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COVID-19 Licensing Issues: Covid 19 and its impact on gambling Published Date: 13/05/2020

The Gambling Commission said the lockdown has brought “significant consumer behavioural change and major impacts on the gambling industry.”

In response to this behavioural change, the Commission will be collecting additional data from operators and consumer research to allow it to build a clearer picture week by week.

Research commissioned by the commission has shown that those who had gambled in the past four weeks were more likely than the national average to have:

  • Spent more online on entertainment (17% of gamblers compared to 11% of all adults)
  • Watched TV more (58% of gamblers compared to 42% of all adults)
  • Viewed more news online (53% of gamblers compared to 49% of all adults)
  • Consumed more on-demand entertainment (51% of gamblers compared to 35% of all adults)

Due to the restrictions in place, high street bookies and other gambling premises have been shut. Data collected by the commission has given indications of the impact of this and the size of the market as a consequence. The headlines are:

1. Overall, fewer consumers are gambling but some people, who are gambling already, are trying new products.

According to YouGov research from 16-17 April, only 0.2% of all adults surveyed stated that they had started gambling for the first time during the last four weeks.

2. Overall gamblers are playing products at the same rate or less, but a majority of those who have participated in 3 or more gambling activities in the last 4 weeks are spending more time or money. We are also seeing an increase in the number of sessions over an hour.

The profile is different for engaged gamblers where two thirds (64%) have increased either the amount of time or money they have spent on at least one gambling activity, including National Lottery products.


Source: Gambling Commission