Updated: Friday, 20th September 2019 @ 3:51pm

Online gaming industry continues to soar - despite UK's uncertain economy

Online gaming industry continues to soar - despite UK's uncertain economy

| By MM staff

At a time when many economic predictions seem either gloomy or, at best, cautious there is one industry that its bucking the trend – gambling. 

For the period between April 2014 and March 2015 (the most recent figures available) the UK Gambling Commission found that it generated a gross yield of £5.4 billion.

Although this covered all areas of gambling one which has proved to be especially vibrant is online gaming in all of its manifestations.

There are a number of reasons for this explosion in online activity and the first is surely technological.

Today smartphones and other portable devices mean connecting to online sites is possible wherever there is a wireless network giving true 24/7 access to gaming sites.

With exciting developments in the pipeline including a new generation of 360 degree videos and virtual reality really starting to come of age the potential for creating even more immersive experiences – for example being able to create an authentic online casino experience –  its popularity seems certain to increase.

Also working in the online gaming industry’s favour are the growing interest in eSports.

Once the preserve of gamers it’s now become a massive industry with a truly worldwide reach.

There are now professional teams who play video games competitively for huge potential prizes and there’s even a move to try and get it recognised as an official sport.

According to figures from the research company Newzoo in 2014 205 million people took part in or watched eSports worldwide.

With betting on the outcome of these video games championships growing in popularity this is a potentially huge new revenue-earner for the online gaming industry.

Actual sports have also proved to be a major driver for the growth of online gaming and this summer’s Euro 2016 championships and the Rio Olympics are both good examples.

Both offer limitless opportunities for betting which are likely to draw in a whole new group of players.

And experience has shown that once someone starts online gaming of one kind there’s a good chance that they will soon start moving into other areas, whether this means slots or casino games.

The huge growth potential of online gaming has not escaped the interest of the government who, as part of their commitment to helping start-ups, earlier this year announced their intention to invest in the sector.

The so-called Video Games Prototype Fund is £4 million earmarked for smaller companies needing grants and seed money of up to £50,000 to give them a head-start on developing new games and technologies.

With games companies in all of the major cities round the UK this is bound to boost economies around the country and could be particularly good news for Manchester, a city which has long been asking for investment in the sector.

So these do seem like very good times to invest in an industry which is undoubtedly on the up and up.

And with more and more customers playing more and more games it doesn’t look like its growth will be slowing down anytime soon.

Image courtesy of Ian McKellar, via Flickr, with thanks.