How much has gambling become a part of everyone’s hobby in the UK?

Gaming has been a popular pastime in the UK for centuries and the first gaming laws were introduced in the 16th century with the Unlawful Games Act of 1541. These were updated periodically over the following centuries, and by 1845, games of skill were regulated and allowed gaming houses to proliferate, acknowledging the role that gambling already played in British society.

By the 20th century, several different forms of gambling had become popular throughout the UK, including horse racing, greyhound racing, football pools, and casino games. As more legislation was introduced, games were legitimised, paving the way for the technological revolution and the proliferation of online gambling games such as wink slots.

Although gaming was originally the exclusive preserve of the rich, who would place bets on everything from horses and card games to chess, those with limited budgets stuck to games played with dice and coins. Over the decades, the gap began to close, and it soon became one of the more popular forms of entertainment for players from all walks of life.

The most popular casino games in the UK

In the 1960s, a change in legislation allowed for larger prizes to be offered in a broader range of games, which caused a surge in the popularity of bingo. Games were set up in cinemas and dance halls, making them much more accessible, particularly to women who began to embrace gaming as a way to socialise and have fun as well as being in with a chance of winning big.

This opened up a wide variety of gaming opportunities and, as more and more games were digitised, this only broadened the demographic of players seeking out casino games. Because computers were generally aimed at the younger generation, it opened up a new market of casino game fans who were discovering the latest versions of some of the oldest games in the world.

As casinos grew in popularity, they attracted more players which, in turn, allowed the industry to grow swiftly until online and land-based casino gaming was turning over £5 billion per year. Of the games available, slots have become a hugely popular choice among players that enjoy the fast pace and wide variety of themes and styles available.

The popularity of both traditional and video slots translated directly to their online counterparts, and online slots were soon among the most popular games available in the UK. The enthusiasm with which the public took to online gaming allowed for significant investment, with top-level developers using cutting edge technology to make new games that appeal to players all over the world.

Online gaming allows anyone to join.

New games for new gamers

Whereas casinos were still portrayed in films and on television as being the preserve of the rich and for high rollers only, online gaming was easy for anyone to join in with. Those who were not familiar with gaming conventions and those who might have felt too intimidated to go to casinos suddenly had a way to learn all the tricks of the trade with no pressure.

The growth of the industry and the ability to play online made casino games even easier to access for players with any budget and experience level. UK’s gambling statistics show the number of people who gambled every month soon rose to nearly half of the total population of the UK. With around 24 million people gambling, it’s no surprise that the industry has become a huge area for growth.

The popularity of online gaming took this form of entertainment from a niche activity pursued only by the most dedicated gaming fans, to a mainstream entertainment choice that has seen a number of sites grow their offerings in line with the latest advancements in technology.

The cutting edge of computer gaming

With so much to appeal to gamers all over the world, developers and designers began to incorporate the latest technology into their games. From artificial intelligence to virtual reality, online games became more and more immersive as players came to expect high production values and seamless interfaces that allowed them to play their favourite casino games in the same way that they had come to play action and adventure games.

Mobile gaming advanced at a similar rate, with phones and tablets designed to support the high-quality graphics that have now become an expectation among serious gamers. With apps designed to make gaming-on-the-go a more viable option, there are so many ways to play that it’s no surprise more people are choosing casino games, such as slots, to fill their free time.

Players now have so much information about the games they love that they can research their favourites and learn tips and tricks from other players that will help them to maximise their chances of winning. From online communities to the game’s own instructions, there are plenty of ways to find out more about the games that make them even more fun to play and give players insight into secret levels, bonus rounds, and a variety of other extra elements that make them even more fun and engaging.

With more and more services and facilities available online and entertainment on demand becoming the standard for all media, online gaming continues to lead the field when it comes to adopting new technology. From being among the first businesses to embrace the use of cryptocurrencies to the rise in immersive technology, the gaming sector continues to innovate and push the boundaries of technological advancements. It has truly come a long way, even celebrities are well-known to gamble as a hobby since the stigma and attitudes of gambling has shifted significantly.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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