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Gambling has been an important part of UK culture for hundreds of years and it remains a popular pastime in the UK. However, today’s gambling industry is certainly not the one your father or grandfather knew.

Instead, the gambling industry in the UK has become extremely innovative, competitive and fragmented over the course of the last decade. Keep reading to learn more about how the UK gambling market is performing — and where it is headed next.

 

The growth of online gambling

Over the course of the last 10 years, one of the areas of the industry which has seen the most growth has been the online betting and gambling market. Overall, gambling has seen something of slight decline in popularity as, according to market reports, the gross gambling yield (GGY) of the UK gambling and betting industry in the UK decreased by roughly £84.1m between April 2018 and March 2020.

However, this decline was mostly limited to brick-and-mortar casinos as during the same period, remote or online gambling actually increased exponentially. From April 2018 until March 2020, remote casino gambling — or online gambling — increased by roughly 4% and remote betting increased by roughly 15.5%. These are hugely significant leaps in popularity and the market actually shows no signs of slowing down for online gambling and betting.

There are now hundreds of different online casinos and gambling platforms for users to choose from, all of which are competing for the attention of UK consumers. In order to stand out in a highly competitive online marketplace, online casinos such as Rizk Casino UK offer gamblers extensive games libraries, competitive registration bonuses and state-of-the-art digital platform technology.

 

Sports betting dominating the market

It is worth taking a deeper look into the UK gambling and betting industry to better understand the market forces and where the online gambling industry is headed. Sports betting is actually one of the biggest categories of online gambling and it is growing at an exponential rate year on year.

Sports betting on football is particularly popular, dominating roughly 48.4% of the sports betting marketshare. Following football, horse racing and steeplechase events make up about 28% of the sports bets placed in the UK. However, concerns about animal welfare and cruelty linked to both horse- and dog-related events has led many people in the UK to rethink whether or not they want to continue engaging with sports that rely on and profit from animal exploitation and cruelty.

After horses comes a bit of a surprise as tennis makes up 5% of the GGY, dog-related events and races make up 3.1% of the GGY, and golf provides another 0.7% towards the GGY. A further 9.7% of the GGY is contributed by an amalgamation of different sports.

Interestingly, the last 18 months has led to a new sport rising in popularity — virtual sports and events. Many people who never before would have watched or engaged with esports have suddenly found themselves rooting for particular teams or placing bets on a favourite player. The esports industry is still in its infancy, but it is a promising industry that is set to grow exponentially over the coming decade.

 

Looking across the Atlantic and to the future

A quiet revolution is happening in the United States and many UK gambling companies are taking note. The United States has had an extremely fragmented, conservative approach to online gambling and gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos for decades. Now for the first time ever, legislation is being introduced in many states across America which would liberalise regulations of online and in-person gambling.

In recent times, local, state and federal governments in America and many municipalities have found themselves strained and are now looking for ways to make up for their budgetary shortfalls. However, the introduction of better, more reliable mobile technology and infrastructure has also played a role in the increasing acceptance of online gambling and sports betting.

The United States now presents a massive opportunity to UK gambling companies which already have well-developed online platforms. The industry is about to receive a huge influx of Americans looking for safe, reliable platforms on which to make bets and gamble, and many UK companies will be looking to take on this new challenge.

Regardless of what happens in the United States however, the online gambling industry is set to continue growing in the UK and is expected to grow by more than $80m by 2024.