

There are many factors contributing to the fall in gambling revenue in the United Kingdom. First, the gambling industry in the United Kingdom is seasonal. Sports betting, in particular, relies heavily on the English Premier League, which does not start until August 5. Brits also engage with the NFL and NBA, which do not resume for another couple of months.

In addition, online gaming companies are masters at cross-selling their verticals. A reduction in footfall for online sports betting has a knock-on effect for online casinos and online poker, and vice-versa.

Furthermore, the United Kingdom weather features four distinct seasons, with June through late August its summer months. The UK has endured an unprecedented heatwave of late, leading to Brits making the most of the hot weather instead of gambling online.

Rapidly increasing inflation is playing a major role, too. Inflation stands at 9.4%, the highest levels in almost two decades. Inflated inflation has put the United Kingdom on the brink of a cost of living crisis. The British economy is almost guaranteed to enter a recession by year-end. The inflation in Australia is currently 6.1%

Professional gamblers are rarely affected because they are cash rich. However, recreational players usually use their free money to gamble. A lack of freely available money results in a huge swathe of customers being removed from the pool.

Self Exclusion Soars

More than 43,500 gamblers in the United Kingdom used the self-exclusion tools in the first six months of 2022. This represents an increase of 9% over the same period in 2021.

GAMSTOP is a non-profit organisation set up in 2018. GAMSTOP makes it possible for people to easily and quickly impose a gambling ban for six months, one year, or five years. The company noted 50% of those recent self-excluded players opted for the five years option. Signing up with GAMSTOP makes it impossible to make a deposit onto any gambling related site.

Fiona Palmer, the CEO of GAMSTOP, explained the increase in self-exclusion sign-ups.

“Although we cannot be certain about the reasons for this, our internal analysis implies that higher volumes of self-exclusion are evidence of a sustained prevalence of gambling-related harm, as well as a greater awareness of GAMSTOP. We look forward to seeing the Government’s recommendations for reforming the gambling laws in the forthcoming White Paper, now expected this autumn.”

More than 43,500 freshly self-excluded players is a massive number lost. Some of those have gambling issues, but others will use the service to prevent them from betting with money that they cannot afford to lose.