Published on 29 November 2016 by Adam
The UK and the act of gambling have always had a special relationship. While that term is often associated with a certain trans-Atlantic connection with the US (although its future is up in the air since Donald Trump’s shock election win!), there can be no doubt that the people of the UK are often enthusiastic gamblers. Whether it’s going to UK casinos themselves, heading out to the horse racing or maybe even the classic bingo halls, betting is part of their culture.
However, with the internet becoming the powerhouse that it is, UK gambling hasn’t been exempt from a lot of activity moving from the tables and tracks to keyboards and touchscreens. We’re talking about online gambling of course, and the purpose of this article is to analyse a few trends that we’ve spotted since this market erupted.
Traditional Brick-and-Mortar Casinos Embrace Online Gaming
Just like many other industries, there was serious concern that online gaming in the UK would wipe out the need for traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, bookmakers, lottery cards and other physical gambling avenues. These places included social aspects that betting online just couldn’t replicate, they said – and the arguments for that are still ongoing.
However, despite this perceived threat, these brick-and-mortar establishments soon realised that they needed to adapt due to the popularity. As online casinos were beginning to open left, right, and centre, traditional bookies decided to expand their platforms to get a slice of the pie.
Paddy Power is an example of this, with a handful of welcome bonuses, free spins, cashback, and other offers being available to use. Instead of turning their back on the online gaming industry, brick-and-mortars rightly decided to include it alongside their physical setups – with all types of punters now catered for.
Is There Still an Obvious Age Gap Between Online Casino Users?
Unsurprisingly, it is still more likely that the younger generations will embrace online betting than their elders. Bingo is notoriously played in the UK by older groups of people for instance. Now, despite bingo being readily available to play online these days, it is seen as much as a social event as it is for the chance to win money – and this is a key aspect of many older players’ decisions.
With younger players often more tech-savvy then their grandparents, it can come as no real surprise that the shift towards online gambling in the UK has often been driven by these demographics. However, the country’s Gambling Commission pointed out that the number of online gamers over the age of 55 has more than doubled in less than a decade – so the market shouldn’t be writing off the needs of older generations anytime soon!
What Does the Future of Online Gambling Look Like?
It’s a wide-ranging question indeed, and there’s certainly some areas that aren’t exactly clear. The future of online casino games, whether cryptocurrencies will take over, and the state of the world’s economy are all thought to be crucial areas going forward, but there’s one trend that’s almost certain to continue – mobile gaming.
A breakthrough occurred towards the end of 2013, as the number of global users for mobile surpassed that of desktop for the first time. There are many advantages that mobile online gambling has over desktop/laptop, such as being able to bet easily on-the-go, quicker access to casino content, and the reducing need for apps to be downloaded as optimised websites take over.
The future of online gaming is particularly interesting, as it’s a combination of areas that are unknown and almost guaranteed. Everyone’s waiting for that next technological breakthrough or insight which will, once again, change the face of our industry – and that’s something that we can’t contain our excitement for!