This is good news all round, but this new set of data is interesting for one other particular reason and that is that it is the first batch of statistics to include the period since November 2014. The date since the UKGC changed the licencing laws to make all remote casinos operating within the UK, to sign up to their regulation and licences.
The Effect of Regulation on Revenue
One of the major fears behind increased regulation is that it scares companies off. Before November 2014, only casinos that were registered within UK borders were subject to licencing by the UKGC. The problem was that this was causing casinos to register their companies outside of the UK and then host online casinos so people could remotely gamble on their site from within UK borders.
In this way online casinos were operating in the UK, but not paying any tax and were not subject the rules and regulations enforced by the UKGC. This was not only an issue for tax related reasons, but also it meant that any safeguards bought in by the UKGC to protect the consumer (for better or worse) was unenforceable on these foreign hosted casinos.
Now that has all changed. The worry was of course, that now that casinos are being taxed and regulated by the UKGC, this might force them to leave the UK market entirely. This is often used as a reason to not increase corporation tax and other taxes against foreign businesses which operate in the UK, for fear that it'll drive their business away.
But the recent data on revenue seem to suggest that this isn't happening.
UK Online Gambling Revenue For 2015
For the first time we have an extensive insight into the actual state of the gambling industry in the UK and the numbers suggest everything is going very well.
The total gross gaming yield from online gambling during the 5 month period since the new licencing laws came to £1.45B. This is significant growth from the £1.1B, which was generated by the UK licensed operators in the 12 month period before November 2014.
The UK online market's total gross gaming yield comes to £3B from April 2014 – March 2015. Online gambling also makes up the majority of gambling turnover for the year, with it being the only sector of the gambling industry that is growing.
Other sectors claimed much lower gross gaming yields during the five month period since the licencing changes:
- Betting reported revenue of £528M
- Bingo reported revenue of £82.6M
- Pool Betting reported revenue of £6.3M
An Optimistic First Look
This data only includes the first five months of the new UKGC controlled online gambling scene, but so far it looks good. More casinos being taken into account for the report is showing a much healthier gambling market than the one from 2 years ago.
Of course these are still early days. Next year's report, which will be released June 2016, will be able to document a whole year period of the market under these new regulations. It may be the case that casinos will start to pull out of the UK market, which will be terrible for everyone.
The future of the UKGC's new plans for regulations seem to be looking good in the early days. Hopefully, it can remain that way until next year's report comes through.