operators must be more competitive

The website British Gambling CommissionThe Director General of the Commission, Andrew Rhodestold ICE delegates the regulator was ready to govern “a settled market” after adjusting to three years of COVID fallout.

In his keynote speech at ICE London 2023, Mr Rhodes said his leadership would prioritize improving research and data, to ensure better analysis and action across all areas of the gaming industry.

With the new year well underway, recent data from the UKGC has suggested that “gaming may well have settled into a new normal” despite the economic challenges facing the nation.

In his talk titled ‘The Latest Research Shaping Regulatory Decisions in UK Gambling’, Rhodes explained: “As of September 2022, overall participation in any gambling activity, over the last four weeks, remains statistically stable at 44% compared to September 2021.”

“Within that, the level of online gaming continued its long-term trend up 27 percent and that’s consistent with land-based gaming as well. »

“The overall problem gambling rate is also statistically stable, but we will come back to these figures later. There is therefore no explosion of online gambling, because participation has not gone through the ceiling in recent years.

“This means operators need to be a bit more competitive and innovative if they are to continue to grow in the UK market. Or they have to branch out overseas… The truth is, both are happening. »

Since the pandemic, the UK gambling market has become saturated, with the top three operators increasing their market share to over 50%, while the country’s top 10 brands accounted for 77% of the overall B2C market GGY .

Despite the dominance demonstrated by market share gains, Mr Rhodes revealed that “the largest operator groups say revenues are down due to the safer gaming measures they are introducing. We’re not saying these bands are doing everything right, but it’s a development that catches our attention.”

Rhodes also said compliance measures have impacted the competitive makeup of the UK space, in which the UKGC continues to collect source data “detailing how different each consumer can be”.

He said: “Among the larger operators in the UK market, we have seen some interesting changes which are quite consistent across these larger operators, which see the GGY drop by just under 16 per cent. The amount of bets fell by just over 13%. »

“We have seen the number of players losing over £500 per month fall by almost eight per cent, and those losing over £200 per month by just over two per cent. While players wagering £50+ per spin on slots have dropped by 76%. Some operators have seen a reduction of over 90%, with the biggest drop being over 98%. »

“Yet, despite reporting declines in GGY, the data reveals that the major operators continue to see an increase in betting volume (+5%) and number of active players by 6%. »

With that in mind, the Commission’s chief executive said it would be unwise to draw “particular conclusions” about player activity impacting operators’ financial performance as the space goes through a phase of transition for its businesses and their engagement with the players.

Rhodes commented: “Given that the number of bets placed with the five largest operators increased by four billion and the number of active accounts increased by some four million, this also does not suggest that there is a gambling craze, but it is clear that some patterns have changed over the past year. »

This year the UKGC turned its attention to the implementation of affordability checks – in which Rhodes highlighted “the misinformation circulating about the Commission’s position on the issue of affordability”.

Rhodes’ defense of the Commission’s attitude to affordability may be a response to recent criticism from organizations such as the BGC, which claimed that blank affordability checks could be a a threat to the betting and gaming market.

Reinforcing the UKGC’s position on the issue of affordability, Rhodes explained: “It is up to operators to set limits themselves based on their customer types, business and risk. It is also up to the operators to take responsibility for preventing the cases I mentioned above from happening in the first place. »

The speech at ICE also detailed how the regulator has sought to launch better data research and new initiatives, with the UKGC set to host its first ‘Setting the Evidence Agenda’ in March to bring operators and academics together. and analyze how game governance can be improved.

Rhodes concluded: “The gambling law review will of course have an important role to play in our plans. We continue to work with the DCMS and will continue to take action to protect consumers when necessary.

“Better research, better data and better evidence will lead to better regulation and better outcomes for consumers. Let’s work together on this. »

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *