The Rise in Popularity of Online Live Casinos in the UK

In recent years, more people have been ditching the glamour of a physical casino to stay at home and play on the go. Many would think this transition started because of the Coronavirus pandemic – but even prior to lockdown curfews coming into place, more and more people were opting to play from home.


Between 2011 and 2020, Britain’s gross gambling yield (the total revenue from the sector) increased from £8.4 billion a year to £14.2 billion a year. This seismic change is thanks to the rise in popularity of online betting, which has continued to grow in popularity since the UK government legalised online casinos in 2005.


Now, remote betting represents 39.9% of the UK’s gambling market, the biggest share in the industry. Between April 2019 and March 2020, the sector generated a £5.7 billion gross gambling yield, compared to £2.4 billion for in-person betting.


In that same time period, in-person betting went down by 26.4%, while remote (as in online) betting increased its total gross by 8.1%. It wasn’t the pandemic that inspired people to start playing online – so why did virtual casinos overtake their real-life counterparts in popularity in the UK?


How Britain fell in love with online casinos


One of the major reasons people made the switch to playing online was simple – it’s all about the accessibility. Every major UK casino chain (such as Ladbrokes, Bet365, Redbet, Betfair, and William Hill, to name but a few) has its own app, meaning anybody who wants to play can do so at the click of a button.


This is also the same reason sports betting is now more popular online than at a designated bookies. Fans can bet on teams to win from the comfort of their own home and are able to easily browse around to find the best odds that will maximise their winnings.


Similarly, there are equally no restrictions to what games users can play, with a wider array of casino games and slot machines than they’d be able to find in a physical casino. With more places to gamble than ever before, there are also more enticing deals offered by different sites – giving players more freedom to find the best fit for them.


There are many sites now dedicated to alerting players to where they can find the best sign-up bonuses, and rewards for players. Find out more over at


Because of this switch online, the demographics of the people who bet has decreased in age. Now younger, more technologically savvy, people can play along while scrolling through their social media feeds.


And the experience they get from playing at home, either on their phone, tablet or laptop, is now designed to feel just like the real thing. But there are still some big differences.


How are online casinos different to the real thing?

In recent years, software developers have helped redesign the leading online casinos, to make the experience as close to reality as possible. This has involved the use of cutting-edge graphics, as well as live casino functions, so players can bet against other players in real time, just like they were at a real casino roulette table.


But despite this, the two experiences don’t compare. And the main reason online casinos are different to the norm is the very reason we’ve outlined above: you get a level of choice in the available games that’s impossible in a restricted physical space.


Unless you live in Las Vegas and have acres upon acres of slots and table games to choose from, chances are your town only has a small handful of casinos, with only the most popular games at its disposal. The virtual casino experience instantly puts an end to that, with hundreds of different slots – as well as the chance to take part in less common table games, instead of the usual blackjack and poker.


And the games are all designed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Many have cutting edge graphics and stimulating soundtracks designed to make for an intense, high stakes thrill ride.


You also get bonus codes for signing up to play, which players aren’t afforded when making a trip to visit a casino. These cash incentives mostly consist of free spins on online slots – giving players the chance to test out a few games right off the bat, to see which one they like the most.


These are some of the reasons why online casino games hold a distinction next to physical casinos, and why they have fast become more popular than the real thing. Lockdown restrictions may be easing, but don’t expect people to return to those physical spaces – the online experience isn’t going anywhere.


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