The online casino market is thriving in the UK, a trend reflected across mainland Europe.
A report released by the European Gaming and Betting Association showed the online gaming revenue across the UK and EU grew by 19% in 2021, bucking the trend for the overall market, which contracted by 13%. This was due mainly to the pandemic, which hit professional sports events and physical gaming locations, meaning less money was wagered. However, people did play along on games at home, and the iGaming industry is expected to grow by 9% year on year until it accounts for 41% of the entire gaming market by 2026.
Across Europe, the market is allowed to thrive as fewer restrictions exist for providers to adhere to. The industry is regulated and safe, but it is also allowed to thrive, unlike in the US, where each state has its own laws, many of which prohibit online gaming of any kind. There’s also lots of scope for growth in Europe, as some major countries still have room for expansion. “The growth trend of Europe’s online gambling market continues,” said Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of the EGBA. “There remains significant room for online development in markets, such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where the online share of the total gambling market is still relatively low despite the online markets in these countries being relatively mature.”
What factors will ensure that this growth does continue, despite physical locations now opening their doors? How does the iGaming market remain agile and positive in the post-pandemic world? These are three strong reasons for positivity within the online casino industry.
One aspect of iGaming which keeps customers coming back is game variety. Indeed, the UK Government suggests that online casino users hold an average of three accounts with different providers, demonstrating their desire for variety. Those casino providers don’t just offer typical casino games such as roulette and poker; they tend to diversify into different genres and styles. Alternative game types remain popular, with Gala Bingo offering Slingo games such as Slingone Fishin and Slingo Reel King. These are themed games that lie somewhere between bingo and online slots, which are not commonplace in casinos. Developers are also expanding their offering into live dealer games and diversifying their online slot offering. You can find branded slots around films and TV shows, themed slots with a Viking of Egyptian backdrop, and even seasonal slots. This variety is the weapon developers use to keep gamers from straying to their other accounts.
In Europe, 86% of people have smartphones or tablets, equating to around 427m people. Online casinos need this technology to deliver their immersive titles, which often feature casino games as well as popular and recognizable brands. For instance, there’s an online slot game based on the band Guns ‘N’ Roses, which features their brands, images and music. As well as playing on a home computer, a smartphone allows access in exactly the same manner, with no watered-down features. More accessibility means more players can interact with features on apps and sites.
Smartphones are only of use to developers and gamers alike if they can offer stable and secure connections, which 5G facilitates. Even 4G is acceptable, and most of Europe is now covered by that technology. However, The Guardian reveals the 5G rollout is happening across the continent, which means not only will players get to enjoy typical online slots but also the live dealer games which stream directly to devices. These feature a real person dealing the game and require a solid connection for playing on the move.
For great local radio throughout the day, check out our programme schedule. We’ve got everything from Reggae Revival to Stewart Pink’s Drive; great listening wherever you are.