What 2018 has in Store for the UK Gambling Market
There’s no denying that gambling online is a popular pastime for thousands of UK residents as well as the wider world in general. Over the last 12 months the industry has enjoyed an increase in popularity and currently holds 32% of the market in its hands. For high street betting shops and bingo halls, this increase has meant their numbers are decreasing. In 2017, in the UK, the number of betting shops decreased by 1.4%. while the number of bingo establishments suffered a decrease of 5.7%. However, overall, the collective income of the industry, in the UK alone, is a staggering £13 billion. So it’s pretty apparent that online gambling is not going away anytime soon. So let’s look at what’s in-store for the industry, now that 2018 is here.
Online casinos may well be going virtual
The good thing about online casinos is that they are always moving forward, willing and able to take advantage of all the best technological advances. For 2018, one of the most exciting developments looks set to be Virtual Reality gaming experiences. This latest technology has been gaining momentum and looks set to tickle the taste buds of the online gambling industry this year. Imagine yourself sat around a virtual poker table. What an immersive experience that will be.
A number of new slots are in the pipeline
There are a number of new slots in the pipeline to be released in 2018. Many of the top software developers will be adding some very interesting titles to the menu. For example, Madonna is joining the slots world with her very own themed games. Developed by Aristocrat, there are two new slots games. One which features many of her older hits. While the other features popular hits from more recent years. It’s expected that the launch of these games will be towards the end of the year.
Alongside the many slots that are due to be released in 2018, there will also be a good selection of new casino games. We’ve heard whispers of a Harry Potter themed selection of games. The release of which may well coincide with the opening of a Harry Potter World in Abu Dhabi. Warner Brothers, who own the film rights, have also teamed up with Aristocrat to release a Westworld themed game.
The UK is planning changes in the regulations
Following a 2017 review there are a number of changes planned for the UK gambling industry. The UK is already considered to be one of the best regulated gambling markets in the world. And coincidently, also one of the biggest. Any changes made to regulations in the UK tend to have a far reaching impact, with many other regulators following suit. One possible change will be the banning of gambling advertising before the watershed, during live sporting events. This could be seen to be a result of the fines imposed on a number of online gambling operators for irresponsible promoting practices. The review by the Gambling Commission has also prompted a letter that raises concerns about money-laundering and social responsibility. Sent out by the Commission it asks operators to review processes relating to such issues. According to the Commissions official website, there are already investigations being undertaken of 17 online operators. Five of which may be facing a licence review. This might not be good news for the operators, but for players it can only serve to provide further peace of mind.
Mobile gambling is on the rise
A recent trend that shows no interest in slowing down is the number of players choosing to play using mobile devices. The interest is so significant that many big name software developers are concentrating their efforts solely on the mobile casino market. The number of mobile casinos is steadily rising, as is the number of gambling applications. The majority of games are designed for iOS and Android users, but the popularity of other devices means that many others will support the playing of mobile games. The importance of mobile casinos is further backed up by the increasing number of casinos and betting platforms offering special bonuses for mobile players.
In the UK, sports betting is gathering new fans
Sports betting has always been popular in the UK, but now it’s possible to take part without having to worry about travelling to the actual event. Many of the big name high street betting shops now have an online presence. Betting on football matches is the most popular, but horse racing and tennis betting are slowly catching up.
The future for payments is bitcoins and cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoins, have received a lot of attention in recent years. They have also caused some controversy in certain circles. But this doesn’t seem to have affected their popularity. In fact, many consider them to be the future of online gaming. In times when people are losing their trust in banks in general, this type of payment method can seem very attractive. Money transfers can be processed without the need for bank services.
One further development worth mentioning is the number of online casinos that are merging. As well as the increase in gambling companies that are concentrating on affiliate deals. With the impending tightening of regulations, this will be happening more and more. The latest merge to take place will be Ladbrokes Coral and GVC Holdings. And this is likely to be the first of many.
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