How Does iGaming Affect the British Economy?
By Space Coast Daily // May 1, 2023
In the age of technology, an increasing number of industries are moving into the virtual, cloud-based domain. As such, there is an increased interest in the extent to which online industries affect the economies of countries around the globe.
Does the lucrative iGaming industry have a significant impact on the UK in particular? And, if so, to what extent?
Here is a rundown of what exactly online gaming is, and how it affects the British economy, looking at yield, tax revenue, and employment specifically.
What is iGaming?
As the name suggests, iGaming is a category of internet gaming that refers to online gambling. It covers everything from putting a wager on the score of a sporting event or playing your hand at an online casino in exchange for the chance of a cash payout. The gambling industry has completely changed over the past couple of decades, with online gaming becoming increasingly more accessible.
From a blackjack online game to an online slot machine, and classics like poker to modern themed games, there is a wide range of games on reputable sites that fall under the all-encompassing online gaming umbrella. These games are available to be played across multiple devices with internet connectivity, such as laptops, PCs, tablet computers, or smartphones.
As there are around 80 million smartphone subscriptions in the UK, the cellphone market itself contributes billions to the British economy. In fact, it is estimated that cell subscriptions alone could generate almost $15 billion (over £12 billion) in revenue for the UK by 2027. With the industry continuing to grow, it is only logical then that it can have an effect on the economy.
What does this mean for the UK economy?
This makes the UK one of the – if not the – biggest iGaming markets in the world.
Yield, Employment, and Tax Revenue
According to data published by Statista, the gross gambling yield of remote gambling amounted to over £6.44 billion (GBP) – or, just over $8 billion (USD) – though other independent research estimates the UK’s online gambling revenue is as high as $12.5 billion.
In 2019 alone, betting introduced 119,000 new jobs, including those who built the platforms themselves, to marketers, risk assessors, data analysts, live virtual croupiers or hosts, and more.
It is estimated that the betting industry provides $5.6 billion (£4.5 billion) in tax revenue to the Treasury. With this in mind, online gambling has provided 38.8% of the UK’s total revenue over the past few years.
These taxes are then used to fund the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), education provisions, physical infrastructure, and so on – thus, creating more jobs and strengthening the economy.
Looking at the statistics and data at hand, it is clear that all aspects of the gaming industry has a significant impact on the UK’s economy, but particularly online gaming, due to its increased adaptability and accessibility. Though, it is also true that more research should be conducted to corroborate the potential long-term implications.
In conclusion, if trends continue on this trajectory, online gaming could affect the British economy for many years to come.