The rise of online casinos in the last decade has shaken the gambling industry to the core. The traditional brick and mortar betting establishments have been impacted due to its new-found online competition. Some Betting Business models have had to change rapidly in order to keep up with the lightening speed pace of change. So how do betting shops and online casinos compare
Betting shops still have their market niche and are perhaps catering to the older generation, who, after many years, still enjoy going to their local bookmakers and placing a bet; a flutter on the horses or a bet on a football match result. These shops have unique challenges for their management, which include the higher fixed costs (in terms of overheads) and the limited number of customers (who usually live in the local vicinity to the shop). For players, they have a limited number of betting options and markets as well as slower up-to-date odds information when compared to online casinos.
Online Casinos, on the other hand, have a huge degree of flexibility in how they operate their business. To add to this, they have access to a large number of customers thanks to the internet, and they offer many more types of betting with a larger and more varied market. If this wasn't enough, the reduction in their fixed costs also enables them to offer more free bets to players. This has been a key part of online casinos strategies; creating customer loyalty by offering free bets. However, keeping customers loyal is arguably the biggest challenge with online casinos due to the vast number of competitors offering similar services.
The Development in the UK
The United Kingdom's Gambling Commission (UKGC) noted that the incline of online betting is now enticing many new players within the 18-24 age bracket. It is concerned that the multitude of advertising is significantly impacting this age group by enticing them to gamble. With online betting, this is easier than ever before as most bets can be wagered via the mobile phone, thus a whole new generation of gamblers are on the market. The constant bombardment of advertising is now changing people's habits and is creating long-term customers for many online betting establishments, but is a source of concern for some, such as GambleAware, the UK's gambling help charity.
One can expect that due to the changes in technology such as faster internet speeds, more accessibility to mobile phones and other gadgets, more interesting and enticing gaming options will help the gambling sector see more significant rises in the number of customers placing bets online. Other factors such as convenience with players not having to physically go to a shop to make a bet as well as people's increasingly busy lives are further driving factors in the decision making process of customers. It therefore seems that business looks like it will be booming for online casinos and that they have a very bright future indeed.