Yields are up in the gambling sector but don't bet on online gambling taking over anytime soon

Francesca Washtell
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Industry yields were up 12.5 per cent (Source: Getty)

The punters are going to wish they'd bet on this.

Yields in the gambling sector rose by a robust 12.5 per cent between October 2014 and September 2015 to £12.6bn, according to the latest industry figures from the Gambling Commission.

The sector's gross gambling yield, the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings but before the deduction of costs of the operation, was previously £11.2bn between April 2014 to March 2015.

These figures are taken from arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machine manufacturers, lotteries and remote (i.e. online and mobile) gambling.

Read more: Online bookie 21Bet nets 15,000 customers in first month

While last week's EU referendum was the largest political betting event in the history of Britain's bookmaking industry, it is too early to say whether it will have had a tangible effect on gambling yields.

In fact, when the scale of the Brexit vote political betting is compared with sporting events such as this summer's Euro football championships, its effect may be almost entirely negligible.

Online gaming not about to take over

The Commission found the share of online, or remote, gambling was flat at 29 per cent, equivalent to £3.6bn.

A report released earlier this year by Moody's found that despite the pressure from increasing taxes and regulation, online gaming markets are the most likely source of growth for gambling firms over the next few years.

Read more: Ladbrokes reels from "worst Cheltenham ever"

Online gaming markets, according to Moody's, are expected to grow to approximately €42.8bn (£35.5bn) by 2018, up from €36.9bn in 2014.

Although there has been public dismay at the "clustering" of betting shops on the high street, the number of betting shops actually decreased by 1.9 per cent, from 8,809 stores to 8,975.

Since the recession, cheaper high street rents have allowed bookmakers to move premises to more visible locations.

Read more: New regulation could be a lifeline for gambling addicts

The total number of bingo premises also decreased, though by a much higher 10.1 per cent (599 locations). However, bingo gaming was actually up 4.9 per cent, the first upward spike since 2012.

Gambling Commission programme director James Green said:

For the first time the figures include almost a full year's worth of data relating to online gambling operators - the market share of the online betting, bingo and casino sector is 29 per cent and we'll be interested to see how this varies over time.

Offline we're seeing changes. For instance, there's been a reduction in the number of betting shops, arcades and bingo halls in the last two years.

Market trends and consumer participation research are key to shaping the Commission's regulatory policy to keep gambling in Britain safe for consumers, fair, and crime-free.

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