Given the efforts by the biggest companies to consolidate activities in the ever-changing gambling industry, a reduction of just one casino in the six months to September 2016 is quite encouraging, especially when viewed alongside the figures for some other sectors. The number of bingo premises in Great Britain in March 2017, for example, was 583, and that figure is down 5.7% on March 2016.
There were 8,788 betting shops open for business in September 2016, and that figure was also down 1.4% since March 2016. Of course, betting shops have been particularly affected by some big changes in the last year or two, with the merger of several major chains (Ladbrokes and Gala Coral, Paddy Power and Betfair) demanding at least some level of restructuring on a fundamental level. In that context, the reduction in the number of betting shops isn’t at all surprising or any indication that the sector itself is in decline.
Elsewhere, the industry statistics report that the total number of gaming machines in Great Britain (excluding those that only require a local authority permit) for September 2016 was 176,410, which is down just 0.2% on March 2016.
A shift in lottery gaming is suggested by the statistics concerning the amount of money raised for good causes. Contributions raised by the National Lottery was £1.7 billion for the year to September 2016, which was down 5.7% on the year to March 2016. Over the same period, some £231.8m was raised for good causes by large society lotteries, which is up 9%. Those figures may reflect a shift in loyalty by some players, from National Lottery games to society lottery games such as the Health Lottery.
Overall, the gambling industry in Great Britain looks to be in good shape, and the casino sector appears to be particularly strong. Whilst there will always be fluctuations in which forms of gambling players will choose to favour at any given time, the big picture is one of buoyancy, and we look forward to seeing how the next set of figures compares in November.
Take a look at the Local Casino Reviews section to find out more about your local establishments.