It is fair to say that people in the United Kingdom have had a long-standing affinity with slot machines. That point is particularly pertinent where Londoners are concerned, particularly anyone who was around during the 1980s and 1990s. Visiting amusement arcades in seaside towns such as Southend and Margate to play slot games was undoubtedly the highlight of many a summer back then.
Fast forward to today and slots are probably more popular than they were 30-40 years ago, with advancements in technology transforming how the games are played. While many people still head to the coast to get their slots fix, the addition of online casino sites into the mix has spawned a massive new industry.
Revenues in remote (internet-based) gambling have gone through the roof in recent times, and the trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Online slots generate a significant chunk of the gross gambling yield in the UK, highlighting their enduring status as a mainstream entertainment activity. Read on as we look at some of the key factors that have helped to keep slots games in the public consciousness in the UK.
The range of games
While visiting land-based venues in the UK to play slots games is great fun, limitations on floor space restrict the number of machines operators can offer to players. There are no such restrictions on the internet, with online casinos able to incorporate hundreds of different titles on their sites.
It has been estimated that there are currently more than 15,000 different slots games on the market, demonstrating the depth of choice available to people in the UK. Software developers such as Playtech, International Game Technology and Microgaming are constantly churning out new titles, which helps to keep the slots sector feeling fresh and vibrant.
Bonuses and promotions
Let’s be honest here. Londoners and people around the UK like getting something for nothing. It’s a concept that online casinos have expertly leveraged to their advantage. If you visit an amusement arcade in Southend and ask what promotional offers are available for playing slots and you are guaranteed to get some very funny looks.
It is a completely different story online, with gambling operators using bonuses and promotions to attract new players to their sites and reward existing customers for playing regularly. Matched deposits and free spins are amongst the most popular options, which effectively give you more money to play slots with. What’s not to like?
Game play experience
If you were around during the latter part of the 20th century you will probably remember that slots games didn’t have much in the way of features. Flashing lights, sounds, hold buttons and a nudge feature was as good as things got, but things have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades.
Modern slots are packed with exciting features such as expanding grids and mini-games, which help to provide a far more immersive gameplay experience. With each of the games also having their own theme (game shows are the best), it is easy to see why slots continue to be so popular with UK players.
Convenience and connectivity
Improvements in mobile technology and internet connectivity have been a key driving force behind the ongoing popularity of slots games in the UK. Digital devices such as smartphones are effectively the Filofaxes of the 21st century – most people rarely travel anywhere without their mobile close at hand.
People in the UK spend an average of around four hours per day on their smartphones, and much of that time is dedicated to playing games online. This heightened level of convenience and connectivity has helped to keep slots games in the public eye, helping them retain their place in the mainstream.
Advertising and marketing
Another element that has had a major impact on the popularity of slots games has been increased levels of advertising and marketing across various mediums. Online casinos have used modern technology to their advantage, developing aggressive marketing campaigns designed to promote themselves to new and existing players.
Much of the activity has been targeted specifically by gender, with females identified as an area where there is potential for huge growth. Younger players – both male and female – have also been identified as a demographic that have yet to be fully tapped into.
The popularity of slots games – The final word
As demonstrated by developments over the past couple of decades, the slots industry is in the midst of a massive transformation right now. Quite where things will end up is anyone’s guess, although what we can certain about is that there are plenty more exciting innovations to come.
Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) have widely been tipped to be the ‘next big things’ in the slots sector. VR may well be the most exciting future development, particularly if last year’s launch by Evolution Gaming of the Gonzo’s Treasure Quest VR game is anything to go by.
This immersive mixture of game shows and slots received rave reviews, laying the foundations for what could become the future of the industry. Whatever the future has in store, it is difficult to imagine that the popularity of slots games in the UK will diminish any time soon.
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