LONDON, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The UK's casino industry is in the throes of a massive expansion, reports Gaming Club. The first of a new class of 'large casino' opened in Stratford, East London, in December 2011, and another opened in Milton Keynes. More are planned in cities such as Great Yarmouth, Southampton, Hull, and Middlesbrough. In total, there are to be eight large casinos, which are permitted to have 30 gaming tables and as 150 fruit machines paying out a maximum jackpot of £4,000, around the UK. In addition, there are also plans for five 'small casinos', which can have up to 40 gaming tables and 80 fruit machines paying out top prizes of £4,000.
This new generation of casinos has been seen by many within the industry and the government as being a stepping stone towards allowing Las Vegas-style super casino complexes in the UK. There was a plan set in motion by Tony Blair's labour government in the 1990s to introduce up to 30 super casinos, each with 1,250 slot machines and unlimited jackpots linked to huge hotel complexes, alongside 100 large and 50 small casinos.
This plan was dramatically scaled down when Gordon Brown became prime minister, with the super casino idea being put on the backburner, but the Gambling Act 2005 still allowed for the creation of a smattering of large and small casinos. It is believed that the coalition government is warming to the super casino idea, in a bid to boost Britain's flagging economy, and that the current wave of new casinos will be used as a test bed for further expansion of the UK casino industry.
The expansion of the brick and mortar casino industry comes at a time when the UK's online casino industry is also rapidly expanding. A study by research firm Socialnomics revealed that the online casino industry in Britain grew by a colossal 32% between 2010 and 2011, and with new opportunities in mobile and social gaming, it is expected to go from strength to strength in the near future.
In particular, the rapid growth in smartphone uptake has presented a golden opportunity to online gaming sites that are optimized for mobile such as Gaming Club. More than 40% of UK residents are now in possession of a smartphone, and 60% of Britain's 81 million social gamers play at least once a day.
SOURCE Gaming Club