International Business Times reported last Friday that the U.K. spends the equivalent of $4 billion (more than £2 billion) on online gambling annually. This is an increase since 2008 of roughly 80%. Over the next four years, it is expected to grow more than 30%. However, a report for online searches shows that gambling terms have been searched for less, while smartphone-enabled gambling app usage has shown an increase.
London-based digital marketing agency, Greenlight, concentrated the report on gambling related Google searches within a 12-month period.
Searches such as “sports betting”, “bingo”, and “poker” dropped by more than 30% in July down from 1.5 million in June.
William Hill, one of the UK’s largest bookmakers, launched its online gambling app 18 months ago and has accumulated more than a million downloads. Thirty-eight percent of sports bets were placed through the app either via smartphone or tablet within the first year of launch.
In order to make online gambling more convenient and accessible, competitors such as 888.com, bet365, and Paddy Power have also thrown their hat into the ring and launched their own online gambling apps.
Companies such as Ladbrokes, Bwin.party, William Hill, and Betfair no longer enjoy the benefit of the once tax-haven of Gibraltar as the government has announced a 15% tax on operators whom do business with a British customer base.
It is expected that the tax will raise £300 million in revenue.