• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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How the UK Gambling Market Is Growing

By: Admin Super

Out of the many industries that exist around the world, some significantly outperform others in terms of financial performance. They see almost continuous overall growth and attract numerous new clients each year.

Gambling is one industry that is experiencing expansive growth. Starting as a pastime that allowed players to try their luck whenever they visited a casino, the industry now also caters to millions of hopefuls playing from home.

While one may think that the market has reached a saturation point and couldn’t possibly grow any bigger, nothing could be further from the truth. Inversely, the gambling market is growing from strength to strength, particularly in the UK. Let’s take a look at exactly how this is happening.

Early Beginnings

Outlawed initially in its entirety in 1541, gambling in the UK had rough beginnings. The leading cause of this was that the government believed that allowing citizens to gamble may distract them from their military training and focus. Thankfully, this didn’t last too long, and by 1845, the first Gambling Act was passed, making the pastime legal and issuing regulations for it.

After being legalised, gambling grew exponentially as more places began to offer gambling or betting opportunities. A landslide of expansion occurred in 1961 after the opening of the Casino Club Port Talbot—recognised as the first legal casino in the country.

Many new casinos soon opened their doors to punters, and the passing of the Gambling Act in 2005 helped boost the industry even more. The revised acceptance of gambling quickly resulted in over 155 casinos operating within the country by 2020.

The Arrival of Online Casinos

While brick-and-mortar casinos have long held a special spot in the hearts of British gamblers, the arrival of online casinos changed the gambling landscape forever. First conceptualised in the early 1990s, online casinos offered players a new level of convenience.

By 1998, popular bookmaker William Hill launched the first online casino in the country. As other countries with online casinos had already experienced, it revolutionised gambling and caused an industry already experiencing expansive growth to jump by leaps and bounds.

This growth continued and can still be seen today. In 2021, the UK was home to over 2,400 online casino websites that offer unique gambling opportunities. Many other casinos physically located in the region have also worked hard to transform into entertainment venues, thus boosting visitor numbers and gambling.

Industry Growth

There is no doubt that online casinos contributed significantly to the increased gambling in the country. Proof of this growth can be seen in the number of gamblers within the country. In 2000, only an estimated 0.6% of people participated in gambling activities. Fast forward a few years to 2019, and things are drastically different. In 2022, 47% of players eligible to place wagers did so.

While this number decreased slowly in 2021 due to COVID, players began returning to casinos in 2022, with 43% of British players gambling that year. Many other casinos in other countries also reported increased growth in their local gambling markets during the same period.

Further proof of the growth in the industry is the GGY (gross gambling yield) generated each year. In 2010, the GGY contributed to the economy through gambling activities was around £7.1 billion. In 2022, however, this increased to £12.7 billion—which exceeded estimations generated during the 2020 lockdowns.

Estimates for the industry worth in 2023 point to this sector ending the year with an increase of 5.3%.

The Reasons Behind the UK Gambling Market Growth

While online casinos are one of the main factors behind the industry’s growth, there are specific principal reasons they have catapulted the industry forward.

Innovation

Online casinos constantly seek innovations to offer players new and exciting ways to gamble. From dabbling in VR (virtual reality) gaming to frequently hosting new games, these casinos are at the forefront of gambling technology and always strive to improve on what they already have.

This innovation has driven the industry to where it is today and continues to help the sector grow in leaps and bounds. However, new ways to do things aren’t limited to traditional gambling, like slots and table games. Even online sports betting has evolved to allow for live betting during a sports game.

Accessibility

Because the UK is open to allowing online casinos and sportsbook operators, gambling is more accessible than ever. Because of this, players can access their favourite way to gamble using almost any PC or mobile phone.

The continued focus on mobile gambling is also making a huge impact, with more and more players downloading casino or betting applications on their smartphones. This has allowed gambling to be enjoyed almost 24/7, regardless of where the player finds him or herself.

Accountability

Because of the regulations and licensing surrounding online gambling, more players feel comfortable using these services. However, only sites granted an operating license by the UK Gambling Commission or similar authorities are recommended to avoid getting scammed by an illegitimate gambling operator.

Because licensed operators are held accountable for their practices, there is a new level of trust in gambling online, which has inspired many new players to join in on the fun.

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