In the past, online gambling sites felt like the operated in the grey areas of the internet that included other infamous industries. This may have been the case, but the gaming market in the UK is one of the biggest growth sectors across all industries and it now represents 33% of all the gambling done in the UK, generating an impressive £4.5 billion annually. This makes it the largest gambling sector in the UK with the Lottery only earning £3.4 billion, and traditional betting shops making a paltry £3.3 billion.
The first online casino launched in August of 1996 (InterCasino, based in Antigua). Eighteen games were available at the time.
The UK represents one of the largest markets, but the global numbers are also mind boggling. Total revenues from online casinos are difficult to pinpoint but have been estimated at $12 billion in 2005 and 15.2 billion in 2006. In 2010, revenues were 28 billion. In 2017 the forecast is $50 billion.
That is a lot of growth in just 11 years!
In the UK of the £4.5billion generated online £2.6billion came from casino games such as online blackjack where this site lists the tops places to play, £1.6billion from betting, £152million from betting exchanges, £153million from bingo and £26million from pool betting. Online slot machine-style games alone generated £1.8billion.
While it is widely accepted that mobile gaming is now increasingly dominant, the dynamics of this platform are continuing to change rapidly.
Even though smartphones drive the vast majority of mobile gaming experiences, for example, we are now seeing tablet usage grow at an exponential rate (and one that is disproportionate to handsets). Incredibly, it is estimated that the revenue generated worldwide from tablet gaming will increase from $3.6 billion to $13.3 billion between 2014 and 2019, meaning the market will nearly quadruple in size in the space of just five years.