In the past decade alone, the world of online gaming has expanded massively – the industry was worth £41.78billion by the end of 2016 and that’s predicted to hit the £80billion mark by the end of 2020. Just to put that it in perspective, 11% of the UK’s total internet traffic now comes from online gamblers alone!
Gone are the days of having to pop along to the High street to place your bets, record number of Betting shops are closing week on week such is the lack of demand and the leading reason behind this is the rapid emergence of online betting.
It is estimated that the leading UK bookmaker, Bet365 has over 35million registered customers, employing over 4,500 staff and offer online betting in 19 different currencies!
The main reason for online gambling’s huge increase in popularity is down to the major technology advancements. It may seem pretty straightforward, but the better the technology gets, the better the customer experience gets for the online punters and this has been the main force behind the growth.
Another leading factor in online gaming’s increase in popularity is specifically the monumental advancements in mobile technology – and the introduction of Betting apps from all major bookmakers, allowing punters the ability to bet at anytime, from any place at the touch of a button.
Online betting has very successfully made the migration from console and desktop to mobile in recent years, with mobile gaming & gambling becoming the fastest growing platform in the industry, making up nearly 45% of the global gaming market, which sat at a cool £47.5billion by the end of 2017!! This was a huge increase of 20% in the previous year and industry experts predict the trend is only going to continue.
Another factor behind the growth of online gambling is the target audience that it is now accessible too. Online betting now also appeals to a wide range of demographics. About ten years ago, you would think that it was mainly only adult male sports fans that would be placing the bets. But, as mentioned earlier, not only can you place bets on practically anything at anytime, but online gambling now also appeals to a wider range of people.
The older generations are becoming more and more comfortable with technology and are enjoying using mobile devices more, so the concept of online gambling is becoming less and less intimidating.
Gambling is also becoming more and more appealing to the younger generations. It’s an exciting premise being able to win money on your favourite sports team whilst still being able to enjoy the match as a spectator. Younger audiences have always been known to be very understanding of new technologies, So, it is no surprise more and more young adults are starting to get involved with online gaming. For something that was once seen as some what of a grey area is now common place for punters young and old alike.
Advertising has also been a key cog in the industry’s success too.
Nowadays we’re seeing more ads on TV, websites and social media and now it’s become common for betting firms to sponsor sports teams, with football clubs becoming a main target. There is hardly a game that goes past on our TV screens where we don’t get UK movie star Ray Winstone encouraging us to place a bet on the televised game courtesy of his association with leading online sportsbook Bet365.
If you can get the message out to enough people and they sit up and take notice, they will likely end up on that online casino or sportsbook that is being advertised and this will only keep on driving the revenue to dizzying new heights. Bookmakers spend hundreds of millions of pounds on marketing year on year such is the demand for new customers to register with their brand.
Such is the huge potential profits for these online betting operators, over last 15 year we have seen a number of the major companies relocate further afield, taking residence in tax heavens which allow them to maximise profits further.
Gibraltar was the first country to open its doors to the iGaming industry. The first company to make the move was Victor Chandler (Bet Victor) and it triggered many other casinos and sportsbook’s to move their business there and try their luck. Ever since Victor Chandler established his company there, Gibraltar has become one of the main iGaming hubs, along with Malta, Costa Rica and Manilla.
The online gaming sector accounts for around a quarter of Gibraltar’s total gross domestic product, and around 30 percent of the global online gaming sector — worth an estimated £39.3 billion in 2016 — was generated in Gibraltar alone.
It is also estimated there are now over 400 gambling organisations based on the small Island of Malta, with staff coming from over 30 different countries to work within the industry.
As mentioned previously, industry experts predict the growth is only likely to continue, and with the recent changes in legislation within The United States of America allowing certain residents to bet online for the first time we could be about to see another boom period for the industry.
With the advancements in technology and increased dominance of social media & marketing activities the industry looks likely to grow even further, and will be interesting to see how the gambling landscape looks in another decades time!!