The UK Gambling Commission has called for caution against comparisons to the previous year, despite revealing that the post-pandemic recovery is on track.

Publishing its latest results, which highlights how gambling behaviour is reacting to the current environmental factors in the UK, the operator data reflects the period between March 2020 and June 2022 and covers online and in-person gambling with data from licensed betting operators found on Britain’s high-street.

During the first quarter of the financial year, the regulator revealed that total online gross gambling yield rose by one per cent from Q4 to £1.2bn. Furthermore, the number of active accounts rose by five per cent, as did the number of bets and spins. 

Slots GGY increased four per cent to nearly £565m between Q4 and Q1. The number of spins increased five per cent to 18.7 billion, while the average monthly active accounts increased four per cent to 3.6 million per month.

In addition, the number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour increased by five per cent to 8.4 million between Q4 and Q1. The average session length lasted 17 minutes – a decrease of one minute – with approximately seven per cent of all sessions lasting more than one hour.

However, as previously expressed, the UKGC has noted that “operating circumstances” have varied greatly from 2020 to 2022 due to lockdown conditions and other pandemic-related impacts, so caution against comparison is advised. 

The regulator stated: “Caution is advised when making any year-on-year comparisons between some months during the period of this data collection, due to differing operating circumstances between 2020 and 2022.

“Comparison should also not be made with the industry statistics dataset, as the market impact data may include free bets and bonuses.”

Retail betting, which witnessed a significant closure during lockdowns, also maintained its bounce back against difficult post pandemic trading conditions, increasing by six per cent quarter-to-quarter to £584m. The number of total bets and spins in Britain’s LBOs rose by three per cent to 3.3 billion.

The Commission concluded by encouraging operators to directly interact with customers when triggers are reached and avoid “any temptation to exploit the current situation for marketing purposes” as customers continue to adjust to the “new normal”.