Gambling has been big business in the UK for centuries and remains just as popular today as it was hundreds of years ago. Though popularity in this activity has essentially stayed the same from generation to generation, the main aspects that have led to changein the industry are technology and trends. These changes are driven both by the nation’s consumer demand as well as by the global gambling industries evolution as a whole. With that said, the following are the main betting trends that are expected for 2022 in Great Britain.
Big Betting Companies Are Re-thinking their Expansion Strategies
COVID-19 turned the gambling industry on its head in 2020,and though online casinos thrived, sportsbooks didn’t fare as well offline or online. As a result, many betting shops closed, leading to mass layoffs.
Yet, in spite of pandemic issues that resulted in layoffs and betting companies filing the largest layoff claims in 2020, the industry has continued to make millions in profits. For instance, William Hill, which employs 7,000 people in the United Kingdom, revealed that its post-blockade recoverywas strong, allowing it to return£24.5 million from a layoff claim in August 2020.
However, though the bookmaker giant has recovered its profit, it still intends to close over 100 shops in the UK, with the intention of expanding in the US. One of thecompany’s reasons being that its long-term successful retail track record hasn’t returned to pre-COVID-19 levels and 119 of its stores remained closed.
William Hill isn’t the only operator to expand its business overseas.Entain – parent company of Ladbrokes Coral – has taken advantage of the explosive growth of online betting in the US via its BetMGM Joint Venture. It’s likely that as more bookmakers rethink their growth strategies this year, they may dip their toes into other lucrative markets outside the UK to provide reliable platforms, particularly to Americans seeking a safe place to bet and gamble online.
Sports Betting Will Continue to Dominate in 2022
Even though 2020 and 2021 saw a rise in online casino activity in the UK, sports betting has been and continues to be the dominating gambling activity in Britain. Competition remains fierce among online bookmakers eager to attract players with welcome promotions. For instance, bet £10 get £30 offers is considereda competitive offer these days for new customers as is cashback and other ongoing loyalty perks.
With competition high, sports betting continues to grow at an exponential rate YOY. Betting on football, in particular, has remained popular, accounting for about 48.4% of the sports betting market share. Meanwhile, horse racing and steeple chase events make up roughly 28% of the sports bets placed in the UK.
Following these markets, tennis accounts for 5% of the GGY, dog-related racing accounts for 3.1%, and golf accounts for 0.7%, whilst a mix of other sports contribute to 9.7% GGY.
eSports Remains a Growing Trend
A part of this mix of other sports is eSports. The unique live video gaming-based betting events continueto grow in popularity. This is largely due in part to the pandemic’s impact on the betting industry as sports fans could not wager on other live events throughout most of the first half of 2020.
Though eSports has always been popular among the younger crowd (Millennials and Gen Z), the pandemic resulted in many bettors, who had never considered wagering on eSports, to rethink their strategies and give it a go.
With eSports on the rise, bookmakers have added more eSports events to their offerings ranging from LOL and Dota 2 to Counter-Strike. Even events like NBA 2K and FIFA have gained ground in the industry, with some eSports events matching the popularity level of some real-life sports competitions.
Online Gambling Popularity in the UKWill Continue
Britain’s total gross gambling yield in 2020 was £5.89 billion, a notable drop from the pervious year’s £14.12 billion GGY. However,not only is the GGY anticipated to recover, but the online gambling industry is expected to continue growing in the UK by more than $80 (£59 million) by 2024.
Web-based sportsbooks and casinos have a lot to offer players in terms of convenience, entertainment variety, and generous promotions. There’s no need to travel to land-based destinations or wait your turn to play the slots or place a bet. With most UK residents owning a smartphone and having access to high-speed internet, everything they need is a touch away, no matter where they may roam.
COVID-19 changed the gambling world, causing a shift in the betting and casino industries towards online gambling. Now, even with COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, many people continue to choose the internet as their preferred method of betting and gaming. This is a trend that’s likely to continue into 2022 and beyond, especially as Millennials and Gen Zbecome the primarygambling participants.