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UKGC's Report Highlights Performance and Sector Trends

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The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published its latest annual report. It examines its performance for the 2022/2023 financial year with Chairman Marcus Boyle and CEO Andrew Rhodes at the helm. The report also includes statistics relating to the UK’s gambling sector.

Gambling Participation and Problem Gambling

According to the report, in the period between April 2022 and March 2023, 23.6 million adults in Great Britain participated in gambling activities. The last four weeks’ participation rate was at 44%, while gambling at live online casinos for the year stood at 26%, just below the 27% participation rate for in-person gambling.

There is currently a great deal of focus on problem gambling and the changes recommended in the Gambling Act White Paper. UKGC's latest report indicates that problem gambling remains comparatively low at 0.3%. It estimates that between 160,000 and 340,000 adults are currently identified as problem gamblers according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Furthermore, between 270,000 and 480,000 are considered at-risk gamblers.

Both Rhodes and Boyle expressed their views on problem gambling, affirming that the 0.3% rate stays “statistically stable”. However, the report also recognizes that despite the low prevalence, hundreds of thousands are still struggling with the negative consequences of gambling.

Industry Has Rebound Following Pandemic

The Commission’s findings reveal that as of 2022, over 2,400 licensed gambling operators were active in Great Britain. The report suggests that the gambling sector “has recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”, with the total Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) for 2021-2022 reaching £14.1 billion ($17.7 billion), an increase of nearly 11% compared to the previous year.

Further insights include the £6.4 billion ($8.1 billion) GGY for the British online and remote gambling sector in 2021-2022, marking a 6.2% decline from the prior year but a 12.4% increase from 2019-2020.

The regulatory body also disclosed that it took action against 24 operators last year, issuing £60.1 million ($75.7 million) in penalties, including fines and regulatory settlements. Noteworthy among these were a £19.2 million ($23.67 million) sanction against William Hill and a substantial £17 million ($21.4 million) fine against Entain.

A Difficult but Fruitful Year

Reflecting on what they termed an “immensely demanding but successful year”, CEO Rhodes and Chairman Boyle extended gratitude to everyone at the Commission. They expressed appreciation for the professionalism and dedication towards the Commission’s strategic goals, strengthening its status as a respected regulator and an excellent workplace.

The two leaders acknowledged forthcoming busy years for the Commission, given major planned changes in the gambling sector and the review of the Gambling Act. In closing, they emphasized ongoing collaboration between the gambling regulator and the sector to assure that gambling remains fair and secure for consumers.

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