Updated: Wednesday, 20th November 2019 @ 2:08pm

'Taking a preventative approach to gambling harms': Gambling Commission figures show drop in number of high street betting shops

'Taking a preventative approach to gambling harms': Gambling Commission figures show drop in number of high street betting shops

| By MM staff

Gambling Commission figures show a drop in the number of betting shops in the country from October 2017 to September last year.

The number of betting shops in Great Britain was 8,423, a 1.5% decrease from March 2018.

In the same period the online sector had a 39% market share, a 1.2% increase from April 2017-March 2018.

Ben Haden, programme director for industry insight, said: “Despite the marginal decline across the wider gambling industry, the online gambling sector continues to grow. Our role as regulator will continue to see us working to raise standards right across the industry.

“Following our comprehensive review of the online gambling sector in 2018, this year we have implemented new rules to strengthen age and ID verification checks and we’ve also been working with partners in financial institutions to develop the role they can play to protect vulnerable consumers.

“Last month we published the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms which has a renewed focus on plans to widen research, take a preventative approach to gambling harms, assess treatment provision, embed a culture of evaluation, and encourage industry to collaborate to make gambling safer.’’

Customers who choose to gamble online can now take advantage of a vast range of options.

With the number of bingo premises and licensed arcades also falling nationwide, (by 1.1% and 5.3% respectively) and the number of casinos staying almost constant, it seems customers are taking their money online.

Statistics from the Gambling Commission also show that in the year to Dec 2018 96% of online gamblers gambled at home, with 55% using a mobile or tablet device.

The gross gambling yield for online gambling was £5.6bn from October 2017-September 2018.