UK gambling breaks £10bn barrier

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The UK’s gambling sector expanded by 5.9 per cent to £10.5bn ($14.9bn/$15.8bn) in gross gambling yield (GGY) during the year to March 2015 according to new figures released by the country’s Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The non-remote sector achieved GGY of £5.4bn, which was up 2.1 per cent compared to the previous 12-month period.

Remote gaming was up 28.3 per cent to £1.45bn, although that figure was identified as being incomparable with previous years by the UKGC because of changes in reporting due to the Gambling Act coming into force in November 2014.

The figures show that National Lottery GGY was up 4.2 per cent to £3.2bn, while other lotteries grew by 18.0 per cent to £361.6m. While land-based casino and betting gambling was up, figures were down for both arcades and bingo.

The UKGC found that GGY from B2 machines – the controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) – was up 6.21 per cent to £1.68bn, compared to just a 1.48 per cent rise in the previous year. The number of machines grew by a minimal 0.17 per cent, compared to a 3.74 per cent rise in the previous period. B2 machines made up 67 per cent of the average number of machines in the 12 months to March 2015.

The report showed that the number of self-exclusions from betting shops was up 25.9 per cent to 30,795. While the number of breaches was slightly up, the percentage of breaches compared to self-exclusions was down from 66.3 per cent to 80.1 per cent.

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