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Information for operators re-opening land-based gambling premises 

From 15 June, betting shops in England are permitted to open.

We have published some FAQs aimed at helping operators manage compliance with Government Covid-19 guidance on reopening with continued compliance with the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP). 

At this time no other gambling premises in England are permitted to open and no announcements have been made about premises in Scotland and Wales.

Latest gambling stastistics published

Gambling industry statistics are published twice a year (in May and November) with the latest statistics covering  the period between October 2018 – September 2019. (Please note that the data covered in these industry statistics does not include the Covid-19 period).

Headline findings include:

  • £14.3bn – Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) of the gambling industry in Great Britain (GB) (Oct 2018 – September 2019) (0.5% decrease from Apr 2018 – Mar 2019)
  • 9,745 – total number of premises in GB (September 2019) (9.6% decrease from March 2019)
  • 7,315 – number of betting shops in GB (September 2019) (12.1% decrease from March 2019)
  • £2.5bn – GGY for gaming machines in GB (October 2018 – September 2019) (11.8% decrease from April 2018 – March 2019) (excludes those requiring only a local authority permit)
  • £624m – GGY for category B2 machines in GB (October 2018 – September 2019) (46.4% decrease from April 2018 - March 2019)
  • £1.3bn – GGY for category B3 machines in GB (October 2018 – September 2019) (18.5% increase from April 2018 - March 2019)
  • £1.1bn – GGY for land-based casinos in GB (October 2018 – September 2019) (0.6% decrease from April 2018 – March 2019)

Publication of data showing the impact of Covid-19 on gambling behaviour

We have published data showing the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on gambling behaviour during the first full month of lockdown in April.  The data, collected from the largest online operators and the YouGov Covid-19 tracker, shows overall participation has decreased but some engaged players are spending more time and money gambling on certain products. 

No uplift in complaints in illegal gambling

New data released shows that there has been no increase in the number of complaints about illegal gambling websites during Britain’s Covid-19 lockdown.  The number of reports has been stable over the past twelve months with a total of 12 complaints to the Commission about nine sites in March, and 11 complaints surrounding 11 sites during April.

Treatment needs and gap analysis published

GambleAware has published the findings of research commissioned to examine gambling treatment and support services in Great Britain.  The research found that nearly half of problem gamblers had not accessed treatment or support.  A number of barriers to accessing treatment and support  are highlighted, such as a lack of awareness of available services, social stigma (27% of problem gamblers were likely to experience stigma or shame), or reluctance to admit gambling problems, with nearly one in five (17%) problem gamblers saying that their gambling was not harmful.

The report includes several recommendations for future provision of treatment and support including:

  • Developing new and/or streamlining and strengthening existing services offered.
  • Involving service users in the design and delivery of services
  • Developing education programmes and campaigns to increase awareness and reduce stigma. 

Funding for gambling treatment during Covid-19

The Commission has directed £9m in funds from regulatory settlements to tackle gambling related harm across the country. The money, for use by GambleAware and its partners, will be directed to help ensure treatment and support services can continue to operate effectively and withstand additional pressures on their services caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Children's exposure to to TV ads for gambling and alcohol

The ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) has published its latest report looking at trends in children’s exposure to television ads for alcohol and gambling. Data from 2019 shows that whilst children’s overall exposure to TV advertising has almost halved since 2008 exposure to gambling products or services has returned to similar levels as those seen in 2008

  • In 2019, children saw, on average, 2.5 TV gambling ads per week (compared to 2.2 per week in 2008).
  • Children’s exposure to gambling ads peaked in 2013 (at an average of 4.4 ads per week) since when it has decreased by just under half
  • Gambling ads made up less than 2% of all the TV ads that children saw, on average, in a week every year between 2008 and 2017.  This increased slightly to 2.2% in 2018 and at 2.1% in 2019.

National gambling education and support programme launched

GamCare and YGAM are working together to provide a new national gambling education and support programme for young people aged 11-19 across the UK.

The initiative will equip a generation of young people to better understand the risks associated with gambling and engage with gambling products and environments in an informed way.

Study to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on gamblers

A major new study has been launched by the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow to understand how the COVID-19 lockdown has impacted gambling behaviour, including among potentially high risk groups.  The 18-month project will consider the effect of the pandemic restrictions on young adults and sports bettors – and analyse the promotion and marketing of gambling products during the lockdown.


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