The Gambling Commission continues to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the repercussions for the behaviour of players following the lockdown measures. It presented an update, which is part of the ongoing monitoring of the pandemic and explores the gambling behaviour of Brits based on the information released by operators.
Last week, it also became known that bookmakers’ VIP schemes might be suspended as they are allegedly tailored for high-spending VIP customers. As stated by Parliament members, VIP schemes serve as a tool, which fuels problem gambling. They also criticised the Gambling Commission for not having more stringent requirements.
UKGC Published Data on The Impact Lockdown Measures Have on The Behaviour of Players
The UKGC has been collecting information from consumers and gambling businesses ever since the pandemic outbreak in order to get a better idea of the way the imposed restrictions have changed the behaviour of gambling enthusiasts.
It is important to note the timing of the research, as the findings of the gambling regulatory body of the UK comprise the period between Match 2020 and June 2021.
According to the data, the gambling regulatory body has collected and released at the beginning of the last week, gambling enthusiasts tend to spend less time spinning the reels, as the number of betting sessions that last one hour and longer has shrunk by 9%, thus reaching around 2.3 million. The overall time Brits spend spinning the reels have also fallen off, and in accordance with the data revealed by the Commission, the average duration of the slots betting sessions has dwindled to around 19.3 minutes.
Another major finding the UKGC made is that in June, gambling enthusiasts have engaged less in online gambling activities. The total bets and the gross gambling yet have both lessened by 10% and 7%, respectively. Most probably owing to Euro 2020, the share of the active players has gone up by 4%.
Slots’ gross gaming yield has tailed off between March and June, and according to the available data, it dropped to £181 million, which is a decrease of around 14%. In line with the findings of the report, the number of active players has risen by 1%, while the number of slot spins has tapered off by 10%.
As the country eases out of lockdown, Brits’ gambling behaviour is expected to continue changing. There are concerns that some gambling enthusiasts might find it hard to return to their normal daily routine after the lockdowns, which is when some of them have developed new habits and gambling routines.
The Gambling Commission also expects that gambling enthusiasts who are taken with several forms of gambling are more likely to engage in such activities even more regularly and therefore start spending more money. This is so simply because of the wider range of gambling opportunities that will be available in summer, especially when sports are concerned.
The regulatory body also calls for operators to abide by the strengthened guidance presented after the pandemic outbreak.
Will Bookmakers’ VIP Schemes Be Discontinued because of Their Increased Reliance on Problem Gamblers
VIP schemes will reportedly face a ban, and some Ministers called them “immoral” because of the adverse effects they often have on players’ life. Gambling reform campaigners call for the introduction of the ban as in their stance, they lead to deepening problem gambling, and a recently published report go to prove this.
Under the current rule set, gambling enthusiasts who are willing to get enrolled into the VIP scheme of gaming operators, but are under the age of 25, are more strictly controlled. The stricter code of conduct has already started to kick in as the number of new VIP customers has dropped down by around 70%.
Gambling reform campaigners have expressed concerns about the poor practices that are linked to VIP programmes because such loyalty schemes are said to provide different incentives to gambling enthusiasts who lose large amounts while using perks like sports events tickets, cashbacks, and free bets, among others.
The weak control of the UKGC over VIP schemes has become a matter of concern long ago, but a recently presented report shed more light on how huge the problem is. Parliament members call for robust action to be taken in order to guarantee the protection of players as the report reveals that the VIP customers of one of the gaming operators that are around 2% of its user base are to be blamed for 83% of all transactions to that betting site.
As for the other gaming operators from such information was collected, figures show that one of them has get more than 50% of all deposits from its VIP members that make up around 5% of all users of the betting platform.
It also turns out that gambling enthusiasts who are assigned a VIP standing are much more likely to become problem gamblers than ordinary ones. Figures go to prove this as almost 10% of all VIP players face gambling issues. The matter of algorithms that track betting patterns is also raised in the report, and MPs insist that it should be given due attention.
Earlier this year, the stock market value of gaming operators that provide their services across the UK saw a sharp decline after gambling reform campaigners called for more rigorous monitoring of the gambling industry in general, loyalty schemes included, which goes to show how the gambling industry in the UK keeps on evolving all the time.