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New figures show online gambling is largest gambling sector in Britain

24 November 2016

Online gambling accounts for 33% of all gambling in Britain, new figures released today reveal.

Gambling Commission industry statistics show that between April 2015 and March 2016 the online gambling operators generated a Gross Gambling Yield (GGY1) of £4.5billion.

This means online gambling is the largest gambling sector in Britain – over the same period £3.4billion was generated by the National Lottery, £3.3billion by the high street betting sector and £1billion by traditional casinos.

Of the £4.5billion generated online £2.6billion came from casino games, £1.6billion from betting, £152million from betting exchanges, £153million from bingo and £26million from pool betting. Online slot machine style games alone generated £1.8billion.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Britain’s gambling industry generated a GGY of £13.6billion between April 2015 and March 2016
  • Between April 2015 and March 2016 the National Lottery contributed £1.8billion to good causes, representing a 7.2% increase on the previous year.
  • A total of £208m was raised for good causes through large society lotteries, representing a 10.5% increase on the previous year.
  • There are 8,709 betting shops in Britain as of September 2016, representing a 1.8% decrease from March 2015
  • The total number of gaming machines was 167,839, down 0.4% on the previous year
  • As of March 2016 there were 34,884 B2 gaming machines in Britain, down 0.9% on March 20152
  • There are 575 bingo premises in September 2016, down 4.3% on March 2016
  • 104,896 people were employed in Britain’s gambling industry, down 1.5% on the March 2015.

Download the industry statistics (opens in new tab) in PDF or excel format.

Gambling Commission programme director James Green said: “Our latest statistics show that with the growth in online gambling the industry is increasingly taking a creative approach to using technology to engage consumers. As the online sector grows operators will also need to demonstrate that they are taking an equally innovative approach to ensuring gambling is safe for all online consumers.”

1 Gross gambling yield (GGY) - the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings but before the deduction of the costs of the operation.

2 In submitting regulatory return information for a machine or a terminal that offers games that equate to different machine categories, operators are required to submit information based on the highest category of game available. For example, if a terminal offers category B2 and B3 games, operators are advised to count this as a category B2 terminal. For this reason, the B2 figures provided should be viewed with caution as the split between B2 and B3 game play is not clear (and therefore a portion of the GGY attributed to B2 machines above will have been generated through B3 game play).

Note to editors

  1. Following the introduction of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act on 1 November 2014, all operators trading with customers in Britain must be licensed by the Commission and therefore must provide figures for the remote consumer market. This edition of the industry statistics is the first time a full year’s worth of data has been captured.
  2. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Gambling Commission press office.

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