The UKGC has released statistics this week to show that employment within the UK gambling gaming sector has fallen for the fifth year in a row. The total employees in the gambling industry now tops 104, 869, which is down 9.2% since 2011. The figure has been falling consistently every year since then, with a 2.9% decrease on 2014.
The sudden employment drop is being pinned on a drop in gambling across all segments of the industry, except for remote gambling. Remote gambling has risen in popularity yearly with a rise of employment by 22.3%, now employing 7,136 people.
The Rise of Remote Gambling
The sudden drop of employment in non remote areas is being blamed on decreasing popularity of gambling outside of the remote sector. Phone betting, where people call in to place bets, is down as well as overall physical casino visits.
The increased popularity of remote gambling means that there is more automation in the industry, with less people required to handle the payment and customer service side of the business. This explains why the remote gambling industry has such low employment numbers compared to the rest of the industry, but can continue to grow.
Betfred, which has a relatively small remote gambling presence, has announced it will close a call centre in the UK, affecting 100 jobs. At the same time software developer OpenBet has stated it will be increasing it's headcount by 10%.
Similar stories of layoffs in casinos which have a heavy reliance on non remote gambling are prevalent throughout the industry.
The Future of Gambling
As smart phones become more powerful and mobile internet becomes more stable and widespread, it looks like there's an increasing trend for users to game from their mobiles and desktops.
It's good that remote gambling is so healthy, but hopefully it can pick up some of the slack, that the industry is creating in every other sector.