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Gamblers in the UK Lost a Total of £12.6bn Last Year
- July 4, 2016 By Oliver Young -
The UK Gambling Commission has published the gambling data statistics for the period October 2014 – September 2015. The statistics show that the annual revenues of online casinos in the UK kept growing in the past 5 years, ever since April 2011. The annual increase this year was £1.4bn, as the total players’ losses rose from £11.2bn to a staggering £12.6bn. This clearly shows that the UK gambling market remains stable and further growth is to be expected.
Concerns were raised over the amount of money that are gambled on fixed-odds betting terminals which are available in betting shops all over the country. Certain experts have named fixed-odd terminal betting the most dangerous form of betting.
Revenues from FOBTs Keep Increasing
Last year we reported that fixed-odds betting terminals increase the profits of UK bookmakers, but it appears that the revenues collected from FOBTs have grown even further. In the period from October 2014 up to September 2015 was £1.7bn, whereas for the same period last year it was £1.6bn.
The reason why betting on FOBTs is considered controversial is the fact that players are allowed to wager as much as £100 once in every 20 seconds. FOBTs feature different electronic variants of casino games like roulette. Some have demanded a decrease of the amount of money that may be wagered from £100 to a mere £2 with the purpose of tackling problem gambling. It is important to note that the amount wagered on FOBTs increased, despite the fact that the number of machines dropped from 35,067 to 34,809. Each FOBT took an average of £48,724. The case of a player who lost his job five times, as well as his home is often stated as an example of the problems that might be caused by too much betting on FOBTs.
Online Gambling in the UK Amounts to £3.6bn
It has to be noted that this period was the first for which the Commission published a full year statistics for online gambling. The UKGC found that players spent a total of £3.6bn online. This figure includes all forms of online gambling related activities, including not only casino gaming, but also sports betting, as well as bingo. Interestingly, this figure was higher than the amount spent on the National Lottery, which for this 12-month period was £3.3bn.
The number of betting shops in the UK keeps decreasing and it dropped from 8,975 to 8,809. But the number of people employed in betting shops rose from 51,400 to 52,566. The number of people who work in betting shops is almost half the total amount of people who work in the industry. The gambling industry in the UK currently employs 108,063 people.
The number of bingo premises also decreased by 10.1% in a period of one year. In March 2016 there were 599 bingo premises, whereas in the same month 2015 there were a total of 660 premises. However, the gross gambling yield from bingo grew by 4.9% in the period October 2014 – September 2015 which is only the first increase since 2012.