The UK Online Gambling Market Continues To Dominate

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By nonoDate: Mar 24 2017 Views:


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The UK has always been a pretty tolerant country when it comes to enjoying a flutter. Ever since way back in the day when bets would be placed by telegraph wire, the country has always been open minded to ways that technology can be used for placing a bet or two. However there's no question that the online gambling market is slowly starting to strangle the life out of not just high street book makers, but also stopped the planned expansion of new bricks/mortar casinos too. Such is the cost of progress? Let's take a look at what the latest figures released a few months back tell us about the UK online gambling market.

UK Online Gambling Market

Online Gambling Is Enormous

The latest figures that cover the period from April 2015 to March 2016 show that of the £13bn spent (lost) on all forms of gambling in the UK, a staggering £4.5bn (33%) was wagered online. Remarkably this is over £1bn more than spent upon The National Lottery, which has many more regular participants than those who partake in online casinos/betting.

Central to this domination of the gambling industry has been a regulated and highly competitive online industry. There is no single operator that offers real money casino games to players based in the UK as an absolute go-to option. Instead there are dozens, all of which offer very generous bonus schemes and numerous specials on both casino and sports betting. Obviously this is great news for the players, but also maintains an ever growing online trade thanks to attracting ever more players due to these offers.

UK Online Gambling Market

Where Does The UK Spend It's Online Gambling Money?

Online remains the preserve of casino games. Table games such as roulette and blackjack are enormously popular (largely because they are so mobile friendly) and account for £2.6bn of expenditure. Next up are slots with £1.8bn, followed by sports at £1.6bn. It's worth noting here that the major UK gambling sites are often not specifically dedicated exclusively to either casino or sports betting - the majority actually offer both. Indeed the largest sites offer comprehensive gambling on everything from live sports matches, through to roulette, horse racing and virtual sports with many customers using multiple services offered by sole providers.

UK Online Gambling Market

What Are The Consequences For Bookies & Casinos?

It's important again to qualify this question because the vast majority of high street bookmakers are now operated by companies with a substantial online presence - some own several hundred outlets nationwide. There has been a small decline (2%) in the number of bookmakers but you can bet for sure that these will almost all have been small privately owned independent shops without any online operation. Proof enough that online presence is absolutely essential to survive as a gaming company in the UK marketplace.

UK Online Gambling Market

As for bricks and mortar casinos it's more difficult to speculate. Several years ago new licenses were made available to develop 'super-casino' style resorts which caused considerable fuss and consternation at the time. Only a couple of these were taken up and have resulted in much smaller operations than originally predicted. Currently the industry is worth around $1bn a year - comparative small fry compared to online casinos but there's no sign of imminent collapse just yet, especially as a night down the casino becomes ever more a socially acceptable way to spend leisure time.

Future Predictions?

There's no reason for the online market to slow it's growth. Demographically speaking the bookies and casinos are mainly used by older clientele, so over time it's likely that these will to an extent lessen in number under the weight of the pressure exerted by online gambling operations. A great deal will depend on how new technology (VR) can successfully replicate the 'live' casino experience at home.

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