The Future of the UK Online Gambling Industry
Industry analysts say that the UK gambling market is valued at around GBP14.4 billion per year.
Many casino operators are looking to penetrate the market and establish themselves in an increasingly competitive space.
And so, it wouldn’t be farfetched to think that this particular industry has captured the attention of the government. In particular, the Gambling Commission has been looking into the online gambling space and has introduced some new rules and regulations in an effort to protect the safety and integrity of both the players and the casinos. Naturally, these new introductions to the legislations surrounding online gambling will impact the future of the growth of online gambling in the United Kingdom.
Ultimately, it’s the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) that oversees any kind of regulation of legitimate gambling institutions in Great Britain. The commission was first established in 2005 as a response to evolving trends in the industry and the boom of the gambling tourism market. Essentially, the gambling was founded as a body that was designed to ensure the safety of casino-goers and casino operators in order to create a fundamentally wholesome gambling environment. The commission did this by instituting strict regulations and thoroughly vetting companies and operators before granting them official licenses to offer their services in the United Kingdom. Out of most of the regulatory gambling bodies in the world, the UKGC is known to have some of the highest standards and requirements. Any failure on the part of an operator to fulfill these standards or submit to these rules could result in either hefty fines or them losing the license altogether.
Over the past few years, there was a tangible growth in the online gambling space. As technology became more readily available and as high-speed internet became more accessible to a vast majority of people, online gambling surged to heights that it had never experienced as an industry before. Slow evolutions of the industry over time has made the online gambling space a lot more palatable in the eyes of the consumers. Some of the benefits of shifting to an online gambling space include anonymity, convenience, ease of use, and just the overall accessibility of online gambling platforms. These days, is virtually capable of playing a high-stakes poker game with people all around the world without having to leave the comforts of their own living room. This is the kind of convenience that online gambling has been able to provide.
The COVID Effect
Fast-forward to 2020 with a global pandemic that forced people to quarantine themselves within their own homes, many private citizens turned to the internet for entertainment and leisure to help pass the time. Naturally, many of the traditional casino-goers and patrons who frequented land-based casinos now found themselves interacting on online forums and platforms like Casinofy. This is a huge attributor to the growth of the online gambling industry over the past couple of years. This has triggered the UKGC to take a deeper look into its institution’s systems and policies in an effort to cater to this growing market.
Back in 2019, the commission already took steps to implement stricter age verification for online gambling platforms. That meant that online casinos were forced to take stricter measures in verifying the age of their users before allowing them to make deposits or even to play a single game. Another popular policy that was introduced by the UK Gambling Commission was the ban on the use of credit cards as a form of payment for deposits. This was a policy that was put in place as a response to the growth of gambling addiction problems around the region.
What Could the Future Look Like?
In the years to come, it’s doubtful that the UKGC will take a more lenient approach in terms of its conduct and regulatory service. There are speculations that betting restrictions might even be imposed on certain casino games. Currently, there are hundreds of licensed casino operators around the UK that offer online services to the general public. And it’s been noted that many of these operators have already been forced to pay significant fines for failing to meet the standards and regulations that have been imposed by the UKGC. However, the UK is still a place that is rife for growth when it comes to the online gambling market. Many investors are still eager to penetrate a market that is full of potential.