Gambling in the UK has been popular in a moderately strict and well-regulated industry. Yorkshire is host to many land-based casinos, sports betting facilities, bingo houses, and many other forms of gambling that have a significant brick-and-mortar presence.
About 60% of all gambling activities in the UK occur in Yorkshire and have been rising since the Gambling Act of 2005, which eased regulations and gave gambling houses and players more opportunities. There are large land-based casino chains that have establishments in:
The UK gambling industry was worth £14,3 billion in 2019, and the National Lottery accounted for 30% of all gambling activities.
The industry’s growth rate was stunted as a result of the pandemic that brought the world to a standstill for months on end.
Decrease in Activity
Before the pandemic, many casinos had expanded their operations and were able to offer their services on a 24 hours basis. This went beyond the casino floor games and slot machines and included:
- The bars
- Hotel rooms
- Sports betting from games and leagues across the world
Many businesses were affected by lockdown restrictions, but more casinos and gambling houses had to furlough a vast majority of the gambling industry’s workforce. Many others had to take a significant pay cut. Casinos were also the first to have their operations suspended as the nationwide lockdowns took place, but they were also some of the last industries to reopen. Restaurants and pubs opened their doors, but casinos remained closed, prompting many industry heads to complain. The total cost of the pandemic on the gambling industry is yet to be seen, and it has taken great strides to go back to gambling with zero risk of infection.
How Did The Gambling Industry Survive?
Traditional casinos and gambling houses have been facing the threat of online casinos on their market share long before the pandemic. As people were not allowed to gamble in person, online casinos gained popularity and were the main source of all gambling activities.
Online gambling activities rose by 50% for online poker and 88% in all online sports by March 2020. Advances in technology and ease of internet access are other factors that have helped the growth of online gambling.
These have not completely taken over the market yet. The British government has been putting a series of regulations that have limited their activities and also offer protection for the land-based casinos.
The UK has one of the most respected and reliable gaming commissions, and many online casinos and game providers are registered under it. The UK Gaming Commission has laid out restrictions that limit the amounts a player can wager and the number of bonuses that an online casino can offer to British players.
Some of the restrictions that the Gaming Commission has imposed are:
- Many casino game providers have stopped offering demo versions of their games. This is still in effect today.
- Where high rollers could wager up to £100 per spin, this was reduced to a maximum of £2 per spin. This has since been lifted for many online casino games, and maximum spin values are set to the game provider’s limit.
Way Forward For Casinos?
Even with the restrictions imposed on online casinos, the industry is still shifting in that direction, thanks to the ease of play and betting. The advances in technology include the addition of virtual reality to the online gambling experience. Making it easier to interact with other players whilst you play.
Although the online casino community is growing, several people still enjoy and crave physically being on the casino floor with other players.
Many casinos in Yorkshire are taking extra steps to ensure that they can offer their services in a safe environment with fewer risks of getting infected. Casinos are implementing social distancing on the casino floors, and no matter what Covid tries to throw, they plan on being ready to strike back.