Since the relaxation of gambling laws over a decade ago, the number of people in Wales playing online casino games – like the rest of the UK – has never been higher. A report by The UK Gambling Commission showed that, in 2008, 10.6% of UK citizens between the ages of 18 and 34 participated in gambling. Within six years, that figure had almost doubled with casinos seeing more than £7 billion spent by gamblers.
According to Growth Business – https://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/ – by 2016, online gambling was the biggest earner within the sector (which includes land-based casinos) with popularity having grown as the result of casinos developing a better, more reputable image for the industry as well as ease of access through modern technology like smartphones and a wide assortment of games and ways to place a bet.
Competition amongst platforms has not only ensured more variety for online players but great offers for new and regular players. This has certainly helped drive popularity with, for example, Betfair’s 25 spins with no deposit required – https://casino.betfair.com/promotions/25-free-spins-2 – enticing players with the benefit of being able to keep their cash with no cap or wagering requirements. Operators hope that, through such offers, players will remain loyal to a particular platform. This is more likely with platforms offering an abundance of games to play with table favourites such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, poker and video poker complementing thousands of themed slot machines.
It isn’t surprising to see online casinos embraced in Wales. After all, the latest https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/ figures reveal the industry possesses a total gross gambling yield of £14.4 billion with remote platforms making up over £5 billion, of which £2 billion is played on online slots.
In Wales, the country has a long love affair with the casino. Since it became legal in the 1960s, the “father of British casinos”, George Alfred James opened the Casino Club in Port Talbot. Initially for members only, the casino grew in popularity quite quickly as it combined typical casino games with other leisure attractions such as a restaurant, a bar and a dance floor.
The popularity of his Port Talbot venue prompted the Welsh entrepreneur to begin developing his empire, with the Prince of Wales in Cardiff adding to his list of venues alongside sites in London and Southport. James’ notoriety increased, prompting the odd famous face to be seen in his casinos.
Online casinos have brought a new level of enjoyment to players across Wales who can now play from the comfort of their own homes. Technology has progressed – alongside faster internet speeds – to embrace the live casino environment in which players access a more realistic gaming environment through the use of video and audio communication. This has added another dimension of immersion for players who can interact and even ask the dealer questions.
Given the amount of time we spend staring at our mobile phones, the online casino industry has emerged as one of the most attractive uses of our screen time. With developers recognising the potential and creating an increasing number of games to play, and operators combining the platform with better use of technology and software, the online casino is now more immersive, more accessible, and more enjoyable than ever before.