It’s hard to believe it, but online gambling has only been with us for a couple of decades now. In that time it’s gone from being a fringe activity to being distinctly mainstream. The figures speak for themselves. In 2009 as a nation we spent just £817 million chasing big wins online but in 2016 this figure had risen more than five-fold to reach a staggering £4.5 billion. This represents over 30% of the total revenue raised by all forms of gambling and makes it the single biggest sector.
In terms of future forecasts there’s no reason to suppose that this trend will come to an end as online gambling sites continue to introduce ever more appealing ways to play online, 888poker are a fine example of this, they have used technology to deliver to an ever-increasing audience of eager players. Poker fans can play via a number of platforms, meaning the world-class software is available wherever and whenever players want it – undoubtedly increasing demand.
The changing culture of gambling
This runaway growth also has a great deal to do with the increasing acceptance of online gaming as a fun way to pass the time as well as the rise of smartphone and wireless tech which provides easy access to the sites wherever and whenever a player wants to log on.
And it seems that, in the UK, we’re certainly happy to try our luck whenever the opportunity presents itself and this has led to a number of sites becoming very successful indeed.
A boost for the economy
There are also a wide number of other winners in the great success of online gambling, the biggest of which is, arguably, the UK economy. First and foremost the money generated makes a major contribution to our GDP with the figure for the whole gambling industry estimated to be around £2.3 billion a year.
Naturally, it also takes many thousands of people, from the techies who design and maintain the sites to the customer care professionals who help and advise the players, to keep everything on track. So it’s also safe to say that online gambling is a major employer too.
Then there are the number of other businesses that have grown up around the sector too and these include affiliate sites which introduce new players in exchange for commission as well as, naturally, the companies that design and develop the games themselves.
The banks cash in
Banks and credit card companies also do very well from their association with online casinos by charging between 2% and 5% for every transaction made, both deposits and withdrawals. Plus, when players use credit cards to deposit it’s considered to be a cash advance often attracting interest rates of 20% APR or more. Therefore, it’s little surprise that payment using crypto-currencies like Bitcoins are becoming more and more popular with players and casinos alike for their considerably lower transaction fees.
The question of Brexit
Looking slightly ahead, along with virtually every sector in the UK, the prospect of Brexit may well have some ramifications for online casinos. This is primarily because many are based in Gibraltar whose future status remains uncertain.
But if the industry has shown anything over the last two decades it’s been just how adaptable and agile it can be. So there’s every reason to believe that, whatever the future may hold, there a great chance that the online casinos will continue to come out on top.