UK Market Displays Robust December; a Trend Which UKGC Will Monitor Closely

Published March 7, 2021 by Lee R

UK Market Displays Robust December; a Trend Which UKGC Will Monitor Closely

UK Market hits record highs for December, but what does it mean going forward?

For a confluence of reasons, British online gambling yield rose to record monthly data highs.

The Jump

A massive 30.5% jump in online gross gambling yield to £613.6m in December 2020 represents the highest total since the Gambling Commission started publishing monthly data.


Retail closures; a busy sporting schedule; and high margins were the main contributing factors to the growth.

The Study

Culled from operators representing some 80% of the online gambling market, December's rapid revenue growth is actually being watched closely by the UKGC, as player protections becomes an increasingly urgent priority.

December's high margins were seen in real-event betting revenue jumping 53% to £319.6m. According to the UKGC, these margins were driven by factors which included a 3.1% player increase to 5.0m; a busy sporting calendar and a correction to October levels after a dip in November.


Bets were up as well, with the December total of 293.0m representing a sequential increase of 2.2%.


Slots was next at £199.7m for December with the 12.9% bringing the highest revenue of any month measured. Participation increased 6.0% to 3.0m while the total spins grew was up 11.8% to a new high of 5.89bn.

Other Verticals

Other online gaming came in at £73.9m (11.0% jump from November), with a total of 2.1m playing non-slot online games (13.5% sequential jump); while bets jumped 15.5% to 313.2m.


Meanwhile, poker revenue rose by 2.8% to £9.4m; and virtual betting rose to £7.9m (10.8%).

Few Declines

The only decline in revenue for December in the UK was still emerging Esports betting, which dropped 6.2% to £1.3m, while other revenue increased by 29.7% to £1.7m.

Automation of customer interactions also led to a 3% drop in December, a trend which will likely continue as technology is optimised.

UKGC Comment

The UKGC has committed to continuing to “collect and monitor the data to inform our views of risk, and if these changes appear to be more than short-term fluctuations, we will not hesitate to take further action.”


Automation of transactions looks to be the leading force in further growth, with the UKGC undoubtedly monitoring the extent to which greater ease of gambling can impact player protection.

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