LONDON – Anyone who opens their eyes to the popular media will know that online gambling has become a huge business in the UK, with revenues surpassing the £2 billion mark last year; surely good news for the treasury.
The meteoric rise of free online slots gambling is probably due to a number of factors, but there seems to be a distinct trio acting as a driving force: sports betting, the online casino, and the popularity of mobile internet devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The online casino has really captured the imagination of a lot of Brits. It offers many more games than merely the casino favourites of old. Bingo has certainly found a home on the net, with popularity going through the roof due to socially marketed gaming, and free bet rewards. The free bet is a big draw to many potential punters across the gambling board.
Sports betting has always been something we associate with the bookmakers, but where in the past this may have been confined to horse racing, the phenomenon has now spread to football. Football is our national sport, and you’ll notice many gambling ads both at half time and before televised games. Many of these ads will be promoting things like ‘in play’ betting; another big draw for many gamblers who believe they can read games well.
The net is no longer removed from our grasp the way it was with standalone PCs; it’s now an ever-present on smart phones and tablets. This takes out the need to make the trip to the bookmakers, and it also provides a handy platform for games like bingo and the online casino to run on.
The UK needs to set the standards as far as online gambling goes, and it’ll do this through responsible sites and regulatory bodies like the UK Gambling Commission.