There’s little dispute that online gambling has diversified considerably in recent times, adding new genres like eSports to its portfolio as software and AI technology grow in sophistication.
But as online sports betting gains more and more traction, which is emerging as the most popular market – online gambling, or sports betting?
Nerves in Britain’s online betting industry were a little jittery early in 2019 after research by the UK Gambling Commission found that, while online gambling was generating a tremendous amount of revenue (37% of the country’s total gambling revenue), sports betting revenue shrank by 10%, pulling the overall total for the industry down a peg (0.3% to be precise).
But it’s important to take a longer look-back on this development to place it into context. Online gambling in the UK was only legalised in 2003; since then, it’s seen a robust growth of 19% per annum. That means that its share of the country’s Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) has soared from just 4% in 2011 to a thumping 45% just eight years later.
And during this time, data collected by the online industry’s major UK players shows that sports betting has been surging in popularity, driving vigorous sports betting revenue with every passing month. To put that in hard cash terms, revenue from sports betting in Britain rocketed by 53% between September 2019 and year’s end 2020, leaping from a total of £189.7m to £290.1m.
The reason appears to be technologically driven. There has been a significant shift in the UK from physical sports venues and bricks-and-mortar bookies to the online world. Most sports enthusiasts today are more or less permanently hooked up to an assortment of connected devices, most of them (smartphones) highly portable and therefore available for entertainment, communication and business all day, every day, wherever their owners happen to be.
This has driven a corresponding tidal wave of interest in online gambling – all of it in the palm of one’s hand. The smooth-functioning and convenience of smartphone apps has also played a significant part, helping to drive user engagement ever upwards. The riot of colour, the sharply defined images and video, the availability of live odds that are integral to cutting-edge new gambling sites like scoopsix have contributed to a spectacular rise in popularity of online casino gambling games and sports betting alike.
The technology, the sophistication of the graphics, and the new availability of live betting and live streaming of sports events have each undoubtedly contributed to helping sports lovers feel more deeply immersed in the events they’re betting on. And that means that they’re coming back for more in numbers never seen before the rise of this tech.
But they’re also being attracted by a commercial response to sport’s betting’s booming uptake: the growing profusion of enticing promotions. This has played an equally pivotal role in contributing to the exploding interest in online casino gambling, too, attracting customers back to the sites again and again.
The ongoing growth in the popularity of online casino games remains solid in the UK due to these factors. But it’s pretty clear from the trends we’ve looked at above that sports betting is not only here to stay; it’s growing stronger by the day.