GVC’s online growth does nothing to offset retail decline

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
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GVC Holdings has reported an 11.2% decline in revenue over the first half of this year. The coronavirus (Covid-19) and subsequent lockdown is to blame for this loss of revenue. While casinos and bookmakers being forced to close for a significant portion of the year has resulted in the continued growth of the online gambling market, this has not been so significant as to offset the losses from the land-based market, suffering an overall 52.6% loss.

During lockdown, internet revenue showed a healthy 19% growth from the prior year. While this is promising for the continued growth of the online gambling industry, the Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) has announced that some 6,000 jobs could be at risk. This comes shortly after William Hill announced the permanent closure of 119 of its bookmakers, which accounts for roughly 300 jobs. 

Casinos have finally been given the go ahead from the government to open their doors again, starting from the 15th August. Previously, they were planning to re-open at the start of the month, though rising COVID-19 figures delayed this date once again. This postponement has cost the industry a further £6m, in staff training, new sanitation measures, and taking staff off furlough. 

GVC’s new CEO, Shay Segev, has announced his blueprint for future growth and bouncing back from the effects of lockdown. As the US market represented the ‘single biggest growth opportunity’ the company plans to partner with MGM, believing this market to be worth approximately $20.3bn by 2025. Segev has stated there is significant scope for yet further expansion in the future, with another 50 regulated markets worldwide.

Additionally,  GVC has set out to become the single most responsible operator in the industry, increasing these efforts during lockdown, during which ‘problem gambling’ arising from isolation and boredom became a more viable reality. Along with replacing adverts with responsible gambling communications, new metrics tracking customer behaviour to identify potential risks has been put in place. 

Encouragingly, quarterly data suggests the country’s gambling problem rate fell 0.2%, from 0.7% to 0.5%. Tools to continue combating this problem are being developed and enhanced through consultation with customers and the introduction of voluntary stake limit settings.