The popularity of online gambling continues to rise
Online sites dedicated solely to gambling, whether it's sports betting, casino or bingo, have become enormously popular over the past few years. There are many reasons for this, including being able to indulge in gameplay from the comfort of your own home to the thrill of the games themselves.
Online gambling is an industry that appears to have a bright future ahead of it and here, we've taken a look at the history of gambling that has led us to this point.
Gambling in the UK goes back to 1569, when the first nationwide lottery was authorised by Queen Elizabeth I to raise tax revenue. However it was not until the industrial revolution that it became central to people's lives. It was predominantly horse racing and stock market betting that were played, but gambling was only seen to be legal for the upper classes. After a period of prohibition for most avenues of commercialised gambling in the 1800's, the rules around gambling began to change.
The 1960s saw the arrival of fresh legislation concerning gambling, and licensed shops were created under the supervision of the government in which betting was legal. The Gaming Board for Great Britain was formed in the same decade for the regulation of bingo halls, casinos and arcades, and this situation remained the same until the emergence of disruptive technology - in the form of the internet - during the 1990s.
Although it did not happen overnight, the availability of online gambling changed the way people placed bets. According to iGaming Business, the period between 2009 and 2014 witnessed a growth of 79 percent in the online gambling sector. Gambling Commission figures also revealed that bingo and the lottery are the most popular forms of gaming.
Online bingo is actually changing the face of the game overall. In bingo halls up and down the country, the average age of those who play is between 61 and 62. However, with the rise in popularity of online bingo, 20% of players are now aged between 18- 24. Even more surprising is that the majority (62%) of online bingo players are aged under 45. It is the accessibility of the game which tends to draw people in as well as the ease of playing via a mobile or computer. Leading providers had adopted a certain style to approach younger audience, Wink Bingo for example has just recently launched a new site and app with a whole different look and feel, in order to align with that trend.
With plenty of mobile gambling options now available, the estimate is that 164 million people worldwide will be gambling online via their mobile phones by next year.
The ways in which people gamble have changed dramatically, but this has led to an astonishing growth in the numbers doing so. Clearly online and mobile gambling is very much here to stay, and is much more appealing to a wider range of people than at any other point in the history of gambling.