The regulatory headwinds affecting the UK gambling sector have had an effect on financial performance, according to the latest figures released today.
According to figures from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) there was a 0.3% drop in gross gambling yield in the UK betting sector, according to a year on year comparison. In the year ending in March 2019, the figure was £14.36 billion, while revenue from remote gambling also fell, by 0.6%.
The numbers were included in the UKGC’s annual report, published on Thursday, and the headline figure was undoubtedly the drop in yield from remote gambling, which recorded a year on year fall for the first time in its history. In total, remote gambling was responsible for 37.1% of the total sector’s gross gambling yield, recording £118.74 billion in stakes.
Online casino games are still the biggest contributor in the online gambling space. They produced a yield of £3.11 billion, which represents a rise of 6.0%, and the yield from online slots was up 5.7%, while online roulette yield increased dramatically to £448.2 million.
The most popular sport for betting in the online sector was football, but yield was still down by 1.5% for football betting, even though there was a 5.2% rise in football betting stakes, and the sector was able to benefit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the year under analysis. Horse racing also saw a drop in yield, of 15%, even though horse racing stakes rose by 8.5% in the year.
A number of factors have been cited for the poor figures, including a high profile money-back campaign by Sky Bet during the Cheltenham Festival, as well as a poor year’s performance by Bet365, but tougher regulation during the period is also likely to have a played a part.