Online Casino Industry Continues to Flourish in the UK

Online casinos continue to grow in popularity and it’s always interesting to learn just how players behave in different parts of the world. Softswiss has been attempting to do just that with a study that looks at online casino behaviour in Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Data analysis has been carried out for a period between September 2022 and August of this year. This has been achieved by analysing players’ profiles on their casino platform.

UK Gambling on the Upswing

The results revealed that it is Europe that has the largest online casino market on the planet. The number of active players is eight times higher than in Latin America and 18 times larger than in Asia.

The past few years have seen online casinos become increasingly popular in the United Kingdom. One reason for this has been the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a big change in how UK players gambled.

“Sports betting was greatly affected by the pandemic with bricks and mortar betting shops forced to temporarily close due to lockdown. Those still eager to place bets headed online. For some of them, it was a new experience. One problem was that many sporting fixtures were cancelled and this caused online gambling sites to change direction”.

A greater emphasis was suddenly placed on casino games. Roulette, blackjack and slot games weren’t affected by lockdown. The numbers in the UK who were playing those games suddenly increased. Offers and bonuses at online gambling sites also put more emphasis on joining their casino rather than the sportsbook.

How UK gamblers played casino games also saw changes, according to, the UK online casino reviews site. A popular innovation in recent years has been the Live Casino. This allows players to go online and play casino games in an environment that is as close to playing at your local land-based casino as possible. The games are played in a studio that looks just like a casino and there are live dealers that you can interact with.

With the land-based casinos closed, the ability to play at live casinos was so important to UK gamblers. Even now that the lockdowns are over, the live casino continues to be an important part of any online site. The UKGC regularly publishes data looking at gambling behaviour. Their latest figures cover the period from March 2020 to March 2023. Their date covers both in-person gambling and those who play online.

Online gambling continues to progress well with Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) between January and March 2023 being £1.3 billion. That’s 5% higher than in the previous quarter. Total bets are again on the increase with the number of monthly active accounts up 11% from the previous year.

How Mobile Phones Drive Gambling Trends

Slots GGY has risen 2% with the number of spins players are making also increasing. A rise has also been seen in the length of the sessions UK slots players are having. 8.8 million sessions of at least an hour were recorded with the average time being 17 minutes.

One big change in the way we gamble has been the increase in playing on our mobiles. The study found that 68% of European players use their mobile devices to play at online casinos. As for what kind of games are played, those aged between 31 and 40 prefer to try their luck on the many slots seen at online casinos.

The next year or so could be very interesting for the British online casino industry and its players. The rising popularity of online casinos has not escaped the notice of the UK Government. It was back in 2005 that the last Gambling Act was passed. That was before the arrival of gambling online and playing casino games on your mobile devices. As a result, that 2005 legislation is now regarded as outdated.

This year saw a UK Government White Paper on gambling reform finally published. Updating the 2005 Gambling Act was the aim and it’s not great news for online gambling.

Of the many proposals made, several will affect the UK’s online casino industry. It’s recognised that there is a growing number of young gamblers and action is proposed that will seek to protect them.

As we’ve mentioned in this article, playing slots is extremely popular. The White Paper proposes new maximum stake limits be put in place and these could be as low as £2 for younger players. Stricter affordability checks are also proposed to see if players can afford the amounts they are gambling and losing.

There are plenty of discussions taking place over the proposals. What does eventually become law may well cut the profits of casinos in the UK but also give players greater protection.