New UKGC Full Year Figures Tell a Tale of Two Cities

Lee R. - June 6, 2019

The unstoppable force of iGaming turns out to be the overarching trend of an increasingly restrictive UK market.

In iGaming's biggest jurisdiction, online gambling continues to grow.

Full-year Figures Reveal

Full year figures for last year have online gambling increasing in record take, while land-based gaming machines in betting shops have decline for the first time ever.

UKGC Report

These findings were revealed in statistics released Thursday by the UK Gambling Commission for local market performance in the 12 months ending September 2018.


During the performance span, UK-licensed operators generated gross gambling yield (GGY) of £14.5b, an estimated 0.4% decline from the 12 months ending March 2018.

Against the land lubbing, online gambling growth's unabated growth reached £5.63b GGY for a market share of 38.8%, representing a jump of 37.1% from the previous period measured.

Vertical Distribution

Of this take, online casinos accounted for nearly £3b of this total for 1.8% jump, with two-thirds of that contribution coming via slots.

Online race and sports betting remained flat at £2.1b, while online wagering rose 3.7%, fueled primarily by exchange betting's 21% jump to nearly £343m and bingo's 7.6% jump to £177.6m.

Overall Take

As far as overall take, land-based bookmakers’ came in second GGY ranked second in the UK at £3.2b, representing a £94m drop from the previous period. The big hole was found in gaming machines 59.2% drop to yield an overall result that was down £5.6m to £1.83b.

Land-based Declines

The decline represented the first drop ever seen in the machine category of the UK era, and ahead of the UKGC's forced reduction in maximum betting stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) onset of April 1.

Available betting shops reached a new low of 8,423, down from the 8,555 of the previous period and March 2012's market-high of 9,128.

Flat Verticals

Additional key gambling verticals National Lottery sales and GGY remained flat at £6.9b and £3b; while land-based casino GGY was down 11.4% to £859m.

Self-Exclusion and Security

UKGC reports that self-exclusions were up almost 11% to over 1.5m, with breaches up 13% to 99k. Further, operators challenged over 100k gamblers regarding their age, a jump of 28% from the previous measured period.


With stricter regulations and the growth of the online sector, look for UK operators to funnel expansion towards more overseas gambling markets and domestic and international online markets more.



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