The Changing Face Of Online Gambling

Andrew Comyn

Casinos and gambling in the UK are gaining popularity. However, the way that people gamble, and the demographics of gambling, are changing. From October 2015 to September 2016, the gross gambling yield (GGY) in the UK was £13.8 billion, and 32% of that (£4.5 billion) came from the remote sector.

The growth of the remote sector has led the shift in demographics, with more women and younger people participating in gambling. What’s behind this change, and what does it mean for the gambling sector?

Why the change?

Gambling has become more accessible for the masses in recent years. Regardless of their efforts to address the problem, land-based casinos give off an air of exclusivity. Look around any casino in the UK and chances are it will be full of middle-aged men. This association has long been a barrier to younger people and women. In fact, according to the Gambling Commission, land-based casinos have suffered a 6% decrease in attendance recently.

The rise of remote gambling has enabled more people to participate. There’s no need to visit a physical casino; customers can simply log into an online casino on their laptop or mobile device.

Online games are also more appealing to a different audience, with more games that can be played quickly, on-the-go, and that require a lower level of skill than traditional casino games like poker. An example is slot machines, which represented a staggering £1.8 billion of last year’s GGY of £4.5 billion.

The best online casinos, such as 888casino, are taking advantage of this new trend with slot games such as “Rise of the Pharaohs” and “Irish Riches,” which appeal to younger people and women. Clearly, all sorts of people are seizing the opportunity to play these fantastic slots online.

online casino gambling tripled in 10 yearsSource: 888Casino

Key trends

Excluding the national lottery, a recent study found that 44% of women had gambled in the past four weeks in the UK. This figure is up in recent years and is approaching the 53% rate for men.

For younger age groups, 38% of 16- to 24-year-olds, and 48% of 25- to 34 year-olds, had gambled in the past four weeks. This represents an increase of 5% and 10%, respectively.

55% of online gamblers said that they used a laptop to game, and 43% chose a mobile phone or tablet to access an online casino. It’s clear that the rise of online casinos and online bingo has led to an increase in female and younger participation.

What does the future hold?

Estimates show that gambling firms spent upwards of £160m on TV advertising in 2016, yet social media advertising could be a key area of growth for gambling firms going forward.

Over one-third (68%) of people between 18-24 admitted to being influenced to gamble after seeing adverts and posts on social media. The continued growth of social media could see more young people being attracted to gambling.

Online casinos and bingo companies have further adapted by adding a social element to most of their online games. Customers can chat with friends whilst playing remotely on their phone, laptop, or tablet.

If online casinos continue to offer variety and accessibility whilst investing in social media advertising, expect to see an increase in gambling participation by females and younger people in the next few years.

For more on online gambling, see How To Influence Customer Behavior In Casinos.


About Andrew Comyn

Andrew Comyn, a creative writer, and graduate of Sheffield University working in the world of online marketing with a number of high-profiled brands.