The very nature of online commerce – whether it be clothes shopping, groceries or gaming – is that consumers are given a huge amount of choice when it comes to the sites they visit. If their site of choice is not performing as it should, customers will quickly and easily browse to another site to get the service they need.

An online consumer will not always notice an optimally performing site, however if a site is noticeably slow to load, or there are loading errors on the page, customers don’t tend to stick around to wait for improvements. Instead, users will quickly browse to an alternative page in order to make their purchase or place their bet.

Throughout January, several of the UK betting and casino sites monitored struggled with the length of time it took for the sites to load. Betfred Casino and 188Bet both took more than 10 seconds to load – these sorts of delays hark back to dial-up internet days, and customers are now rarely willing to wait for so long.

Meanwhile, all of the poker sites loaded in under 5.5 seconds – with the index average time for poker sites coming in at 2.5 seconds.

Site owners should be aiming for a target load time of two seconds and while the poker sites are not far off this, the casino sites index average is 3.9 seconds and the betting average is 4.2 seconds. Consumers are no longer accustomed to such delays, and this problem will be further emphasised for mobile gamers as customers are continuing to expect quicker and more efficient mobile gaming sites to match the website offerings.

A key element for site owners to consider is what information and what site elements are really crucial for gamers when both internet and mobile sites first load. By reducing the number of elements and the size of the page to be downloaded, site owners can streamline the landing page and therefore reduce the likelihood of loading delays or errors.

When sites load with high-resolution images or video content on home pages, they’re more likely to take longer for all of the elements to load correctly – resulting in delays for the consumer.