Even if you’re not a regular bingo player, you’re surely familiar with the fact that bingo is massively popular in Paisley and Glasgow, but also all over Scotland and the rest of UK. Earlier, people had to visit their local bingo hall to enjoy a game of bingo with their friends and neighbours, but nowadays a majority of players have migrated online and are playing bingo at one of the many bingo sites.  

Online bingo and its popularisation makes it a lot easier for the UK Gambling Commission to keep track of everything and to have a clearer picture of the nation’s habits. That is very helpful for developing strategies to tackle problem gambling or predict future trends and how the industry will develop in general. 

We had a look at the latest industry statistics published by the UK Gambling Commission, for the period between October 2017 to September 2018 and the insights are rather interesting. 


Online Gambling On The Rise

The gross gambling yield is probably the most significant figure when analysing gambling statistics. It is interesting to note that the total gross gambling yield for the period is actually lower when compared to the figure for the period from April 2017 to March 2018. Namely, the GGY for the period ending in September 2018 was £14.5 billion, a decrease of 0.4% which may not seem like a lot, but we’re talking about £58 million which is a lot of money. 

Still, the fact that there’s a decrease in terms of the GGY doesn’t mean that the industry overall is in decline. There is a significant growth in certain areas. One particular instance is the remote sector which has grown by almost 3%. The total remote GGY for the 12-month period ending with September 2018 was £5.6 billion, which is a 2.9% increase compared to the April 2017 – March 2018 period. Again, the figure may seem small if you look at the percentage, but we’re talking about an amount over £162 million here. 

Experts have been saying that the remote sector will soon be larger than the conventional, or land-based gambling sector. According to latest statistics, the remote sector is now 39% of the total gambling industry. 

Speaking about bingo specifically, it is also clear that remote bingo is slowly taking centre stage. The number of bingo halls throughout the country has been in decline since 2005. The total number of open bingo halls in the country in September last year was 650, which is a 1.1% decrease when compared to six months earlier (March 2018). The gross gaming yield of non-remote bingo has also been in decline and it amounted to just above £677.5 million for the period October 2017 to September 2018, as opposed to above £687.5 million for the period April 2016 to March 2017. 


Men Gamble More In General, But Women Play More Bingo

If we have a look at the figures for social responsibility and issues that arise from operators not working in accordance with industry standards and regulations, we will see that bingo is by far the least problematic form of gambling judging by the number of self-exclusions and the breaches of those self-exclusions. 

The Commission, in cooperation with regional governments and other institutions, also publishes figures for participation in gambling and rates of problem gambling, and the figures for Scotland for 2017, published in December 2018 are also pretty interesting. 

It turns out that Scottish people enjoy placing wagers, as almost 63% have placed at least one wager during 2017, whereas if exclude those that have only played one of the National Lottery draws, the figure is slightly lower at 45.5%. That means that pretty much every other adult in Scotland has played at least one wager that isn’t a lottery ticket. On the other hand, while many are placing wagers, the number of who have a gambling problem is below 1%, or to be more precise 0.8%, whereas 1.2% of gamblers were identified as problem gamblers. 

Scottish men gamble more than Scottish women, but the difference isn’t drastic. For instance, in 2017, about two thirds of all adult men in Scotland had placed any sort of a wager, whereas the proportion of women who have placed any sort of a wager was just below 60%. National Lottery draws is the most popular gambling product. When it comes to bingo, non-online bingo had a gambling participation of 6.4% for 2017. Even though men gamble more, when it comes to bingo, the figures are actually reverted. Female participation in non-online bingo was 9.3%, whereas the men contributed with just 3.2%. 


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X