The world is just starting to recover from the crippling effects of the pandemic. These effects have impacted different industries including gambling. In the UK, the gambling industry made almost £10 billion within the 2021 to 2022 period. These numbers are more likely to rise as restrictions and public health measures are slowly easing up. Let’s look at the trends.
Key trends in UK gambling industry
Here are some of the trends that are likely to influence the UK’s gambling industry this 2023.
In recent years, we witnessed the emergence of blockchain casinos. These are casinos that utilise blockchain technology. Its decentralised nature solves the security problems that online casinos experience.
This technology works without third-party intermediaries, making a safer environment. Here, smart contracts take care of the transactions. It provides fairness and protection to all players.
The blockchain itself stores and records information on transactions. This makes it hard for hackers to get a hold of your information and data. Crypto casinos most often run on open-source platforms which provide transparency.
For players, this means that they can check or trace their funds at any point in time. On top of all these, blockchain casinos offer numerous bonuses and promotions. New and existing players alike get to enjoy perks like free spins and sign-up bonuses.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is where digital information is added to a user’s real-time experience. One popular example of this is the Pokémon GO app which was launched in 2016.
Meanwhile, virtual reality differs from augmented reality in such a way that it transports users to a new environment. They can experience things like 3D sounds, and images among others. Although virtual reality is a newer technology, it has heavily influenced the gaming and entertainment industries.
Land-based casinos can incorporate augmented reality in several areas. This is to enhance the casino’s environment and give players a good gaming experience. For one, they can include it in certain games and slots. Players simply pull up their phones and place it in front of their favourite slot game. They will then see when it had last paid out its jackpot.
Augmented reality can also allow players to view information like digital promos, bonuses, and other games.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, can offer a lot more. With its technology, it can transport players to a whole new world. As long as they have a good, stable internet connection, they can enjoy the games from the comforts of their own homes.
Thus, it is possible to visit virtual casinos and have a chat with other virtual players before having a few rounds of virtual poker.
Challenges for the gambling industry
Despite a positive outlook on the gambling industry in the UK in the coming years, the challenges related to gambling are also growing. So much so that it has already become a health crisis in the UK.
Gambling as a public health crisis
With the proliferation of online casinos and gambling, the UK has seen an estimate of 250,000 to 460,000 problem gamblers. This issue baffled several organizations such as the NHS Northern Gambling Service.
Its clinical lead, Matt Gaskelle, has openly stated that the gambling industry is continuously offering habit-forming products. Hence, resulting to a “significant public health crisis”.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on gambling-related harm has dedicated years in rallying for additional protection. It mainly focuses on vulnerable groups and children. One inclusion in their plea is for gambling companies to pay a tariff imposed by the government.
Another is to prevent or ban these companies from using their names or logos on football shirts. It aims to put a stop to walking advertisements for gambling.
Gambling ads cause more harm than we think
The escalation of gambling advertisements is one particular area where reform is essential.
During the drafting of the UK’s Gambling Act in 2005, the use of technology was different. People regarded gambling as a dubious activity back then. Looking at the other side of the fence, people can now go to online casinos or online sports betting using their mobile phones.
On average, people may see gambling logos at around 700 times in just one football match on TV. The reason is clear. Established betting companies commission over 28,000 ads a year.
One alarming research shows that gambling ads on Twitter are far more appealing to children and young teens than to adults. As a result, almost totalling to 30,000 kids with ages11 to 16 suffer from gambling issues. These issues include financial, social, and emotional problems.
Another study supports this research and found exposure to gambling ads can cause gambling harm in all age groups. Equally important to know is that there are already 400 gambling-related deaths in the UK every year.
You can find more news on the UK’s gambling industry on this website.