Of all the gambling that takes place in the United Kingdom, 33% of it takes place online. In the last year alone, the online market has accounted for £4.5 billion in revenue, take that to the bank. Online casinos and sports betting make up for the most popular sectors of betting in the UK, by comparison, traditional brick and mortar casinos only generated £1 billion within the same timescale, which makes online betting four times more popular. High street bookmakers, like William Hill, and the National Lottery made just over £3 billion each.
The online casino market is now a very valuable part of the British economy, they have generated more than £2.5 billion, of which slots game alone made £1.8b, while online sports betting made up for £1.6b and bingo operations amounted to £153 million.
The biggest reason for the growth to the online industry lies in the convenience for players. With smartphones and apps, anybody can now just whip it out of their pocket to place a wager or play a quick game, whereas before, players would have to physically go to these establishments. This has led many operators to be more creative when it comes to attracting members to sign up to their sight, and then retain them. Jason Green, Program Director of the UK Gambling Commission, has stated that he is impressed with how operators have managed to keep their customers engaged, and stated that the recent figures have surpassed his expectations.
Phillip Hammond gave his first budget, since becoming the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he too was impressed with the UK online gambling revenue. This comes hot on the heels of new regulations being put in place for gambling operators. All operators based within the UK have to provide all details of their business to the government. There will also be a review on regulations, especially fixed odds betting terminals in UK betting shops, will have to be managed in the future.
There have also been calls for operators to be more pro active in putting in place positive measures to help prevent customers from becoming victims of gambling. This should go a long way to shaking the negative image that gambling has with addictive behaviour, and that can only be a good thing.