Last month the Gambling Commission* reported that turnover for Online Sports Betting in Britain was £19.7bn for the y/e Sept 2017. Market analysts calculated that equates to a whopping £626 being bet on sports online every second.  Football made up 40% of this and has increased by 36% over the last 18 months. With the World Cup kicking off on 14th June, the next month looks set to be a bumper one for the online bookmakers. Furthermore, with new government rules proposing maximum stakes on fixed odds gambling machines on the high street to be cut to £2, the whole online gambling sector could be set for a boost. This month UKOM takes a look at the category.

UKOM industry approved data from Comscore shows that online gambling attracted 45% of all UK online adults in April 2018 or 19 million people. Visitors to gambling sites spent an average of 100 minutes each determining where to place their money, consuming 1.9 billion minutes in total. Smartphone and tablets dominate online gambling activity with 73% of visitors ONLY using a mobile device compared to 27% for the internet average.

In terms of audience, males are more likely to visit online gambling sites than females (52% v 37%) with reach being highest among males aged 25-34 (66%). However, when looking at engagement, its older males that spend more time on the sites. Among those who visit, males aged 45-54 spend over 3 hours per month gambling – nearly 100 minutes more on average than 25-34 males.

Given the value of online sports gambling and the rise of in-play betting, the World Cup is likely to boost online advertising revenue in the coming weeks as the online bookmakers compete for punters.  So who are the key players in the market in terms of audience size? In April 2018, according to Comscore, Skybet had the most unique visitors with 8.9 million. Ladbrokes Coral was the next biggest with 3.6 million including Coral (2.2m), Ladbrokes (1.2m) and Gala Bingo (602k).  Paddy Power Betfair and William Hill both had 2.7 million visitors – the former, as its names suggests, includes both Paddy Power (2.1m) and Betfair (972K). Finally, Bet365 completes the top 5 with a monthly audience of around 1.7 million.

With the World Cup kicking off this week, you may wish to know that the top online bookmakers are all in agreement with Brazil, Germany, Spain, France and Argentina the favourites to win the tournament, in that order. Sadly, England don’t make it into the top 5 but given their history and with Gareth Southgate in charge, might being eliminated by a penalty shoot-out be a good bet?!  

Notes on Data:

*Gambling Commission data: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http://live-gamblecom.cloud.contensis.com/Docs/Gambling-industry-statistics.xlsx

All UK data is based on UKOM industry standard and development level approved Comscore MMX Multi-Platform data. Comscore MMX Multi-Platform includes desktop browsing, desktop video streams, smartphone browsing & apps, tablet browsing & apps.

Data is based on the ‘Gambling – Online Gambling’ category. Data cited in this report is based on 18+ unique visitors online in April 2018

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