The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published a new report showing that while gambling yield from remote gambling sources, such as online casinos, bingo and sports betting remained stable, there was a significant decline in the number of high street betting shops.
James Green, UKGC programme director, said that the study is significant because “for the first time the figures include almost a full year’s worth of data relating to online gambling operators.” If there is one thing those figure's have demonstrated most clearly, things are not looking strong for the high street gambling sector.
The Drop of High Street Betting
When we talk about land-based betting, this includes sports betting shops, arcades and bingo halls. All three of these have seen a significant reduction across the last two years. This can't be chalked up to simply a drop in gambling interest, as online sectors of the business have been growing at an incredible rate.
At present, the market share of online betting, bingo and casinos stand at 29% and is predicted to grow in the following years. It is unknown at the time if its rise will increase to fill the hole in the market now being left by land-based betting establishments.
The total gross gambling yield within the UK from between October 2014 – September 2015, came to £12.6 billion. This was up from the £11.2 Billion earned from April 2014 – March 2015. Remote gambling generated £3.6 Billion of that total, making up 29% of the total earnings. Those earnings are up even with further taxes placed on remote gambling since 2014.
On the betting shop front, things weren't looking as optimistic. Betting shops open in the UK fell by 1.9%, dropping from 8,975 in March 2015, to 8,809 in the same period of 2016.
Other areas of the land-based gambling sector suffered more devastating drops during that same period, with arcades dropping by 11.1% to 1,721 and bingo premises dropping 10.1% down to 599 establishments.
Remote Gambling: The Future of The Industry
Remote gambling appears to be going from strength to strength, with some stats claiming that remote gambling is the fastest growing online sector overall. We've heard it time and time again, especially with regard to shopping, that the high street is losing its grip as the first stop for consumers.
With the UKGC's latest report, we have even more data to prove that this is happening in the gambling industry as well. This won't be the last piece of data we see about gambling trends. James Green promised further reports as “market trends and consumer participation research are key to shaping the Commission's regulatory policy to keep gambling in Britain safe for consumers, fair, and crime-free.”