The British people have a long and storied history with gambling in general, and it's a very well-established part of British culture even if it isn't
The British people have a long and storied history with gambling in general, and it’s a very well-established part of British culture even if it isn’t one of the first things you think of. You can find slot machines in every pub and bookies in every town in the country, many of which are household names.
The fact is though, gambling in the UK is not the same as it once was, and some may be surprised to know just how rapidly the betting industry has taken to the digital world of the Internet.
How big are online casinos today?
Globally the iGaming industry, which covers essentially every form of online betting, is a massive business, and one that has grown in leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades. In the UK alone, the rate at which the biggest names in gambling have taken to the Internet is incredible.
Take Paddy Power, for instance, a familiar sight on the British high street. It will surprise some as to just how wide the range of what they offer is. Bingo, table games and live casino games are all available via their site, as well as options to play online slots that wouldn’t be possible without a lot of technology and innovation behind them.
This isn’t an isolated incident either; every big name that you’d expect to see on the high street has gone digital like this, and thanks to the equally rapid development of smartphone technology, they can be found wherever you are.
How big is the UK iGaming industry?
As of right now, the ‘remote gambling’ sector of the whole gambling industry is valued at about £6.9 billion, which makes it a full half of the entire £12.7 billion value of all forms of betting in the country. For reference, lotteries are the next largest piece of the total, with land-based traditional betting coming in at less than £2 billion.
There is a number of reasons for this, although the accessibility mentioned before to play anywhere in any setting is likely a huge advantage. The 2020s as a whole are the era of digital services, and people who already have their smartphones out are more likely to engage with something they can get on there.
The other advantage that iGaming has is the ability to work with new technology much more seamlessly than brick-and-mortar businesses. Virtual and Augmented Reality features are already appearing in newer online games, and the cryptocurrency gambling market worldwide has grown by over 110% since last year.
Where does betting go next?
If you’re looking for a likely direction for online casinos and iGaming in general, you should be looking to where the newest horizon is for digital entertainment. Projects like the Metaverse are set to dramatically change the ecosystem once they get rolling, and AI software is becoming more and more advanced by the day. We’re not quite at fully AI-driven virtual casinos but we’re finding ourselves a lot closer with recent technology.