UK Casino and Online Slots Growth in 2020
Other than the online slots and gambling industries, 2020 has been an extremely difficult year for many markets, ranging from various service and travel industries to plenty of commercial areas. Not to mention the restaurant industry, which has seen one of the most difficult periods it has ever encountered. Of course, the reason for these huge shifts in market activity and commercial performance are down almost entirely to one thing – the coronavirus pandemic. This is unusual, as most of the time businesses do worse than expected, there is not a clear answer as to why.
In this instance, however, the pandemic has revealed rather clearly the sensitivity of these markets to the kinds of measures being imposed by governments across the world – social distancing recommendations, lockdowns, and quarantines. Naturally, this has the sad consequences that going to meet out at, for example, local restaurants are at best inadvisable and at worst plain illegal. No wonder then that so many industries have suffered such shortfalls in this troublesome year.
Other industries have fared better, however. Digital shopping has replaced in-person shopping in a big way, with digital commerce giant Amazon recording doubled profits during the pandemic, in part, thanks to their easy to use online app. Likewise, internet gambling and online casino scene has recorded a spectacularly good year from a business perspective. Plenty of new players have spent their time at home during lockdowns browsing online casinos which have seen a surge of interest!
Of course, this builds on an already growing trend of steadily increasing interest in online gambling activities and visits to casinos online. In fact, in recent years total global online gambling revenue has seen an increase of around 10% annually, and it was on the back of this growing interest that recent growth was built. With the upheavals of the ongoing pandemic, the growth numbers have been even higher and by the time of end of year reports being released we expect to see records that blow the above out of the water. In the UK, internet search activity for online casinos immediately rocketed as the first wave of the virus began to force people to stay at home. Online casino betting apps received a huge spike in downloads too.
This kind of surge in interest seen across the world is prompting industry watchers and market professionals to predict huge growth and quite amazing statistics for this year in terms of gambling revenue and player activity.
Popularity of Casino Slot Games in the UK
UK casino players who would normally travel to their local land-based casino have instead used the internet to access online casinos in 2020, due to the lockdowns. The most popular online casino games played in Great Britain are UK online slots due to their ease of access and the potential wins they can offer players.
Megaways slot games and progressive jackpots slots are especially popular due to the excitement the former offers and the potential life changing wins the latter offer. Unsurprisingly then, the online slot operators which develop this type of casino game have also seen their revenues grow in 2020.
Big Time Gaming, the creators of Megaways online slots, have seen their digital revenues go through the roof in 2020. This has been fortunate for them given their land-based operation revenues shrunk dramatically. Evolution Gaming, famed for their excellent live casino games, made the decision in 2020 to acquire online slots development giant NetEnt for almost £2 billion.
What will 2021 Bring?
Although the latest pandemic news is the release of the vaccine, the online gambling market in the UK is expected to continue to grow in 2021. Although the UK Gambling Commission is enforcing increasingly stricter regulations on online gambling in the UK market, the forecast is looking good for online casino operators.
It is clear that the UK government are set to take a look at the current state of the UK Gambling Act in 2021. There have long been calls for Downing Street to update the act which has been called ‘unfit for the modern internet age’. If this happens, online casino gaming operators may have reason to be scared. Despite this, the tax the government implements onto gambling companies ensures that if gambling companies are hit by a change in the law, then the UK government treasury will be too.
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