The UK gaming industry has seen some change in recent times, this includes more players enjoying casino games over lockdown, new regulation coming into play, new technology and more. It’s no surprise that the UK gambling industry has seen a sharp rise in play and as a result, operator revenue. The UK gambling industry is worth over £14.2 billion in Gross Gambling Yield. We’re going to take a look at the movements in statistics and what to expect for 2021.
UK Players Increasing
We are seeing a sharp rise of players signing up and actively playing across online casinos. This is because national lockdown has closed shops, bars, restaurants and of course, land-based casinos. There are around 24 million adult gamblers in the UK, that’s nearly half of the adult population. There are around 10.5 million UK adults who bet online. This number will see a steady rise going into 2021, for obvious reasons. Land-based casinos have seen a drop in footfall and it’s likely that they will never hit record numbers and may not recover for a very long time.
The average UK gambler wagers just £2.57 per week or £133 across the year. These are the numbers from before Covid and with the average household saving nearly £7000 over lockdown, we can expect the average amount spent on casinos or other betting sites to increase in 2021.
Increase in Online Casinos
New online casinos are popping up at a rapid rate in 2021. Operators are launching new UK brands and promoting their casinos on affiliates in a bid to grab as much of the £14.2 billion market that they can. At the moment there are 101 online casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. We can expect this number to rise in 2021, despite tougher gambling laws making it harder for operators to get licensed in the UK.
Landbased betting shops have been dying out in the last few years and the pandemic is certain to kill off the betting shop. There are less than 7000 betting shops left in the UK, in 2019 there was over 10,000. The days of hanging around a betting shop and placing a flutter on the horses or the football are more or less over. Now, sport betting punters are taking their betting online.
Online Gaming Revenue
If we are strictly speaking about online gambling then online casino gaming takes the gold, followed by sports betting and lottery. UK gamblers who play online prefer to take the fun to the slot machines, with 69.3% of the total online GGY. Slots were followed by roulette (13.5%) and then blackjack (6.1%).
Mobile gaming in the UK has grown quickly among new casino sites since 2019 and that’s going to continue for 2021 and beyond. With smartphones and mobile devices readily available in your pocket, more players are using their mobile devices to enjoy online gambling. Over 65% of players enjoy slot games, table games and sports betting on their mobile. Mobile traffic is only going to increase with mobile devices improving, 5G coming into play and more casino games being built and designed for mobile devices.
It’s no surprise that the older generation is the ones who visited betting shops and land-based casinos. Now, more people are accepting online betting as the future and signing up to online betting sites. The majority of UK gambling are between the age of 25 and 34. As we battle a pandemic, we can expect the older generation to accept the online play as the only option. We are sure to see more players gambling online and soon over 70% of gambling will be through online casinos, sports betting sites, lottery and other gambling sites.
The UK online gambling industry is showing steady signs of growth, despite heavier regulation coming into play. 2021 will only bring more growth across the online gaming industry, with many major gambling events in 2021. There will be more betting, more casinos, more players, more slots, more wins, more regulation, more everything.