Online casinos continue to grow in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. What lies ahead for the gambling industry in the coming months?
In the United Kingdom, there has also been a great deal of expansion in recent years. That’s because of the fact it is so easy to be able to gamble in the UK. Many gambling companies were glad of their online presence during the pandemic.
The arrival of the internet changed everything for the gambling industry. An increasing number of UK online casinos have opened allowing 24/7 betting. With mobile phone technology becoming more advanced, this has led to even more chances to gamble at online casinos.
Will these big revenue figures continue though? Recent figures released by the UK Gambling Commission have shown GGY of £1.2 billion for October to December 2022. That was a 2% fall from the same period last year.
However, slots GGY at UK online casinos rose by the same amount with the number of spins up 8%. People are playing longer too with the total number of online slots sessions that go through the hour mark rising by 11%. For the first time the nine million mark was passed.
Many European countries have become increasingly tougher when it comes to regulating online casinos and other areas of the gambling industry. That includes Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
The UK is lagging behind mainland Europe but not for want of trying. The Conservative Government has been promising gambling reform for a long time now. The instability in Downing Street has continually delayed the publication of a White Paper into gambling reform.
It’s believed that its contents will finally be known soon but that’s a statement that has been made several times in the recent past.
Established and new online UK casinos are in a state of uncertainty at present. It’s not easy working out which markets to be in when stricter regulation is on its way. Clues have been given that the White Paper will target online sites. That’s no surprise because the last Gambling Act was in 2005 and of course the gambling industry has changed dramatically since then.
There are rumours of reduced maximum stakes for online casino games and that would hit revenues. Stricter affordability checks are another possible measure and that could lead gamblers to quit the regulated gambling industry and move to the unregulated black market.
Recent years have seen America show just how much it loves to gamble. The American Gaming Association (AGA) released data that shows last year for the first time ever, total gross gaming revenue (GGR) went past the $60 billion mark.
That figure includes all legal gambling so it includes everything from online casinos to land-based casinos and the growing number of sports betting sites.
Going through the $60 million barrier surprises Bill Miller, the AGA President and CEO. He commented that “Our industry significantly outpaced expectations in 2022. Simply put, American adults are choosing casino gaming for entertainment in record numbers, benefiting communities and taking market share from the predatory, illegal marketplace.”
The last three words of that comment are important ones. Despite over 30 US states legalising gambling, many still gamble at unlicensed and unregulated gambling sites. Those give a great deal less protection to players than at legal online casinos.
Since the groundbreaking ruling by a US Supreme Court Judge in 2018, the US gambling industry has seen massive expansion. That ruling led to individual US states deciding whether to make gambling legal. Those sites that have subsequently opened continue to expand and with more states making betting legal, that’s why the revenue figures are rising so much.
It’s likely to continue in the future with there being eight states that currently have ongoing legislation aimed at making gambling legal. It takes time to go from introducing legislation to passing it and then launching online casinos.
There are some states that still resist legalising gambling. California has done so and that’s a blow because there would be massive gambling revenues if they did go down the legal route. The next big target is Texas as gambling being legalised there would attract many gambling companies.
When gamblers go to online casinos, they love to play slot games. Slot revenue increased last year to $34.19 billion and that’s a lot of spins. Table game revenue also saw increased revenue with players ever keen to try and get wins at blackjack, baccarat etc. There was double-digit growth for table games when compared to 2021 figures. A similar growth was seen in iGaming revenue.
The increased figures are good news for the states that legalise gambling. They receive much-needed revenue from gambling taxes and also the amounts they charge operators for licences.
Those charges have hit some casino operators who decide to launch sports gambling in states that have made such betting legal. The continued high revenue figures are likely to improve balance sheets for a long while yet.