There was a time when land-based casinos were where you had to go if you wanted to spend an evening playing roulette, blackjack or poker. But the arrival of the internet into all of our lives has been steadily changing this with the phenomenal growth of online gaming.
Many observers have suggested that this is a key reason why gaming revenues have been on the decline in the world’s casino capitals like Las Vegas and Macau, and they may well be right. But one thing is for certain and that’s that online gambling’s very much in the ascendant.
To give an idea of the size of the industry in the UK alone, every year the Gambling Commission releases revenue figures and they found that between November 2014 and September 2015 online casinos raised a gross gambling yield (GGY) of over £2.1 billion, 59% of the £3.6 billion raised by remote gaming in total.
With figures like these it’s no wonder that some of the biggest names in the online casino industry such as 888casino have become very substantial organisations indeed.
In Europe, and indeed the world, the UK leads the way in online gambling, in many cases because the legislations in other countries are either far more restrictive or don’t permit the activity at all.
In terms of the biggest revenue builders for online casinos it’s the slots that are the real stars raising around three times the amount of table games like roulette and five times more than card games like poker. There are a number of reasons for this – for example they’re easy and quick to play and can be specifically targeted at key groups like sports fans or to tie in with big events like the Olympics.
In fact, it’s just this reaching out to whole new demographics that has helped to fuel the runaway success of online gaming. For example the combination of using the latest technology – from tablets to smartphones – and the immediacy and convenience of being able to play has brought in a whole new and younger group of players. Women, too, are an group who are increasingly being attracted by online gaming, especially those who are under 35.
This also forms part of a more general trend for online gambling of all kinds to enter the mainstream – you only have to see the number of advertisers during a big sports event encouraging viewers to bet on the outcome. Again, being able to do this from the comfort of home, or wherever you might be, simply adds to the appeal.
Naturally, the increasingly widespread participation of gaming has meant that measures are being taken to ensure that this is done responsibly. That’s why organisations such as GambleAware, partially funded by the industry itself, are now so active in offering support and advice.
Looking to the future all of the predictions are that online gaming is set to grow and grow. Many believe that the emergence of virtual reality technology will be the next big step forward offering players the real casino experience in a virtual world.
And who knows? It could even start to spell the end for land-based casinos as we know them.
HPG ADMIN on October 27, 2016