Gambling is big business in the UK – massive business, in fact – with the gross gambling yield between the financial yearend March 2011 and March 2012 rising to a colossal £5.8 billion. Gross gambling yield is the amount of money that operators are left with after players have claimed their winnings. This figure rose by approximately £200 million from the 2011 value of £5.6 billion, as reported by the Gambling Commission. When commenting on the published figures, the Gambling Commission explained that the National Lottery and scratch cards had played a driving role in bringing about the increase.
Focusing on the lottery, the figures showed yields from lotteries had grown to £227 million from 2011, representing a major increase of 35%. Scratch cards form a significant part of the business interest of the National Lottery in the UK and it comes as no surprise to discover that the purchase of scratch cards has risen. Within the 12 months between March 2011 and March 2012, published findings show that the purchase of scratch cards grew from 10.3% to 13%. This finding is based on a research question which asked questionnaire respondents whether or not they had purchased a card in the last four weeks – a reasonable timeframe.
Based on the above, it can be reasonably determined the lottery and scratch card industry is operating soundly. In contrast, bookmakers have had more problems to deal with. Bookmakers are forced to compete heavily against one another, with most vicious battlefields being odds and marketing. Some operators in this area will offer cut-price odds just to get the business, even if the competition wouldn’t do so. A potential benefit of this strategy could be to encourage more foot traffic into bookmakers’ shops. Marketing is a high cost area for bookmakers, with large sums of money often poured into extensive advertising campaigns. Celebrities will often be hired to appear and this will increase costs further.
Nevertheless, the report, on the whole, pointed to a UK gambling industry that had performed well since the onset of the recession in 2008. Moving back to the success of lottery tickets and scratch cards, customers are likely driven by the fact they can engage in gambling without having to enter the shop of a bookmaker. They can purchase these items from their shop and not go out of their way to do so. The endgame of these customers will be the hope of hitting a major jackpot for little cost. And can you blame them? Numerous stories emerge of successful jackpot wins in the UK. Everyday online scratch card websites like Jackpot Joy pay out millions in prize money.