The UK iGaming market is a fast growing market that can take advantage of the latest technological advances to see its turnover increase significantly by 2024.
Understanding what iGaming is
iGaming can be defined as any form of betting made on online games or events. The term covers everything from sports betting, online casinos, slot machines, e-sports, poker, etc. iGaming is illegal in some countries. Other countries such as Japan, United Arab Emirates and Singapore have banned gambling altogether.
In the UK, just over 25 million people gamble. Of these, more than 10 million play online. In a single year, that is, between 2020 and 2021, Great Britain generated 6.85 billion pounds from the gambling industry, compared to 5.79 billion pounds in the previous year. The global iGaming market according to Technavio, a London-based research firm, is worth $565 billion.
Although the UK prohibits people under the age of 18 from gambling, nearly 500,000 teenagers take part every week. Several reforms have been introduced in the country since 2005 in an attempt to regulate the iGaming industry, a market that employs nearly 100,000 people. Gambling problems in Britain are more likely to be found among online casino gamblers rather than online sports betting enthusiasts.
The beginning of British iGaming
It starts with Microgaming and is now three decades old. Now considered by many to be the giant of the iGaming industry, it was this publisher that designed the first computer programs that enabled the development of online casinos. It is also thanks to its work that the first iGaming website was created. Microgaming officially became the first online casino provider in 1994. Two years later, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established to regulate the booming online gambling industry of the late 90s. William Hill was responsible for the emergence of online gambling in the UK in 1998.
With the Gambling Act in 2005, the UK adapted its gambling regulations to the new technologies. The country now grants different categories of licenses to online gambling operators. The main objectives of this measure are to keep crime away from gambling, to ensure openness and fairness of the games and to protect children and vulnerable people.
The British iGaming market is today in the hands of big names such as William Hill, Mr Green or Intouch Games. It is thanks to them that the online gaming market has been able to take off in the UK.
Over 1.5 billion spent on mobile games
The rise of the online casino is linked to technological development. Mobile giants like AppStore are working hard to develop and improve mobile games. In 2020, British people spent about £1.5 billion on mobile games. Mobile games have become faster and more exciting thanks to HTML5 technology. This is especially the case with online slots, which are no longer just a copy of the classic slots. Their themes and graphics have evolved significantly.
Players are also very attracted to online slots because they offer many bonuses and various rewards. With the advancement of technology, especially the current enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, it is likely that the online gambling market will evolve further in the coming years. Some experts estimate this market to be worth $80 million by 2024.