Internet Betting now #1 Gambling Sector in UK
Twenty years ago, when the first online betting sites opened their virtual doors over the world wide web, people scoffed at the idea that this newly emerging industry could ever overtake land-based gambling. Now that 2017 has arrived, it’s not just a possibility, it’s a reality in Britain.
Late last year, when the UK Gambling Commission published it’s annual statistics, many were shocked by the results. The data was carefully compiled over the course of several months, omitting the curious prospect of erroneous information.
There’s no denying it. According to this report, the online betting sector has finally overtaken all other gambling venues in the UK. The question is, will Canada heed the warning?
Online Betting Ranks #1 in UK
The data composition team at the UKGC was kind enough to put together a nifty info-graphic that displays many of the most important statistics.
The following information is based on gross gaming yield (GGY; or the amount gambling operators won from players) generated by all of the UK’s gambling sectors – remote (online) betting, lottery, high street betting, and land-based casinos – from April 2015 to March 2016.
As we can clearly see, the remote sector (online betting) market share makes up one-third (33%) of the region’s total GGY from gambling. Online wagers generated £4.5 billion in the last fiscal year, out of a total £13.6 billion across the UK’s entire gambling industry, making it the top earner overall.
The UKGC went on to highlight a range of information, detailing the assortment of land-based betting opportunities and breaking down the top revenue generators into categorical leaders.
The UK’s gambling industry generated a total of £13.6 billion from April 2015 to March 2015.
Online betting services contributed £4.5 billion to that figure, 33% of the nation’s overall GGY, representing a 7.2% increase from the previous fiscal year.
The National Lottery brought in the second highest yield of £3.4 billion.
The high street betting sector came in a close third, generating £3.3 billion.
Traditional, land-based casinos came in dead last with just £1 billion GGY.
The National Lottery’s large society games raised £208 million for charitable causes, an increase of 10.5% in FY16.
The number of betting shops in the UK dropped 1.8%, down to 8,709 as of September 2016.
The number of gaming machines (slot machines) in the UK fell 0.4% to 167,839 from the previous year.
The number of B2 machines (non-slots gaming machines) also fell 0.9% on the year, down to 34,884.
The bingo industry suffered as well, following the closure of 4.3% of all bingo halls in the UK. As of September 2016, only 575 remain.
Former employees of the gambling industry were hit hard in the last year, with employment down 1.5% to 104,896 jobs held.
Will Canada Respond to Rise in Online Betting?
Obviously, online betting has become immensely popular in the UK. Odds are, similar data will soon be pouring out of regulatory offices in other major countries where the activity is strictly regulated. Perhaps it could even be enough motivation to convince Canada to open its doors to licencing international iGaming websites.
Online gambling is incredibly popular in Canada, but the majority of bettors utilize offshore websites that aren’t regulated in the country. Some provinces run their own internet gambling sites, but they don’t offer the same quality promotions and betting options of their overseas competitors.
The end result is that Canada is losing out on a lot of money. Instead of looking for ways to block Canadians from accessing offshore operators, they could adopt the UK’s method of licencing and taxing them.
The data above clearly shows the imminence of online betting. Canada and it’s multiple provinces would do well to take better notice.
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