Latest UK Gaming Data Shows Increase in Betting and Slots Activity

Latest UK Gaming Data Shows Increase in Betting and Slots Activity

Posted on February 25, 2024 by in Gambling
Latest UK Gaming Data Shows Increase in Betting and Slots Activity

The UK gaming industry has seen a steady growth in the last year, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the gross gambling yield (GGY) of the sector increased by 5% from January to March 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year, reaching £1.3 billion. The number of bets and spins, as well as the number of monthly active accounts, also rose by 9% each.

Betting activity boosted by key events

One of the main drivers of the increase in GGY was the betting activity on real events, such as sports and horse racing. The GGY for this segment rose by 13% year-on-year to £555 million, with total bets and activities increasing by 19% and 9% respectively. The UKGC noted that the occurrence of the Cheltenham Festival, a four-day horse racing event that usually attracts a lot of wagering, during the quarter likely boosted engagement. Additionally, the return of domestic league football after the World Cup may also have been a factor.

The majority of betting activity took place online, as remote betting accounted for £2.6 billion of the GGY, led by football (£1.2 billion) and horse betting (£856.1 million). However, high-street betting shops also saw a recovery after being closed due to lockdowns, as their GGY grew by 6% to nearly £585 million in the 12 months between the two quarters.

Slots games dominate online casino market

Another segment that showed a strong performance was online casino games, which generated £4 billion in GGY, accounting for almost 60% of the total remote gaming market. Within this segment, slots games were the most popular, contributing £2.9 billion to the GGY, followed by roulette (£412 million) and blackjack (£311 million).

The popularity of slots games was also reflected in the customer engagement metrics, as the number of spins increased by 9% and the average number of active accounts rose by 15% to 3.9 million per month. Moreover, the number of slot sessions lasting longer than an hour increased by 10% to 8.8 million, although the average session length remained consistent at 17 minutes for the fourth quarter in a row.

Other gaming verticals show mixed results

The other gaming verticals, such as casinos, bingo and poker, showed mixed results in terms of GGY and customer engagement. The GGY for casinos dropped by 3% to £153.11 million, while poker GGY fell by 7% from £19.4 million to £18 million. Bingo GGY increased slightly by 1% to £36.6 million.

The number of customer interactions undertaken by operators to promote responsible gambling also fell by 12% to 2.9 million, although the number of direct interactions increased by 31%. This may be related to the publication of the Gambling Act review White Paper one month after the quarter ended, which proposed new measures for operator social responsibility and compliance.


The latest UK gaming data shows that the industry has been resilient and adaptable in the face of the pandemic, as it has managed to increase its revenue and customer base across different segments. The online market remains dominant, especially for betting and slots games, but there are signs of recovery for land-based venues as well. The industry also faces new challenges and opportunities as it awaits the outcome of the Gambling Act review and its implications for regulation and consumer protection.


  • What is gross gambling yield (GGY)? GGY is a measure of how much money gambling operators make from their customers’ bets or wagers after deducting any winnings paid out.
  • What is remote gaming? Remote gaming is any form of gambling that takes place online or via other digital platforms, such as mobile phones or tablets.
  • What is Machine Games Duty (MGD)? MGD is a duty charged on gaming machines that offer cash prizes based on chance or skill or both.
  • What is Lottery Duty? Lottery Duty is a duty charged on lottery tickets or entries sold or distributed in the UK.
  • What is Gaming Duty? Gaming Duty is a duty charged on casino games played in licensed premises in Great Britain.
  • What is Bingo Duty? Bingo Duty is a duty charged on bingo games played in licensed premises or online in Great Britain.
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