UKGC: Online slots drives GGY uptick in Q4

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The UK Gambling Commission has reported a five per cent year-over-year increase in online gross gambling yield in its fourth quarter of financial year 2023 to 2024, mostly driven by slots which rose by 11 per cent.

In addition, the commission stated that GGY from the largest licensed betting operators during the period fell by three per cent, with the number of total bets and spins decreasing slightly as well.

Data from online operators – approximately 80 per cent of the online gambling market – and licensed high street betting operators – around 85 per cent of the retail betting market – has now been collected by the UKGC covering the period from March 2020 to March 2024. 

Publishing its Q4 data from January to March 2024 in comparison to the same period in 2023, the UKGC declared a GGY of £1.4bn, up five per cent YoY, largely driven by slots. 

The number of average monthly active accounts grew by two per cent, while the overall number of total bets and/or spins rose by 10 per cent to over 24 billion, the highest recorded overall total for a quarter since data collection began in March 2020.

For online real event betting, GGY has grown by two per cent in comparison to the same period the previous year to £565m. The number of bets has fallen by six per cent, while the average monthly active accounts rose slightly by one per cent.

When it comes to online slots, GGY increased by 11 per cent YoY to £614m, the number of spins rose by 12 per cent to a new high of 22 billion, while the number of average monthly active accounts grew by seven per cent to 4.2 million. As a result, the GGY per active player for online slots has risen by three per cent YoY.

Across other verticals, the UKGC noted that other gaming including casino reported a GGY of £147.4m, virtual betting GGY came in at £10.6m, esports betting GGY stood at £4.3m, poker GGY was £15.1m and other GGY was £1.4m.

Regarding online safer gambling indicators, the number of online slot sessions in Q4 lasting longer than an hour increased by two per cent in comparison to the same period the previous year to 9.5 million, while the total number of sessions rose by seven per cent to 151.6 million, the highest number of total sessions ever recorded in a quarter.

Approximately six per cent of all sessions lasted more than one hour during the quarter, the lowest percentage recorded, while the average session length declined to 17 minutes compared to 18 minutes in the same period the previous year.

Customer interactions in Q4 rose by two per cent YoY to three million, with the majority remaining automated in nature, while direct interactions undertaken by operators have fallen by four per cent.

For offline betting, GGY from licensed betting operators fell by three per cent YoY to £568m, while the number of total bets stood at 3.3 billion, a one per cent decrease.

Over-the-counter bets came in at 138 million, down one per cent in comparison to the same period the previous year, while GGY fell by nine per cent to £153m, the lowest figure since operators have been fully opened for an entire quarter.

Self-service betting terminals had their highest recorded quarter since data collection began for both betting and GGY. Betting for the vertical grew by eight per cent YoY to 40 million, while GGY rose by one per cent to £126m.

GGY from machines dropped by one per cent YoY to £289m, with the average spend per session falling by one per cent as well to £12.16, while the average number of spins dropped by one spin as well to 130 spins.

Regarding offline safer gambling indicators, the proportion of total machine sessions lasting more than one hour fell to two per cent, down from the three per cent figure reported during the same quarter the previous year.