Recent reports suggest that top online bookmakers should start paying attention to certain things if they want to maintain their customer base.
Last decade showed that lots of progress had been made if we talk about the accessibility of online betting. The Gambling Commission found that more than 37% of the UK gambling activity comes from remote betting (online browsers or cellphone apps). Despite the online betting sector showing one of the most rapid growth during the last decade, there are still some warning signs on the horizon.
Everything started when the British Gambling Commission found that online betting revenues showed a decline for the first time ever going from £5.6bn to £5.3bn. Do not get us wrong, these numbers are still good, however, industry executives are already working on ways to eliminate the further decline.
One of the reasons for such a decline is the growing trend among British punters to register with online bookmakers abroad. Zac Cohen, COO of Trulioo - the company that provides ID verification solutions for gambling companies, reported that 11% of UK/EU customers have opened US-based accounts this year along. Another 17% is only considering the do so. The company has also found that 44% of online gamblers admitted they have created an account on the online gambling website outside of their country during the past two years.
Such movement was also forced by the implementation and harshing of the already strict gambling industry regulations. For example, higher taxation, an increase in media coverage over the harmful effects of problematic gambling, as well as some regulation changes, including fixed-odds betting terminals. Moreover, major British betting firms like William Hill
pledged to increase their levy paid to the Gambling Commission to help problem gamblers.
So why do punters keep playing abroad? Experts say that the ability to bet outside their own country has almost no influence on this growing trend. It should rather be treated like buying clothes online or ordering food from a different restaurant.
On the other hand, punters tend to engage with those services that offer a much quicker and less intrusive experience, as well as a higher security level. This is a neverending process of trying to find something better. This does not only have negative effects on the companies but also on punters. Playing offshore is, in most cases considered unlawful or at least a grey area. Although the problems connected with jurisdiction are a rare case, customers who opt-in for such activity have little or even no legal recourse.
While new markets like, for example, the American and Indian
one are continuously being legalised, only some companies manage to enter them (William Hill
). This creates an incentive for other bookmakers’ clients to try out new products in a such, not entirely legal way. Punters seem to be really keen on using software to tackle geo-blocking. Despite the risk of breaking the law and low-security factor, UK punters still try to place bets offshore. Experts still cannot say exactly how easy it is to do it, but facts are speaking for themselves anyway.
What do you think can be done to fight this warning trend? Should the global gambling market be more legalised? Let us know in the comment section below.