For the first time ever in the UK gambling history, online gambling shows an increase while land-based gambling a slight decrease. The UK Gambling Commission has published the report, which gets published twice a year, to inform those interested in the current situation of gambling in the UK. The UK Gambling Commission pointed out that the data for the latest statistics were for the 12 months period that ended in September 2018. The Statistics Published by the UK Gambling Commission The industry statistics, as the UK Gambling Commission stressed, are published in May and November, meaning twice a year. They provide those interested in the subject with the latest events on each sector in the gambling industry as regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. The latest published statistics cover the period between October 2017 and September 2018 and include all the online gambling services offered to players in Britain. The results show that there was a decrease of 0.4% compared to the previous statistics in total Gross Gambling Yield of the UK gambling industry, which is currently £14.5 billion. A 1.4% decrease was noted in the number of UK employees in the gambling industry. The number of people currently employed in the gambling industry is 106,670. But what was strange is that there was a decrease in the number of betting shops in the UK of 1.5%. 8,423 betting shops remain in Great Britain compared to the 9,686 previously. There are 650 bingo premises today, so there is a decrease in this as well, of 1.1%. Only 1 more casino has opened in the UK in comparison to the statistics from last year, so the total number of casinos that exist today is 152. And it seems like operators have lost interests in regulating and licensing arcades, because the number of licensed ones is 1,639, meaning there is a 5.3% decrease from previous statistics. On the other hand, the remote online gambling sector shows increases in many aspects. The £5.6 billion Gross Gambling Yield for online gambling has increased by 2.9% in comparison to the statistics for the period from April 2017 to March 2018. The market share of 39% shows an increase in the shares of the remote online sector. There is a 2.4% increase in the number of gaming machines, local authority permit excluded, so now, British players can enjoy 183,813. As for contributions for good causes, thankfully, there is an increase of 0.3% from the National Lottery (£1.5 billion) and of 5.1% from large society lotteries (£314 million). Comments by UKGC’s Programme Director for Industry Insight There was a marginal decline in the wider gambling industry, but despite that, the Programme Director for Industry Insight Ben Haden said that the online gambling sector showed to be continuously growing. As a watchdog, Haden said, their role was to continue raising the standards right all across the gambling industry. Right after publishing the thorough review of the online gambling industry in 2018, this year, they have implemented new ID and age verification rules, and they have been working with various partners in financial institutions to discuss and implement the measures they could take to protect those vulnerable from gambling harms. And, just last month, they have published the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and the Business Plan for the three-year period span 2019-2021. The regulator listed five urgent matters that need improvement in their Business Plan. The UKGC aims to optimize the returns to good causes from lotteries, and as seen from the latest statistics, they off with a good start. Then, they plan on raising the standards in the market, by improving the way they regulate and enhancing the gambling harm protection. The UKGC is always primarily focused on the player. The regulator has started looking into gambling with credit cards because many consider it as gambling with debts. It has got rough in situations where needed, pursuing those operators who breach the codes and regulations. The rigid age and ID verification rules that took effect as of the beginning of May made operators change their current policies. Even though operators used to allow depositing and gambling before asking for proper ID and age verification documents, the UKGC warned them in an official letter to never do that again and to never allow players to deposit and gamble their money before checking and verifying their identity and age. The UKGC always finishes its official statements by saying that operators that won't abide by the rules will be properly sanctioned, and the regulator delivers its promises.