The UK is one of the most sought-out markets for the online gambling industry. Its residents are more than fond of accessing online casinos and enjoying the latest casino games. The reason why they are open to these activities is that UK gambling sites provide them with virtually limitless opportunities in terms of gaming and rewards.
This article will focus on the newest trends in UK gambling. It'll take a look at the market regulations in 2021, as well as the future of these regulations in the UK.
What Does UK Gambling Look Like in 2021?
The main idea behind online casinos was bringing gambling games to UK residents, instead of the residents coming to facilities and enjoying the said games. With the rise of the internet and its reach, the online UK gambling industry started to grow rapidly.
Ever since 2015, the interest in casino sites spiked and thousands of people started registering at these sites. The technology that powers these operators is quite fascinating. Software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Yggdrasil supplied online casinos with games that feature fantastic graphics and utilize the latest HTML5 technology, meaning that they are optimized for mobile and tablet use.
Not only that, but UK online casinos also utilize a security system called 128-bit SSL encryption software. This AI system takes all the data from the players and turns it into vines of unbreakable codes.
The reason why online gambling became such a popular activity in the UK is that these sites were regulated by law. While most countries do not have laws or specific authorities that oversee online gambling activities, that is not the case in the UK. The Gambling Act 2005 is the law that regulates online gambling activities, while the UK Gambling Commission is in charge of licensing and regulating online casinos.
The UK Gambling Commission is one of the most reputable and most popular regulatory bodies in the world, and The Gambling Act 2005 includes a requirement for all offshore sites that operate in the country. These operators must obtain their license and submit 15% POC tax on gross profits. The 2021 review of the law was also made so that the government will make sure that it is fit for the digital age.
Moreover, one major component of UK gambling is sports betting. Numerous online sportsbooks allow players to place bets on football, cricket, basketball, and pretty much every other sport that you can think of. Betting on horse races is also extremely popular in this country.
The Future of Regulation in the UK
Some of the latest statistics concerning UK gambling is that there are around 24 million male adults as well as female adults that gamble. 10.5 million of them gamble online. Since online gambling is a very popular activity in this country, the UK Gambling Commission is keen to make sure that the players are safe while enjoying these casino games.
Some of the changes that were made are bans on slot games that have the following features:
• Slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds
• Sounds or images giving the illusion of a win when the return is equal to or less than a stake
• Autoplay because it with it, players can lose track of time;
• Features that provide faster gameplay or allow players to think that they can control the outcome
Other changes state that operators must display their players with their total wins or losses, as well as time spent during an online slot session. Additionally, a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals for all online gambling activities was placed.
Finally, a ban on credit cards as a payment method was also brought, which is quite a strict measure. UK Finance estimates that 800,000 UK residents use credit cards to gamble. The ban on credit cards is what may have a very negative impact on the online UK gambling industry. After all, a huge part of UK residents uses them as a deposit and withdrawal method. So, if a player is constantly on the lookout for the next best deposit bonus, they should keep this in mind.
But the one good thing is that crypto casinos are likely to rise in the future as the UK Finance Minister announced that the UK is joining the race of digitalization and they are looking to create their own digital currency, which would be a joined taskforce between the Treasury and the Bank of England.
Although the government has not decided whether to introduce a digital currency, they have stated that they are looking into the option and will explore the objectives.
Legitimation of the Industry
As we are witnessing, the Gambling Commission is looking to regulate the UK gambling industry in a much better way. It goes without saying that in doing so, the regulations will be able to protect the users on online platforms in a much better manner.
Not only will unlicensed sites be blocked in the country and make sure that players will only play at licensed online casinos, but there is one additional way through which the gambling industry will be regulated, and it is known as GAMSTOP.
GAMSTOP is a self-exclusion service that is set to help people avoid online gambling. According to GAMSTOP, all operators that provide players with gambling services in the United Kingdom must put procedures for self-exclusion and thus, take all the reasonable steps to refuse or prevent individuals who entered self-exclusion agreement to gamble.
Although, it is worth noting that these policies are only available to operators that are part of the GAMSTOP scheme. GAMSTOP cannot prevent players from accessing sites that are not part of their program.
The Gambling Industry Continues to Grow
The latest statistics have shown that remote gambling has a massive increase. In December 2020, the slots GGY has increased by 13% and reached almost £200 million. Not only that, but people want to place bets, and statistics have shown that the number of bets has increased by 12% and reached almost 6 billion. Additionally, the number of active accounts has risen by 6% and reached almost 3 million. This tells us that people are more than willing to bet online and visit online casinos to play the latest casino games.
Some of the latest statistics that state the number of casino players per country are shown in the table below.
COUNTRY NUMBER OF PLAYERS (MILLIONS) REVENUE BY COUNTRY (IN BILLION EUROS)
THE UNITED KINGDOM 33.22 2.314
FRANCE 19.720 1.602
PORTUGAL 6.5 0.309
GERMANY 4.789 0.688
THE NETHERLANDS 5.840 0.610
SWITZERLAND 5.571 0.661
SPAIN 4.663 0.341
ITALY 2.030 0.312
As the statistics show, there is no denying the fact that the UK is one of the most desired markets for the gambling industry. The UK residents are more than open to accessing online operators to place bets or play the latest casino games.
Although the ban on credit cards has negatively affected online casinos, the good news is that players still find ways to gamble online. Not only that, but the government is also considering the option of creating its own digital currency.
Crypto casinos have been on the rise lately and by allowing players to gamble with a state-approved currency, they will be protected at all times. The UK Gambling Commission is doing a lot of efforts to make sure that its players are safe and secure while they enjoy these games.