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You are here: Home Focus 'The ease in which people can gamble has increased dramatically': UK Gambling Commission

'The ease in which people can gamble has increased dramatically': UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has insisted that the worldwide switch from computers to mobile devices has been one of the main instigators in paving the way for easy access online gambling.

In a recently published blog post, the UKGC stated that "participating in gambling activities is now as easy as opening an app on a phone and can be done practically anywhere."

The blog post goes on to admit to that the UKGC and online gamblers themselves are concerned that the 24/7 availability of mobile gambling is likely to lead to binge playing. The fact that a person is usually never far away from their mobile phone, whether they are sitting in their homes or out doing some shopping, is a cause for concern that mobile gambling can so easily become a part of peoples lives and almost impossible to avoid.

According to research by Statista, 95% of households in the UK own a mobile phone. The figure has risen by 15% within the last decade. This is a sharp contrast from the turn of the millennium where less than 50% of households in the UK owned a mobile phone.

The iGaming Industry

Unsurprisingly, the iGaming industry, a sector which consists of online casinos, poker, esports and cryptocurrency, has reaped the benefits of the technological advancements which have broken down a variety of barriers to gambling.

Online gambling is one of the biggest online industries in the world as well as one of the most lucrative. In 2017, the global online iGaming market was valued at €40 billion whilst this value is forecast to double to between €80 billion and €90 billion by 2024.

The online casino segment of the iGaming market is the largest piece of the iGaming pie and was estimated in 2018 to be worth €11.9 billion. The United Kingdom is the single largest market when it comes to playing online casino games, which is why there is such a big amount of online casino operators and casino affiliate sites operating in the UK.

The UKGC Watchdog

The UKGC is the watchdog and safeguard for UK online casino players. Any casino which wishes to offer their services to players in the UK must firstly be granted approval by the UKGC to do so and secondly, must abide by the UKGC's rules. Some of the most well-known online casinos operating in the UK include BetFair, William Hill and PlayFrank. Whilst there are also a variety of casino affiliate websites and online slot sites such as LabSlots that operate primarily in the UK market. Online bingo is also hugely popular in the UK, Gala Bingo being the most well-known.

It is the priority of the UKGC to ensure that none of the casinos are exploiting UK players in any way, shape or form. With a growing proportion of the UK population playing online casino games due to macro trends like globalisation and digitilisation, the UK government has had to issue the UKGC with increased investment in order to keep up with the growing iGaming industry.

The UKGC recently suspended the license of one iGaming software provider operating in the UK due to its 'customer interaction frameworks.' Whilst the UKGC regularly issues fines to casinos that do not comply with their rules.

Whether or not the UKGC can keep up with the continuously expanding iGaming industry remains to be seen. Numerous governmental organisations throughout a number of countries have had difficulty keeping up to date with tech industries. Gamblers throughout the world should be hoping that the government can keep the lid on the iGaming industry.

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