It’s true to say that this year, we never anticipated the closing of gaming markets across the entire world. This may even continue into next year.
Despite this, the iGaming industry is still set to do well.
In fact, by 2021, it could exceed $180 billion as it continues to innovate. This is largely thanks to new mobile gaming platforms being released, and new monetisation strategies being created.
The UK iGaming Market
In particular, the UK has always been a large market for iGaming and will probably continue to be. The UK population loves to spend their free time placing bets on various casino and lotto games. This perhaps explains why the market here is now worth over £14 billion.
40% of this revenue comes from online betting, accounting for over £5.6 billion. Whereas 20% is from the lotto, accounting for £3 billion. The remaining 20% is from other activities like bingo and live casino gambling.
Sports betting is another popular pastime here in the UK. Particularly for sports like football and horse racing which have always been very popular. This segment is worth £650 million, and has been growing since 2009 at a rate of 7%.
Unfortunately, the popularity of online bookies has been to the detriment of high street chains. Particularly within the last couple of years.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that online gambling now accounts for the UK’s primary gambling market.
What Could Happen this Year for the UK and General European Market?
Overall, we’d say the outlook is relatively positive. This is indeed indicated by the rise in GGY by an impressive 53%. Compared to other years, this is quite a significant increase.
Player engagement for UK gambling and betting sites has improved compared to previous months. Players staying logged in for 30 minutes or more on a casino site increased by 12%. As far as slots go, players are spending 25 minutes more on these games.
Player activity on these sites rose by 15%. There has also been an 8% increase in the number of online accounts being set up compared to last year.
There has also been an 8% increase in overall annual growth and a 7% increase in the number of bets placed. At the same time, the number of active players has risen by 12%.
It’s also encouraging to see that player engagement also increased by an impressive 29% between March and November 2020.
What Could be Responsible for Driving this Growth?
Digitisation and a continued focus on mobile are believed to be the two main reasons.
More and more high street gambling retailers are introducing an online element to their offering. Or perhaps even transitioning entirely to online gambling to stay competitive.
A smart move, considering just how popular online gambling is at the minute. Some brands are also merging with other brands to create superbrands.
Unfortunately, the ones who fail to innovate may be at risk of eventual closure. Nevertheless, this year is expected to be something of a recovery for land-based establishments.
Players are increasingly being attracted to online gambling, realising its many benefits. Such as the great choice of games and payment options like crypto.
People are also increasingly playing on the go, as mobile gaming continues to innovate. More options become available for players.
Despite significant events such as Euro being postponed until next year, other significant sporting events are returning.
This should help sports betting outlets to get back to normal. 2021, in particular, is set to be a year of strong growth.
Will the Brexit Deal Affect the Competitiveness of the UK Market?
It’s possible that the UK market could become less competitive as a result of Brexit. It has been suggested that the market could shrink as a result of changes to the regulatory framework.
The fact that the environment will be different for operators could mean fewer new casinos emerge. This may also be encouraged by an increase in license payments and taxes.
So why will taxes increase? It’s because many other types of businesses will become less profitable.
To counterbalance this, promising sectors like gaming will have to pay more tax to balance these losses. License payments will increase because untrustworthy jurisdictions will increasingly attempt to enter the UK market.
Gambling companies also need to be aware that new partnerships will need to be built with Malta and the Isle of Man. They are two of the most accommodating markets for players in the UK.
EU regulation will no longer apply, meaning that certain companies may compromise the rules.
The Future Looks Positive for Online Casinos. But the UK Market Should be Careful
Despite the widespread, worldwide disruption of industries that affect gaming markets, it is actually performing really well. This can be attributed mainly to the popularity of online gambling, digitisation, and mobile technology popularity.
The picture for high street bookies and real casinos is a bit different. Such outlets can remain competitive if they innovate in some way. Otherwise, they could face eventual closure.
Nevertheless, as more and more major sporting events return to normal, we expect things to pick up, particularly for bookies.
Despite a reasonably positive outlook, the UK gambling industry does need to be somewhat cautious about the future. Brexit has already been passed, which will result in more significant taxes and license payments for UK operators.
Demand from players may also decrease, while new, rogue companies attempt to dodge the rules and undercut the competition.