Slots and real event betting helped to drive UK gambling performance in the third quarter of 2023 as the UK Gambling Commission reported a year-over-year increase in online total gross gambling yield.

Publishing its operator data for Q3, the UKGC declared £1.3bn in GGY, a four per cent increase YoY thanks to the aforementioned increase in slots and real event betting GGY, while GGY in nearly all other verticals decreased. Q3’s figure is also a slight increase on Q2’s GGY of £1.2bn.

Data from online operators – approximately 80 per cent of the online gambling market – and licensed betting operators found on Britain’s high streets – around 85 per cent of the retail betting market – has now been collected by the UKGC covering the period from March 2020 to December 2023. 

In this latest report, the commission has compared online and in-person betting from Q3 2023 (October to December) with the same period from the previous year.

The overall number of total bets and/or spins rose by nine per cent YoY to 24 billion, the highest such number for this segment in a single quarter since data collection began in March 2020.

The number of average monthly active accounts grew as well by two per cent in comparison to the previous year.

Online real event betting recorded a GGY of £468m, a five per cent increase YoY. However, the number of bets and active accounts fell by three per cent in comparison to the previous year, which the UKGC says was likely due to the FIFA World Cup taking place during Q3 2022.

For online slots, GGY increased by six per cent YoY to £618m, the highest recorded quarter since data collection began. The number of spins also rose by 11 per cent to a new high of nearly 22 billion, while the average monthly active accounts increased by eight per cent to four million per month.

Across the remaining products, other gaming including casino generated GGY of £148.5m, virtual betting GGY came in at £11.1m, esports betting GGY stood at £4.1m, poker produced £15.4m GGY and other GGY came in at £1.2m.

Regarding online safer gambling indicators, the number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour rose by three per cent YoY in Q3 to 9.8 million, the highest quarter since data collection began. 

The number of total sessions rose by seven per cent YoY to 150.5 million, the highest number of total sessions in a quarter, and approximately seven per cent of all sessions lasted over one hour. 

The average session length came in at 17 minutes, a decrease from 19 minutes during the same period the previous year.

The total number of customer interactions fell by two per cent YoY to 2.9 million, with the majority of interactions remaining automated in nature. Direct interactions taken by operators dropped by 10 per cent.

For offline betting, GGY from licensed betting operators rose by 0.5 per cent YoY to £563m, while the total number of bets and spins fell by four per cent to 3.3 billion.

Over-the-counter bets dropped by three per cent YoY as well to 135 million, with GGY declining by three per cent too to £153m. The UKGC noted that both of these figures are the lowest recorded for licensed betting operators since they have been fully operational for an entire quarter.

Bets on self-service betting terminals came in at 39 million, a 10 per cent increase YoY and the highest recorded quarter since data collection began. GGY grew by 17 per cent as well to £116m.

GGY from machines fell by three per cent during Q3 to £293m, while average spend per session dropped by one per cent to £12.41. The average number of spins per machine session came in at 131, a two per cent decline.

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.

Concluding its update, the commission noted that it is investigating the “categorisation of certain products”, which “may result in the changing of some data between verticals, however this should have no impact on the overall totals”.