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Data on the impact of Covid-19 on gambling behaviour in September 2020

13 November 2020

The Gambling Commission has published further data showing how the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown impacted gambling behaviour in Great Britain.

The data reflects the period between March and September, inclusive, and covers both online and in-person gambling. The latest data includes consumer research and data from Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs) found on Britain’s high streets.

The latest data for September shows:

  • the online market grew, with a month-on-month increase of 3% in gross gambling yield (GGY), and a 7% increase in active accounts. The main driver for this was real event betting – which saw 15% growth in GGY and a 14% increase in active accounts – and is likely to have been boosted by the return of Premier League football
  • the average session length for online slots remained steady at 21 minutes. There was a 3% decrease in the number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour
  • licensed betting operators also experienced month on month growth across some metrics, with increases of 7% in bets/spins placed and 11% in GGY (to £187m) likely to be impacted by the re-opening of all shops and the return of the Premier League
  • at the same time, we are releasing further consumer research which shows the broader impact of Covid-19 on people and provides further insights into why some people have increased or decreased their gambling activity since the first lockdown

Gambling behaviours have continued to evolve as the country responds to varying levels of restrictions and we will remain vigilant in light of new national lockdowns announced in recent weeks.

In the last week, we have written to operators to remind them of the guidance we initially issued in May to online operators – setting out the need for improved affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers. This was reinforced for land-based premises in June when they were allowed to reopen.

The Commission continues to track Covid-19 related risk by:

  • assessing the impact of the strengthened guidance issued to operators
  • collecting and publishing the data being gathered
  • supporting the industry as land-based premises begin to open
  • where evidence identifies additional risks faced by consumers, taking further action to protect consumers.

Read Market overview - consumer research September 2020 (opens in new tab).

Read Gambling business data on gambling during Covid-19 September 2020 (opens in new tab).

Last updated: 2 November 2022

Show updates to this content

Following an audit the consumer and market update links have been updated.

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