According to CalvinAyre, the United Kingdom slot machine revenue took a little dip 12 months preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, lotteries and other gambling activities experienced an upsurge. Some experts in the UK gambling industry believe that online slot gambling sites are the reason for the dip.
The UK gambling revenue for the last 12 months showed that slot machines’ earnings slightly decreased. For instance, the revenue for slot machines (also referred to as fixed-odds betting terminals) slumped by 99 percent to £12m. Could it be that punters are becoming more interested in online gambling, online lotto games, and lotteries? Let’s find out!
The UK Online Gambling Industry
No doubt, just like every other sector, the UK gambling industry is also evolving. Most gambling companies are switching to online gaming. From various studies, punters enjoy online gaming more than visiting land-based casinos for specific reasons.
Privacy: Usually, when you play at a land-based casino and win a huge prize, the news spreads quickly. But if a player wins at legal South African online casinos, their identity is often not disclosed.
Convenience: Playing online slots allows players to play from anywhere and whenever.
Games: Online gaming gives players access to more games with interesting features. In some cases, some online gaming sites have more than 1,000 games on their platform.
Bonuses: Without being biased, online sites offer more bonuses and promotions than land-based casinos for slot machines. So it is natural that punters will switch to online gaming.
Based on the above-outlined reasons, the online gambling industry in the UK is gaining more advantage over the slot machine.
Gross Gambling Yield of the UK Gambling Commission for the Past 12 Months
The reports released by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission recently showed that the total gross gaming yield was £14.2b for 12 months ending on 31st March 2019. This is just a few weeks before the pandemic started. More so, this is a 0.6 decrease from the previous year. A breakdown of the earnings from various gambling sectors are as follows:
National Lotteries: Increased by 10.4 percent to £3.4 billion
Lotteries: Shot up 13.2 percent to £611.6 million
Online Casino: Rose by 3.7 percent to £3.175 billion
Online Betting: Shot up by 15.5 percent to £2.33 billion
Online Football Betting: Rise from 13.8 percent to £1.13 billion
Slot Machine: It slumped 99 percent to £12m
From the above breakdown, it is evident that the highest revenue dip is the slot machine. Therefore, the decrease in the UK Gambling revenue seems as if it’s because of the downward slot machines experienced. Also, the online slots overcame their land-based counterparts because of the growing interest in online gaming.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Slot Machine Market
The UK revenue gambling index showed that the slot machine industry had already experienced a dip before the pandemic. In other words, the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be the only reason for the drop in revenue. But the pandemic made it much worse.
If you recall, at the peak of the pandemic, the UK government declared a lockdown, and the free slot machines with bonus feature and other land-based gambling outlets were the most affected. Meanwhile, most online gambling sites were still operational. The industry experienced a boom because the regular slot machine players had to switch gambling online.
It appears that the slot machine industry must be creative to win back most of the players.
New Online Account Gambling Registration
The report by the UK Gambling Commission has shown that new players are becoming members of online sites more. Records show that new players registering at online gambling platforms are urged upwards by 30 percent. Slot machines experienced low patronage, according to the report. Also, it’s the first time in two years slot machines have experienced a decline in income.
Furthermore, the growing number of online account gambling registration is not entirely due to the pandemic. Don’t forget that this report was compiled before the breakout of the pandemic. The number of new online account gambling registration may have increased after the outbreak of the pandemic.
The Future of UK Slot Machines
From the report by the UK Gambling Commission, it looks like the slot machines may have a challenge bouncing back. Their online counterpart is striving and surging higher as a result of more patronage of online gaming.
Some land-based casinos have also braced up with the challenge and switched some of their operations to online gaming.
Finally, apart from slot machines, the number of retail shops also declined. So this must be a challenging time not only for land-based gambling platforms but for all offline businesses.