Over the past decade, casino game popularity has grown tremendously. Whilst the amount of time that Brits spend gambling online has risen, the number of physical Bingo, Casino, and bookies outlets has dropped in 2021.
Whilst there was a 10% decrease in the total number of premises in Great Britain from March 2020 to September 2020, the gambling industry has undoubtedly been thriving despite cracking down on gambling adverts and football sponsors.
The UK emphasises the importance of licensing casinos – and the subsequent punishment for not adhering to such regulation – the fact that online gambling itself is legal in the UK shows a certain laissez-faire attitude towards the activity.
With the rise of crypto-casinos and developments in technology, regulation can struggle to keep up. Trusted review site Top Mobile Casino discussed UK gambling licensing and is one example of listing UK licensed operators, of which there are many. Investing, too, faces similar issues surrounding the relationship between technology and regulation, with crypto and Reddit-backed market manipulation being two points in question during the past two couple of years.
Switching to Mobile
Another aspect of gambling that shares similarities to investing is that it’s increasingly mobile-driven. During the first 10 years of the 21st Century, there was a trend away from the land-based casino and onto online – much like switching from a telephone broker to an online platform.
However, mobile is dominant now, be it shopping, finances, or games. Apps like Robinhood exploded in popularity during 2020, as did various casino operators, in part because they became a place to spend more time. Of course, mobiles are where we already spend most of our time, with research suggesting Brits spend around 4 hours on their mobile phones a day – albeit this is surprisingly less than the global average of 4.8 hours.
In 2019, the average Brit spent 3 hours on their phone per day, meaning that lockdowns, among other factors, caused this to increase by a third! Perhaps, working from home has also contributed, with fewer watchful eyes peering over us and extended toilet breaks.
This isn’t inherently bad, nor may it be particularly revelatory. Much of this is just transitioning away from the computer and onto our phones, because phones are becoming increasingly powerful and can complete most of the tasks that computers can. Given the upgrades in processing and graphical power, complex casino games can run with ease, as can online poker and video games.
Arguably, it is the gamification of casino games that has also led us here, with a lot of resources and innovation poured into casino game development. Themed slot games with characters, story modes, and competitive leaderboards have transformed the way we place bets.
What the future holds
Going forward, we will likely see some revenue restored for land-based casinos as tourism picks back up, but it’s unlikely that mobile casinos usage will ever transition “back” to land-based casinos.
As a result, more and more competition will arise, accelerating game development and the technological infrastructure underpinning the industry. Of course, this poses a regulatory pressure to keep up, but that is up to the regulators. As for consumers, they’re seemingly dictating the market by signalling where they spend the most time: on their phones.
The other major development we’re likely to see within gaming is VR, in which casinos will up their development of VR-based casino games, thus introducing the atmosphere and socialising that mobile casino games lack compared to their traditional rival. However, VR isn’t convenient nor accessible, and thus it will be a long time before we see mobile give up much of the market usage share.