The online casino UK market is one of the largest gambling industries in the world. With many of the most known online casinos being operated under a UK licence. Having a licence here allows online casinos to offer their services to UK players. As a result of the lucrative market, there has been a huge number of online casinos opening in the past. However, with the regulations governing the market, only the best and safest manage to survive.
There have been many studies conducted in recent years, with its main focus on the online casino UK market. Almost every study has shown a rise in the online activities of gamblers. With online casinos offering easy access to well-developed systems, the choice for online casino players has never been better. For example, this website here shows how offering a mobile variation of their site can result in becoming a well-known brand. However, with recent events, reports have shown a sharp increase in online casino players taking part in gambling activities. Is this purely down to the pandemic or is there something else at play here?
One thing that can be taken into account is welcome offers. Over the past year, there have been many changes in the welcome bonuses online casinos offer. As these are one of the draw factors to a casino, you can say that the sharp increase in players may be down to this. But there are more factors to take into account with this.
A Turbulent Year for Online Casinos
The past year has been difficult for every kind of business, not just online casinos. However, the pandemic has given the industry some interesting yet mixed statistics. With the whole of the UK forced into multiple lockdowns, UK gamblers that would usually go to physical places had to stay home. As a result, more of these turned to online counterparts. Reports have shown that the number of online players during each lockdown rose significantly to record numbers. However, this only shows the rise in the number of players in the industry. As a result, online casinos will report different findings throughout the past year.
The general belief is that online casinos have been doing very well during the pandemic, however, this is not true. This is because many regulations have been imposed over that past year. With every rule change or implementation, online casinos always report a fall in players. And with the pandemic taking the headline in the news, these new rules have been forgotten about. One of the most significant to hit the industry over the past year is the limit on stakes that can be placed. This has resulted in every game being limited to only allow a small stake as a maximum. This is opposed to the high stakes that gamblers could place in the recent past.
Another rule change that has happened during the pandemic is a complete ban on credit cards. This comes at a time when many people rely on these to get by. The aim of banning them in gambling is to prevent unwanted debts from building up.
Relief for UK Casino Industry
With all of the bad news that the industry has had to deal with, there is a silver lining there. In the most recent budget meeting by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House of Commons on the 5th March bring news for the industry. He continued to explain that it is now hoped that the UK’s economy will recover to its pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. This is a lot earlier than expected. With the announcements of many new loans and tax relief options for the pandemic-hit gambling industry. The furlough scheme which has allowed gambling companies to hold onto their staff is being extended, however, will see reduced levels.
As a result of the news, it means that the UK economy is slowly returning back to normal. However, everyone knows that all of these grants and loans have to be paid for somehow. As a result, it has been said that Corporation tax on company profits is going to rise. This is rising by 25% to companies reporting a £50,000+ profit. A lower rate has been decided for business that have less profit than that. This will affect casinos that are based in the UK whether they are land-based or online. Gaming duties are also set to rise, however, this is only set to rise in line with the Retail Price Index.
What This Means For Casinos This Year
As a result, the past year has been very turbulent for many online casinos. with only the safest and best known surviving. With many having to close simply because they cannot survive with the rule changes. One thing can be sure, the ones that are big enough to survive are withdrawing from the UK market anyway. Therefore, they must be predicting that there is not a good future for the industry coming. However, those that decide to stay open can make use of the relief that the government are offering them.
Another thing that we can be sure of, with the Gambling Commission in talks for some more major industry changes, the future is uncertain. Many of the changes that they made have already had a devastating impact on the market, therefore, any more could ruin the industry. With some of the discussion having an effect across multiple industries, many believe now is not the right time to be having these talks. However, the Gambling Commission is continuing and will come to a decision over the coming year. Is there a point at which the Gambling Commission will stop before forcing UK players to try un-licenced casinos? With many already saying that the market is over-regulated, there are few people who think it will get better.
Whatever their decision, we know that many online casino UK players as well as operators will be affected. As a result, they eagerly await any news that is to come.