ctivity in the online market declined in May with active accounts and gross gambling yield (GGY) both decreasing 14% and 5% respectively, while total bets remained at a similar level, according to data released Thursday by the UK Gambling Commission.
The operator data reflects the period between March 2020 and May 2021, inclusive, and covers both online and some offline gambling operator data, noting that land-based premises have only recently been able to open since closing in December. Year-on-year comparisons between months in 2020 and months in 2021 are not relevant due to differing operating circumstances of both years due to the pandemic.
Online real event betting GGY decreased 11% between April and May, to nearly £239 million. The number of bets (-13%) and active players (-24%) both declined as well, potentially reflecting the exit of recreational players who joined to participate in the English Grand National and the easing of restrictions which provided more entertainment and leisure opportunities for consumers.
Slots GGY increased 5% to £211 million during the period from April to May. The number of spins increased 2% and active players decreased 5%. The number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour decreased by 1% to just below 2.6 million. The average session length increased to 20.7 minutes, with nearly 9% of all sessions lasting more than one hour.
Moreover, the UKGC has also published related qualitative consumer research conducted by 2CV which asked questions of online gamblers about their gambling through the pandemic period. "The qualitative research supports the themes of previous quantitative research that we have published in that many of those who took part have not changed their online gambling behaviour. However, some of the participants in the research reported spending more time gambling than they used to and told us that the period has led to some experimentation with new products," the regulator stated in a press release.