On Nov. 29, land-based casino operators in the UK agreed to guarantee funding for GambleAware, a leading charity in Britain committed to minimizing gambling-related harm.
On Nov. 30, new figures released by the UK Gambling Commission showed the UK’s gambling market secured a gross gambling yield of £13.7 billion between April 2016 and March 2017. That’s a year-over-year increase of 1.8 percent.
What information was released?
The £13.7 billion gross gambling yield was achieved despite the number of employees working in the gambling industry decreasing. The 106,236 employees at work during that one-year span marked a one percent dip.
Moreover, the number of betting shops, bingo halls, and licensed arcades also fell. The April-to-March window included:
- 8,502 betting shops (down 3.9 percent)
- 583 bingo premises (down 1.4 percent)
- 1,750 licensed arcades (down 5.1 percent)
National Lottery contributions to charities and other good causes also dropped 16.9 percent to £1.5 billion. Contributions from society lotteries fell — down 20.5 percent to £255.6 million.
That said, the online sector spiked during this window. The gross gambling yield online rose 10.1 percent YoY to £4.7 billion. This increased online gambling’s market share to 34 percent of the total gambling market in Britain.
Noting the online growth, UK Gambling Commission Executive Director Tim Miller released a statement alongside these figures:
“With such growth comes a great responsibility for operators to prevent gambling-related harm to all consumers and the public. We would urge all gambling businesses to be acutely aware that as their market grows so too will our focus on ensuring that consumers are protected.”
That brings us nicely onto the other big announcement from last week.
What have casino operators promised GambleAware?
For the first time, UK casino operators have guaranteed 0.1 percent of their annual gross gaming yield will be given directly to GambleAware. The proceeds go to helping prevent gambling harm, as well as providing education and treatment services related to addiction.
The National Casino Forum, through which most charitable donations are transferred, has introduced a new transparent mechanism to highlight its commitment.
“It is imperative that all businesses deriving a profit from commercial gambling in Britain support GambleAware in the delivery of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy,” said GambleAware Chief Executive Marc Etches. “This initiative by NCF’s members will ensure transparency in relation to the casino sector’s funding of research, education and treatment, and sets an important bench-mark for others.”