iGaming in the United Kingdom: Current State of the Industry

iGaming in the UK is thriving, and the sector continues to produce record revenues. Recently released figures for the twelve months ending March 2023 show that the industry produced over £15 billion in revenue.

That’s a considerable increase from previous years, and the upward trend shows no signs of slowing down. The figures also show that UK consumers have wide and diverse interests when it comes to online play.

Figures Broken Down

The total revenue of £15.1 billion includes a significant contribution from the National Lottery. If we exclude that game, the figures for all other iGaming services still come in at a considerable £10.95 billion.

The largest driver of income is online casino and, specifically, slot machines. It seems that many iGamers have a slots strategy, as the average spend for this area hit a record high of £67 per person per month. As a comparison, the spend for all other casino play was £36 per month, while general sports betting came in at £45.

Those numbers tell us where the money is going, but have players’ interests changed in recent years?

A Switch in Play?

Sports betting has dominated the UK landscape since the practice was legalized in the early 1960s. Casinos were available, but these were considered to be exclusive establishments and only accessible by high-net worth individuals.

A shift began around the 1980s and 1990s when certain casino brands opened on retail parks and in provincial city centers. They wanted casino play to be for everyone, and interest started to spread.

Of course, the biggest changes came along from the mid-1990s when the internet changed the face of iGaming. Anyone with a connection could now sign up and play their favorite games online with no barriers.

Significant Changes in Technology

Another important factor in the revenue split is the rise of live casinos. Most online operators now have these in place, and it’s currently the closest players will get to the real experience without leaving their homes.

Live casinos are broadcast from remote locations and they use human dealers and croupiers to run the game. High quality sound and graphics add to the experience, and the realism element has helped to boost those revenue figures.

It’s been one of the most successful areas of the industry, but live casino is set to get an upgrade.

The Next Steps

The technology involved with virtual reality has been around for decades, while augmented reality is a relatively new phenomenon. There are slight differences between the two, but both offer an enhanced experience in terms of realism.

Both technologies are being explored by the online iGaming industry, and there is potential for AR and VR to make a mark in casino and sports betting. Some games have already been released to customers, while this promises to be the biggest growth area in the next twelve months.

It’s easy to understand why this technology is so exciting for operators and players. Live casinos offer a realistic gaming experience, but VR and AR can take this to the next level. Players will now be able to take their seat at the virtual table, and go face-to-face with the dealer.

Blackjack, roulette and poker will benefit from these continued developments, but there is scope for enhancements with slots and bingo too. Some games are already in place and the lists will grow considerably in the coming months. In fact, there may even be scope for new casinos to focus solely on virtual reality and augmented reality.

Consistently Seeking Innovation

The iGaming industry succeeds because it is not afraid to diversify and try new methods. Following on from the traditional live casino games, developers have now produced live slots to capture an extra audience.

Sports betting also looks to new ideas to keep customers engaged. Recently, the industry has introduced a concept known as cashout, where a bet can be claimed before an event has ended. Stakers can take a reduced return based on how they think the game will finish.

Bet Builders are a more recent innovation. These are multiple bets, but they combine some of the more unusual elements of a match. Football is the most popular sport for bet builders and bettors could, for example, combine the result, first player to score, total goals, and how many corners there will be in the game.

iGaming continues to thrive, but it’s not complacent about its position in the market. The industry continues to consider new innovations that will help increase revenue in the years to come.

It must do this to keep customers engaged and ready to return to their favorite games, while discovering new titles. It’s an industry success story, but iGaming needs to work hard to keep its income buoyant.