The UK regulator, the UK Gambling Commission, keeps everyone in the loop with the latest developments on the market regarding the online gambling behaviour amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. And as far as June goes, it seems like the impact is easing, according to the watchdog’s published data.

The UKGC published the data revealing that as the COVID-19 lockdown measures were easing, so was the impact on online gambling behaviour in the UK.

COVID-19 Impact on Online Gambling Behaviour is Easing in the UK

When it comes to handling crisis, the UK gambling regulator has shown over and over again that it can handle them like a pro that it is. As the new Coronavirus COVID-19 wreaked havoc across the world, the UK watchdog made sure to take control over the online gambling behaviour in the country. A few days ago, the UK Gambling Commission published new data which showed how the easing of lockdown measures has impacted online gambling behaviour in the UK. The data was collected for online gambling only, from the largest online operators on the market. It reflects the first month of lockdown, March, plus April, May and June.

The data showed that as the country was moving out of full lockdown, so was the gambling behaviour changing. Nevertheless, it also proved that the UK’s updated guidance to operators was justified. Operators still need to prevent reverse withdrawals, improve affordability checks and restrict bonus offers. The data showed that the market has entered a brand new phase, which makes the risk of gambling harm a bit smaller.

The biggest change was seen, of course, in real-event sports betting in May and June, as soon as sports events actually begun. There was an increase of 115% for online betting. Loss per player figures for slots, on the other hand, is still significantly higher than for any other online gambling activity. The average monthly loss for casino gambling during June was £37, for event betting £54, while for slots £68. But, despite the 1% increase in the number of slots players since May, there was a 5% decrease in the number of spins played with a corresponding 10% decrease in loss per player.

Safer Gambling Indicators

Since the UK Gambling Commission issued the additional guidance among these uncertain times in May, for all operators to interact with players and identify them properly, the number of slot sessions lasting longer than 1 hour had decreased by 5% in June (1,987,121 from 2,085,023), as well as the average session length.

The number of customer interactions had increased by 12% between May and June (849,428 from 760,480), although within that number, most of the interaction was automated in nature. 6% of those interactions were direct contact from staff, as operators indicated.

The UK Gambling Commission concluded the statement saying that they would continue collecting and reporting changes going forward, reminding operators that they have been clear what they expected from them in light of the changes and challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Aug 24,2020