Will Online Casinos Sound the Death Knell for Land-Based Casinos?

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Alan Evans

Updated by Alan Evans

News Writer

Last Updated 4th Jun 2024, 05:33 PM

Will Online Casinos Sound the Death Knell for Land-Based Casinos?

"Imagine being able to communicate at-will with 10 million people all over the world. Imagine having direct access to catalogues of hundreds of libraries as well as the most up-to-date news, business and weather reports. Imagine being able to get medical advice or gardening advice immediately from any number of experts. This is not a dream. It’s internet."

Those were the words of National Public Radio’s (NPR) Neal Conan on Morning Edition over thirty years ago.

It is hard to imagine that even in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the internet was almost entirely text-based and finding what you wanted involved technology which required a PHD and a white overall.

The Growth of the Internet 

On April 30, 1993, something called the World Wide Web (www) launched into the public domain. We have all become familiar with www which precedes the address of what we want to look at via a browser. 

Try to imagine a blank canvas with no websites, then try to imagine how much work has gone into constructing the enormous number of sites providing us with the vibrant online canvas we use today with pictures, video, and sound, placing a digital knowledge base and the best online casinos just a mouse click away.

The World Wide Web was the brainchild of Tim Berners-Lee, a 37-year-old researcher at a physics lab in Switzerland called CERN. The institution is known today for its massive particle accelerators.

Berners-Lee eventually convinced CERN to release the World Wide Web into the public domain without any patents or fees. He has since attributed the runaway success of the web to that single decision.

By the end of 1995, more than 24 million people in the U.S. and Canada alone spent an average of 5 hours per week on the internet.

Today, nearly two-thirds of the world's population uses the web to visit hundreds of millions of active websites. Some of those pages belong to companies that are among the most valuable in history, like Facebook, Amazon and Google.

Fast forward to today, and it is easy to see why the internet is so important for business. In the UK alone in 2020, 92% of adults were internet users. Almost all adults aged 16 to 44 years in the UK were recent internet users (99%). Most remarkably, the proportion of those aged 75 years and over who are recent internet users nearly doubled since 2013, from 29% to 54% in 2020. 

Key Points from the E-commerce and ICT activity, UK: 2019

  • In 2019, e-commerce sales by businesses in the UK non-financial sector with 10 or more employees were £668.9 billion, rising from £639.7 billion in 2018. 
  • Electronic data interchange (EDI) sales of £334.0 billion  
  • Website sales of £334.9 billion in 2019 
  • Web sales more than trebled since the 2009 value of £110.6 billion 
  • EDI sales have shown lower growth, rising just over a quarter from £264.5 billion in 2009
  • E-commerce sales dominated by businesses with 1000 or more employees
  • Their sales of £368.5 billion were more than half the total value of sales by all businesses with 10 or more employees (£668.9 billion)

The Rise of Online Casinos 

In the early 2000s, online casinos were introduced and provided an alternative mode of gambling for those who wished to play casino games like slots without leaving the comfort of their own homes. 

In 2019, the world stood still as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, but online activity skyrocketed as people searched for ways to use online platforms as a substitute for being confined to their homes.

The pandemic could be linked to a spike in online gambling activity. It is estimated that the online casino industry grew by up to 14% in 2020 and 2021, with an increase in profits.

The Global Online Gambling Market 

The online gambling market had a value of $9.5 billion in 2021. In the UK, the Gambling Commission issued 3,368 licences to 2,439 online gambling companies, allowing 175 online casinos to operate. It is estimated that there are 5,098 global casinos and online gambling businesses, with online casinos making up almost 50% of these.

Why Do Gamblers Play Online? 

According to a worldwide statistic, 41% of gamblers play online for enjoyment. 

Top motivators and reasons for online gambling include:

Why Do Gamblers Play Online

Inventor Foresaw Ramifications of Internet 

One could say that Berners-Lee created an angel and a monster, depending on how you have used it. Advantages include helping people communicate worldwide, e-commerce, online shopping, and an abundance of information, among other things. Disadvantages include internet addiction, especially among young people under 18, access to misinformation, and theft of personal information.

Berners-Lee predicted some of the ramifications of the Internet decades ago. He said on NPR: "I don't mind there being biased information out there. The important thing is that you should know, when you're on the web, whether you're looking at biased information or not. Do users now know when they're getting something which is fair and unbiased? Do they know how to tell the difference between news, op-ed, editorial, and advertising on the web?"

Online Gambling Set to Grow 

As of April 2023, there were more than 24 million online gamblers in the UK. The average weekly bet per gambler was £2.57, down to a £134 yearly spend. The UK Gambling Commission regulates the country’s gambling industry, issuing 3,368 licences to 2,439 online gambling companies.

There are currently over 175 online casinos operating in the UK. Participation in online casinos expanded by 22.5% in 2021. Over 400 online gaming job listings were posted in the UK in January 2022.

It is predicted that the market will continue growing at 11.64% from 2023 to 2028. Gamblers don’t have to visit land-based casinos to bet on their favourite game as computers, mobile phones, and other gadgets have made betting online possible.

Despite the best efforts of some, the Internet still holds the fundamental property that Berners-Lee instilled at its birth, which is that it is a free public domain which has changed our lives or rather the way in which we use our lives.

Meet The Author

Alan Evans
Alan Evans
News Writer News Writer

Most of my career was spent in teaching including at one of the UK’s top private schools. I left London in 2000 and set up home in Wales raising four beautiful children. I enrolled at University where I studied Photography and film and gained a Degree and subsequently a Masters Degree. In 2014 I helped launch a new local newspaper and managed to get front and back page as well as 6 filler pages on a weekly basis. I saw that journalism was changing and was a pioneer of hyperlocal news in Wales. In 2017 I started one of the first 24/7 free independent news sites for Wales. Having taken that to a successful business model I was keen for a new challenge. Joining the company is exciting for me especially as it is a new role in Europe. I am keen to establish myself and help others to do the same.

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