BREAKING: The figures that reveal just how much the UK online casino market is worth

  • Value of UK online gambling industry put at £4.5 billion
  • Online casinos pull in £2.4 billion in revenues
  • Land-based casinos also on the rise, with punto banco a surprise success story

UK watchdog the Gambling Commission has pushed out figures today which put the value of UK online gambling at £4.5 billion ($5.83 billion).

More growth for the UK online casino industry. It represents about a third of UK gambling overall.
More growth for the UK online casino industry. It represents about a third of UK gambling overall.

That means about a third of the UK gambling industry as a whole, which is worth £13.8 billion ($17.9 billion), is now online.

The figures, which are taken from October 2015 to September 2016, suggest a small rise on the £4.2 billion figure recorded between March 2015 and April 2016.

Online casinos on the march

Online casinos make up the biggest proportion of that headline $4.5 billion figure, accounting for £2.4 billion of the total, and representing a small rise of about £100 million on the previous yearly data. But to put that growth in context, the online casino market sat at £1.1 billion in 2013/14.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the humble online slot that makes up the bulk of that value. Of the £2.4 billion, £1.6 billion is thanks to slots. Table games, by contrast make up just £377 million of that figure.

The industry standard metric for measuring these huge numbers is called the gross gambling yield which is simply the amount a casino holds from gambling minus its payouts.

Betting growth

Online betting, of which sports betting is obviously the major contributor, has shown growth, rising from £1.73 billion in the year April 2015 to March 2016 to £1.91 billion from October 2015 to November 2016. Soccer betting, by far the biggest market, rose from £576 million to £619 million.

More and more signing up…and self excluding

Given the UK has a population of about 65 million, consider then that in the year October 2015 to November 2016, 28 million fresh online casino or betting accounts were registered.

Obviously players can register more than one account, but that’s still an increase of five million on the previous six months of data from April 2015 to March 2016.

Self exclusion, a process by which players can voluntarily block themselves from accessing their casino or betting account, was also on the rise.

In the period October 2015 to September 2016, 812,657 self excluded accounts were registered, increasing up from 609,738 in the previous yearly data.

Land-based casinos lag behind, but numbers strong

The land-based casino sector in the UK by comparison was worth just under £1.2 billion for the period of October 2015 to September 2016. That makes online more than twice as valuable as land-based. But revenues were up nearly 20% on the the April 2015 to March 2016 figure, which was just below £1 billion overall.

Interestingly punto banco is largely responsible for the rise, up from £23.3m to £213.6m. Punto banco is a form of the classic casino game baccarat.

The old veteran blackjack, however, has seen a drop off in land-based casino revenue, falling from £203.7m to £187.6m over that same period.

OUR VERDICT

The online casino market is a very lucrative one, but for that reason, it is also a very competitive one.

Good operators will succeed because they are offering players what they want, and that usually means a first class user experience, that’s speedy, can be played on the go, and offers a great choice and quality of games.

A few decent bonuses are always welcome too, so check out Casinopedia’s list of trusted online casino reviews to get started.

Because this is a profitable market players should expect only the best. If an online casino is not meeting your needs, then feel free to swap – there’s plenty of top quality choice out there.

The UK market offers its players a great array of options partly because it is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This keeps the players safe, but also offers an environment for online casinos to grow and innovate.

It is up to the regulator to make sure a healthy industry works for both the casino and the player.

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