With the recent FOBT (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) stake reduction crippling many large high street gambling companies, the competition to be a top gambling company may radically change in 2018. When considering the term gambling, it must be used loosely as it takes many forms including bingo, slot machines and casinos. 888 Casino, Paddy Power and Betfair are just a few of the more popular companies that spring to mind when considering gambling. Why? Advertising. All of these companies are widely advertised. However, have these companies stood the test of time, adapting to be considered some of the top gambling companies over the last 10 years?
The Rise of Digital Technology
The significant rise of digital technology over the last 20 years, specifically the last 10, has forced many companies to incorporate this new medium into the way they operate or be left behind in the past. This is mirrored in the gambling industry, which now features heavily in app stores and in search engines. The use of technology has been beneficial for both consumer and provider as it presents a more modern and generally easier and more accessible way to gamble, proven in recent statistics showing that the industry is now generating around £14 billion per annum in the UK.
According to the Gambling Commission, remote casino, betting and bingo had the largest yield of 2017, generating around £4.2 billion. Consequently, assumptions could be made that online gambling is the most popular form of gambling. However, statistics from the Gambling Commission’s 2017 report also show that there are more betting premises and operators in the UK, meaning that remote gambling represents a smaller percentage of the industry. On the other hand, there are now approximately 280 fewer betting shops in 2018 than the year previous, demonstrating that the physical presence of gambling is decreasing and is transferring online. An odd concept to someone gambling 10 years ago, when only 5.8% used Internet gambling. It has now grown rapidly. Evidence like this exhibit why online companies like bet365 and 777, who have produced gambling apps, are among the most in demand businesses of the past 10 years.
Online gambling cannot be said to be representative of all top companies, however, since there are still thousands of betting shops and machines currently in the UK, generating billions of pounds in this country alone. In 2007, betting was one of the main forms of gambling. It then climbed in popularity before its use dramatically decreased in 2012. However, this evidence does not necessarily mean that people stopped gambling but began to gamble online. This is further confirmation of the technological convergence in society, where the majority of society are now simply using their phones to bet rather than making the journey to a shop. Backing this up is the figure that betting shops contributed less to the Gross Gambling Yield than gambling machines last year. Therefore, a hypothesis could be made that individual betting shops cannot progress, and therefore are not some of the top companies over the last 10 years.
But how will it affect online gambling?
The largest medium of gambling 10 years ago was the National Lottery with a survey showing that 57% of people participated. However, despite the gradual increase of popularity in the years following, the sector’s yields were beaten by betting and remote gambling last year. However, whilst it still managed to retain customers, making it a top company, there is an argument as to whether it can be considered a company due to the fact that it is a state franchise.
Casinos have remained relatively the same, generating the same number of customers and growth for the past 10 years. This means that companies like Gentings Casino and Aspers Casino have managed to remain major companies despite the influence of technology. An explanation for this could be the glamour and excitement associated with physical casinos, which demonstrates why these companies have been able to stay at the top.
Ultimately, the companies that make it onto the list of the top gambling companies over the past 10 years are the companies that have modified themselves to incorporate the technological revolution and a whole new digital generation of people.