The State of the Online Casino Industry in the UK: Trends and Insights
The iGaming industry continues to grow not just in the UK but worldwide. Online casinos and sportsbooks, which once saw their beginnings in the industry in the mid-nineties, now bring billions in revenue. GoodLuckMate has seen the industry evolve at a rapid pace, and they always have their fingers on the pulse.
The iGaming industry has significantly evolved, mainly due to its accessibility. Furthermore, it provides far more options in terms of gaming and betting than most land-based casino establishments.
The UK is currently at the forefront of iGaming regulations. The UK Gambling Commission was established under the Gambling Act of 2005 and assumed full powers to regulate the industry in 2007.
The Commission regulates betting, lotteries, gaming arcades and machine providers, gaming software developers, and remote gambling (online) using UK-based equipment.
Where Does the iGaming Industry Stand in the UK?
As the most prominent iGaming industry, the UK has outpaced the US, despite having a significantly smaller population. According to the UK Gambling Commission, the UK’s gambling industry had a total GGY worth £14.1 billion from April 2021 to March 2022. This was a 10.9% rise from April 2020 to March 2021.
According to Statistica, in a study focusing on European countries with the highest GGR in 2020, the UK had the highest GGR, with nearly £14.2 billion, followed by Italy and the Netherlands.
The Popularity of Online Gambling
Over the past decade, online gambling and betting have become increasingly widespread. The GGY for the UK’s gambling industry decreased by approximately £84.1m between April 2018 and March 2020. That said, this decline only pertained to land-based casino establishments during the same period because remote gambling increased significantly. Overall, the iGaming industry in the UK has displayed steady growth over the years, from 9.7% in 2008 to 15.4% towards the end of 2014.
According to the UKGC, in 2022, up until December, 27% of players gambled online in the past four weeks. While this was recorded as stable considering the same period in the past year, i.e., December 2021 (25.3%), it also showed a stable long-term increase.
Considering the above information (and more), the iGaming market shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Countless online casino and sports betting platforms exist for users looking to gamble, all competing for UK consumers’ attention. To stand out amid cutthroat competition in the iGaming marketplace, casino and betting platforms strive to offer extensive game lobbies and sports markets, attractive sign-up bonuses, boosted bets, appealing graphics and UI, and modern platform technology, among other things.
It has for a long time been a misconception that a majority of gamblers are relatively older, ranging between 44 and 64 years. Nonetheless, games of chance are becoming popular among younger individuals in the UK. In fact, players aged between 25 and 34 dominate the online gaming sector. More than 23.1% of younger individuals gamble online each month. On the other hand, players aged 35 to 54 make up 22% of monthly online gambling.
The Technological Era
As suggested by the statistics above, the online gambling sector will remain a constant in the gambling industry in the years to come. The main drivers behind this growth are tech-oriented players always seeking user-friendly solutions to enjoy gambling whenever and anywhere they wish.
The proliferation of smart gadgets and internet-oriented services also fuels the UK’s iGaming industry. Internet gambling offers players an immersive gaming experience, generally accessed via desktop and mobile web versions, dedicated apps, and software.
Private business collaborations with third-party software developers to provide easy-to-use UIs for end-users further fuel market growth.
As mentioned, the added value, especially for online casinos and sports betting, is delivered via attractive bonus promotions and other campaigns, outdoing the seemingly-limited loyalty programs provided by brick-and-mortar casino establishments.
The Future of Online Gambling in the UK
The online gambling industry overall has always been open to using the latest technology because, after all, iGaming would not exist without the internet. Tech-savvy corporations have wholeheartedly adapted to technological advancements, offering web versions of their platforms, live dealer games, and much more.
The widespread use of blockchain technology via cryptocurrencies is already making waves in the industry, with blockchain casinos becoming common due to the increased convenience it offers players.
Since technology is now embedded in the iGaming industry’s culture in the UK and worldwide, various developers have started experimenting with VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). This trend is expected to become very popular, making online gambling all the more immersive.
5G is also something online gambling companies will embrace and popularise to offer end-users new ways to play casino games and bet.