Late last week, the UK Gambling Commission published its latest findings on how the COVID-19 lockdown has impacted gambling behaviour in the United Kingdom.
The latest data shows some of the effects that were seen in April – the first full month of lockdown – and it uses information gained from both major gambling operators and a COVID-19 tracker survey carried out by YouGov.
The YouGov tracker gained responses from over 8,700 British adults between 16th and 17th April and 6th and 7th May 2020. The data that was supplied by the gambling operators was based on active player accounts and covered around 80% of the online gambling market.
The report follows on from the last round of data which the UKGC published on 12th May 2020, prior to issuing new guidance to UK gambling operators which included temporarily preventing players from reverse withdrawals, restricting the advertising of bonus offers and performing better affordability checks.
The June report seems largely consistent with May’s. It shows that although there are fewer people gambling overall, some of those who are frequent gamblers are spending more money and time on certain products.
The UK Gambling Commission plans to use its latest findings to continue assessing the impact of its new and improved operator guidance. It will also publish further data over the coming months while simultaneously providing support and guidance to the gambling industry as land-based venues such as casinos, bookmakers, and bingo halls start to reopen.
If the Commission identifies any new or increased risks to players, it will take action accordingly to help protect consumers.
Although lockdown restrictions are being eased at different rates in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, the UKGC has preemptively published a list of FAQs which it hopes will help land-based operators comply with Government guidance on reopening their venues.