Despite the continued economic problems, gambling as a whole is on the up slightly in the UK. Whilst several casinos have been forced to close amid the torrid economic conditions, the sector as a whole has flourished over the last four years with drop increasing by £1.64bn since 2009.
In total, the British gambling industry generated a gross gambling yield (GGY) of £6.2bn between October 2011 and September 2012, a rise of £0.3bn compared to the period April 2011 to March 2012.
Growth in GGY can be seen in betting, bingo, casino, remote and lotteries sectors. Only the arcades sector experienced a decrease in GGY between the two most recent reporting periods.
According to information realised by the British Gambling Commission, the non-remote betting sector represents the largest market in UK gambling with a 50 per cent share of GGY.
The casino sector is second with 15 per cent of the gambling market.
There were 144 casinos operating at 31 March 2013. Three companies own the majority of casinos in the industry, namely Genting UK (Genting Casinos/Clubs) with 42 casinos, the Rank Group (Grosvenor Casinos and ‘G’ Casinos) with 37 casinos and the Gala Coral Group (Gala Casinos) with 27 casinos.
The Commission stated: “Casino attendance has remained fairly static across all the regions with the exception of Other London. Other London (London-based casinos not including the high end casinos) has seen the biggest growth in customer numbers, increasing from 3.58m in April 2009-March 2010 to 4.67m in October 2011-September 2012.
The overall average industry table numbers have remained fairly static across the four periods. Casino Stud Poker has been in decline for a number of years and no longer features at many casinos.”
The table gaming sector boasts 857 American Roulette wheels, 596 blackjack tables, 238 Three Card Poker tables and 123 Punto Banco tables alongside 4.026 electronic gaming devices. The British casino market boasts just 2, 855 slot machines.
The Commission stated: “The overall casino drop between April 2009-March 2010 and October 2011-September 2012 has increased by over £1.64bn, rising from £4.27bn to £5.91bn. Punto Banco saw large growth during this period, reflecting its increased popularity with high value players. Between April 2011-March 2012 and October 2011-September 2012 growth of £280.54m was recorded against Punto Banco alone. Between April 2011-March 2012 and October 2011-September 2012 growth of £27.12m was recorded against Punto Banco alone. Overall gaming machine GGY between April 2011-March 2012 and October 2011-September 2012 increased by £4.97m rising from £128.95m to £133.92m.”
GGY for B2 machines in betting shops was over £1.5bn, an increase of approximately £65m (4.5 per cent) on the figure for the previous reporting period despite only a small increase in the number of B2 machines.
GGY for remote operators licensed in Great Britain increased by over £85m in the latest period, rising from £710m to £796m. 108,034 people were employed across the industry, a drop of 1,660 from the previous reporting period.