By Euro Weekly News Media • 22 January 2020 • 10:46
Historically, gambling has suffered from bad press. Naysayers abound and cries of immorality, illegality as well as warnings of addiction and criminality have followed the gambling industry like a bad smell for many decades. The gambling industry as a whole gets a regular bashing of negativity, but does it deserve it? We think not.
Looking at the gambling industry from a determinedly objective point of view reveals a thriving industry that not only contributes a staggering amount to the UK’s economy through tax revenue, but that also employs over 100, 000 UK citizens and has raised billions of pounds for charity via the national lottery.
The creative minds behind the casino games that are available on the market are the best and brightest of their generation and their work, be it as graphic designers, storytellers or software developers, leads the way in terms of technological innovations and captivating entertainment.
The GGY, or Gross Gambling Yield, of the UK’s gambling industry for April 2018 to March 2019 was £14.4bn. Online gambling is responsible for £5.3bn of the total GGY – that equates to 37.1% of the pie.
UK gamblers have taken to online gambling like ducks to water, and even with the new betting restrictions that came into force in 2019 – bets on fixed-odds betting terminals are now limited to £2 per stake – the sector is still beating all expectations.
Casino bosses are continuing to invest in new casinos, particularly mobile-ready casinos, because the demand for bigger and better new online casinos is still high. A quick look at an informative site on new online casinos will reveal the extent to which the number of Internet operators continues to grow – as well as the benefits and bonuses that go along with playing at new UK casinos.
New online casinos offer UK players the chance to play all their favourite games without having to leave the comfort of their homes; a game changer for the gambling industry. Since its inception, online gaming has appealed to people from all walks of life. Mobile gaming has increased the appeal of online casinos even further by providing an even more convenient platform on which to access games.
UK punters can now access their favourite new casinos from anywhere and at any time – they can while away spend their time on slot games, play a quick hand of blackjack or spin a virtual roulette wheel.
Mobile gaming has effectively lifted the restrictions presented by only being able to access a casino from a desktop computer and opened the door to an even wider audience – an audience that looks set to grow even larger in 2020.
New casinos feature all the latest games from the best software companies in the industry. The biggest names in software include NetEnt, Microgaming, Play’n GO, Yggdrasil and Evolution Gaming.
These gaming giants lead the way when it comes to utilising all the latest technology in order to create innovative and exciting new games – particularly slot games. New UK casinos need to include games from these well-known software companies in order to attract players.
This is due not only to the fact that these games have already proved to be extremely popular, but also because the software companies have already established solid reputations for fair gameplay. In the early days of online gaming, there were plenty of rogue enterprises online that gave the entire industry a bad name by offering low quality games that generally didn’t pay out any winnings.
It is thanks to innovative gaming companies, such as the ones we’ve mentioned, alongside strict regulation and the regular auditing of casino games that the UK online gambling sector has managed to develop and thrive. The UK’s GGY for online slot games, for example, raked in a massive £2.1bn between April 2018 and March 2019.
Sports betting has long been a favourite pastime for UK players. In the 2018/2019 period, sports betting claimed 22.7% of the overall GGY, however; this number represents non-remote betting.
There are approximately 8,320 betting shops in the UK and the numbers prove that punters in the UK still enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie found in their local betting shop – particularly when it comes to horse racing. Online casinos, however, have allowed for better sports betting opportunities and offer a much wider selection of sports events upon which to place bets.
The GGY for remote betting in the 2018/2019 period was approximately £2.0bn. Horse racing and football are the nation’s favourite sporting events in both the remote and non-remote sector. The sports betting sector is responsible for at least 49% of those employed within the UK’s gambling industry.
As previously mentioned, the UK’s gambling industry has raised a staggering amount of money for charity via the National Lottery. In the 2018/2019 period, the National Lottery contributed over £1bn to various good causes throughout the UK.
The National Lottery is responsible for 21.4% of the UK’s GGY, raking in approximately £3bn. Ticket sales have increased steadily over the last 20 years and this sector is, in fact, the only sector that has seen the GGY increase significantly in comparison to the precious year.
It seems that the lure of a winning ticket is as strong today as it’s ever been and the huge jackpots up for grabs make the cost of a ticket seem paltry in comparison. In the past, online casinos tended to overlook the appeal of lotteries.
However, due to the ever-increasing popularity of this one-off style of gambling, new casinos online are now more likely to include an online lottery section as part of their games library, usually in the guise of online scratch cards.
Another favourite British pastime is Bingo. Bingo has stood the test of time and the excited squeals of ‘Bingo’ can still be heard in Bingo halls across the country. Bingo lays claim to 4.7% of the GGY – ahead of traditional arcades, which fall short at 3.0% of the GGY.
While not quite with the same steam as slot games, Bingo transitioned well to the online gaming sector and many new UK casinos feature a number of online Bingo games in their line-up. It is thanks to the online version of the game that Bingo now appeals to a wider audience and is no longer seen as a game that is only played by little old ladies on a Saturday afternoon.
People turn to gambling for a whole host of reasons and for the most part treat gambling as a fun hobby. The industry has done much to combat gambling addiction and to help players whose gambling habits become problematic.
The UK Gambling Commission works closely with UK casinos to ensure fair gameplay. The UKGC also functions as an intermediary between players and casinos should anything go wrong.
It is thanks to governing bodies like the UKGC that casinos are required to follow strict rules and regulations regarding player safety, online data protection and secure payment systems. Naysayers will, undoubtedly, continue to bemoan the gambling industry as a whole but the truth is that the industry that we see today is a well-regulated machine.
Looking at the statistics for 2018/2019, it’s clear to see that the UK’s gambling industry is a force to be reckoned with. Gambling as a whole is as popular today as it has ever been, perhaps more so.
The current political climate has seen many industries in the UK falter. The turmoil of the Brexit years has forced many UK citizens to tighten their purse strings. Valid concerns for the environment have led to many people making an effort to reduce their consumption.
These changes in behaviour have been felt considerably on the high-streets and many businesses have floundered.
The UK’s gambling industry, however, has experienced growth in spite of current affairs. In fact, it could be said that gambling has been used as a way of injecting some hope and excitement into daily life; a little relief from the misery and fatigue that many people have felt while waiting for politicians to shape the new way forward for Britain.
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