Friday 26 February 2021 7:44 pm

Pandemic leads to surge in online gambling at home

Online gambling skyrocketed during the pandemic as almost 6bn bets were made at home last year, an increase of 12 per cent.

According to the Gambling Commission, during the last 12 months, both the number of people spending money on gambling as well as the number of accounts increased.

The commission said today it estimated that 3m new accounts have been set up, an increase of 6 per cent.

Most significantly, gross gambling yield (GGY), increased by 30 per cent due to the return of strong margins for operators in real event betting and GGY growth.

This was followed by an increase in Slots GGY, which refers to player number increases by 13 per cent to nearly £200m.

Additionally, the number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour increased by 11 per cent to 2.5m between November and December. As a result, suggesting that as demand is consistently increasing, consumers are spending longer indulging in online gambling.

The commission identified a number of reasons for figure rises, namely how many will be feeling vulnerable as a result of the restrictions and uncertainty about their personal, employment or financial circumstances.

Therefore, precipitating many to turn to gambling as a form of escapism.

Against the backdrop of this data, the Commision has also written to gambling operators, reminding them of their responsibility to keep activity regulated and closely monitored.

Examples of the guidance included were avoiding any temptation to exploit the current situation for marketing purposes, and to take particular care when taking on new customers. At the same time, ensuring decisions over affordability checks reflect the current environment.