The UK was one of the few growth markets for casinos and online gambling in 2010 driven by the popularity of fruit machines, although the global industry is set to rocket by almost 10 per cent a year according to new figures.
Revenues from casinos and online gaming activities rose 0.6 per cent in the UK last year, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report predicted the casino and online gaming markets will grow at 9.2 per cent a year until 2015, rising from $117.6bn in 2010 to $182.8bn in 2015.
While the casino market totalled $1.2bn, gaming machines in the country generated more than $3bn. The online gaming industry has continued to "evolve", the group said, adding that the UK is the largest legal online gaming market.
David Trunkfield, lead gaming partner at PwC, said that further growth in the UK was likely to be supported by 16 new casinos next year. The group expects the new casinos will "help to generate gains averaging 4.1 per cent compounded annually between 2012 and 2015".
Yet, he added, the pressures on UK consumers would lead to casino revenues falling in 2011, before showing a slight advance next year. The casino market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has been the hardest hit of any region, falling 12 per cent in 2009 and a further 7.2 per cent in 2010.
Mr Trunkfield said the "weak economic conditions and the impact of adverse regulatory developments in some countries will curtail growth", predicting that the muted growth throughout the EMEA region would see revenues hit $18.3bn in 2015, up from $16.3bn in 2010.