Because of improvements in technology, more trust from online players, and an increase in new online casinos, the online gambling industry has been thriving in recent years. Of course, the online casino UK market is no exception. However, the pandemic has changed the way that players are choosing to place bets within the UK gambling market. The results from research conducted by the Swedish Lund University show that because of restrictions in events due to national lockdowns across the globe, the interest in online casinos has grown significantly.
In the UK, online casinos are more than capable to accommodate a surge in the demand for online casino UK games. This is because the operators in the UK with a Gambling Commission license are licensed and well-regulated. Despite the fact that the UK online gambling industry is one of the safest markets in the world, there are risks involved with people who are going online to gamble during the pandemic. Some people may choose to gamble with gamstop restrictions in place, meaning they can safeguard themselves from gambling all their bank account away, of course, those that are wanting to make big bets may still look for online bookies that don’t come with gamstop in efforts to try and increase their profit by placing bigger bets.
In late January 2020, Google searches for the term “casinos” hit an all-time high in the United Kingdom. This was before the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the UK resulting in a nationwide lockdown. Since the beginning of restrictions from the lockdown, the gambling industry’s revenue has been spiralling downhill. Spending on casino venues and highstreet bookmakers hit zero throughout the initial lockdown. Meanwhile, spending on online casino UK sites has increased significantly.
This is because punters are turning to online casino games like online slots, poker games and virtual sports instead. Data obtained from the Gambling Commission recorded that in March 2020, online poker grew by 53%. Also, virtual sports betting online grew by 88%. These figures are in comparison to the same month from 2019. The problems associated with this increase in demand is that most people are out of work during the pandemic. This means that the risk of problem gambling has increased dramatically.
The Impacts of Coronavirus on The Gambling Industry
At the time of writing, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect people in the UK. Because of restrictions and lockdown measures, there has been a major impact on the behaviour of consumers and there are significant impacts on the UK gambling industry as a whole. The responsibility of the Gambling Commission during the pandemic is to protect consumers. The Gambling Commission is focused on understanding how potential risks are changing. In order for the Gamvling Commission to understand the latest trends and carry out a detailed risk assessment, they are collecting extra data from consumer research and the UK licensed operators.
As each week passes by, the Gambling Commission is building a clearer picture of the current situation. Current trends amongst consumers provide the Gambling Commission with important information about how consumers are interacting with the online gambling market. For example, they are able to collect data that shows how people are spending their time and money in the online gambling sector during the pandemic. On the 20th of March 2020, all retail gambling venues in the UK closed their doors. As a result, the activities responsible for generating around 50% of all revenue in the market stopped. This includes lotteries too.
How Online Casinos in the UK are Adapting
The casino industry based on land has been significantly affected in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The complete shutdown of retail stores including high street bookmakers and casino venues has impacted the industry as a whole. While the brick and mortar venues are unable to open and generate revenue, online casinos are open for business as usual. Because of this, online casino UK operators are seeing significant profits. The sharp rise in iGaming is due to the influx of new players using online casinos in the UK.
Even though more players are visiting online venues, it’s not a complete breeze for the operators to see a rise in profits. In order to gain an edge over the competition, operators must be prepared to serve and engage an increase in consumers. In order to adapt to the post-COVID-19 world and remain relevant, online casino operators need to make some key innovations to stay up to date with the latest trends.
Firstly, online casino operators have no excuse not to provide players with a mobile compatible platform. The smartphone market is seeing constantly rapid growth. Because of this, consumers are seeking mobile casinos so that they are able to play with convenience. UK online casino operators without a mobile casino are missing out on a huge percentage of the market. Nowadays, most of the big online casino UK operators provide platforms that are compatible with Android and iOS operating systems.
Although some of the smaller operators do not have downloadable mobile casino apps, they do employ HTML5 technology to guarantee that their platforms are mobile compatible. The growth of the cryptocurrency market worldwide has resulted in many iGaming operators adding cryptocurrency payment options. Previously, most platforms would only provide Bitcoin as an optional payment method using crypto. This is because Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world.
Following the pandemic, lots of online casinos are now accepting payments made by cryptocurrencies like Etherum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. You can expect to see a lot of iGaming operators pushing for a license from Curacao. This is because an online gambling license from Curacao allows operators to add cryptocurrencies as banking options.
Embracing The Latest Trends
It’s clear to see that online gambling operators need to embrace the latest trends. They must do this in order to stay relevant in such a ruthlessly competitive industry. Single vendor online casinos are going to die off because online casino UK players prefer to sign up and play on platforms with multi-vendor offerings. The single-vendor model is limiting online casinos to a very standard line up of gaming options. On average, single vendor online casinos provide players with 200 to 300 online casino games. 200 to 300 games is no longer impressive to consumers. This is because the multi-vendor online casinos provide players with an average of over 800 online casino games.
For a long time, online gambling operators in the UK had complete freedom to incentivize players with bonuses. Most online casinos convince players to sign up by offering attractive welcome bonuses. The Gambling Commission is cracking down on special offers. This is to ensure that operators do not promote misleading information in order to attract lots of new players. Nowadays, there are many restrictions on iGaming operators. For example, there are many restrictions on how they advertise their bonuses and special offers to new and existing customers. Because of this, you will have to visit the most trusted online casino UK to locate welcome bonuses and special offers that do not breach any gambling laws or advertising guidelines.
For the brands that would previously benefit from promoting misleading information, they will need to find new ways to incentivize both new and existing customers. If online casino operators want to survive in the current UK market, they need to work harder than ever before. Operators need to stay fully compliant with the latest licensing requirements and online gambling laws. Online casino UK operators must remain compliant and find new ways to adapt to the current climate. As a result, they will certainly be able to earn a higher portion of the UK market share.