Home Business Insights & Advice An overview of the UK gambling industry

An overview of the UK gambling industry

by John Saunders
10th Feb 20 12:49 pm

The gambling industry is a massive part of the modern British culture, with £14.5bn spent in 2017/18 alone. You do not have to look far, from an average high street to any pre-game football advert, to see that Brits enjoy a flutter – perhaps more than any other nation on earth.

Here is a look over the industry as a whole in the United Kingdom and what makes it so popular.


Players are clearly the most important aspect of the gambling industry – without them and their desire to place wagers, it would not exist. Knowing what players want is also the challenge for companies, which is why there has been a real boom in the convenience of online betting – all major companies will have a dedicated app for players or, at the very least, ensure that their games and odds are available on mobile devices.

Most gambling actually place online with the traditional bookmaker shops no longer drawing in the majority of a company’s revenue – this trend, along with regulation change, means that a substantial amount are in danger of being closed.


While most of the big-name gambling operators have a presence in the lucrative UK market, not many are actually headquartered in the country. Many are instead based abroad in countries such as Malta and Cyprus, while even Gibraltar is home to several of the industry’s biggest names.

Primarily, the UK is not the most competitive from a tax point of view, though those that do choose to stay can contribute massively – as seen recently when the founder of Bet365, Denise Coates, was revealed to be the biggest taxpayer in Britain, contributing an estimated £276m along with her family. The company has been headquartered in Stoke-on-Trent since its founding in 2000.


Casinos are the archetypal gambling activity, with the glamour and glitz something that has appeared in films countless times. Nowadays, players are more likely to play their favourites, such as roulette, blackjack or poker, on a mobile device than they are in the 100+ land operations based in the UK.

Websites offer the convenience of the full dealer experience from the comfort of your home, which is very attractive to busy people. Certain websites exist to compile the best casino sites around and let players choose the most profitable bonus on offer.

This helps players find the best UK casino bonus, which in turn allows players to play on slots without the financial risk. This is an offer that many companies will replicate in order to let players check out their game library when registering.


Sports betting is also huge in the UK. Many football fans will enhance their enjoyment when watching games by having a flutter on the outcome; these days there are hundreds of different markets to bet on, not simply the final score.

In addition, many leading betting websites offer live streaming as a perk for being a registered member. The influence of betting companies on sports teams is perhaps best shown in the fact that most have a sponsorship agreement in place, with a substantial number of Premier League sides advertising a company on their shirts.


The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licences companies that wish to operate in the country. There are plenty of others around, but the UKGC is one of the most highly regulated and respected in the world of gambling – a company in possession of such a licence can largely be seen as trustworthy, with processes in place to ensure transparency and responsible gambling among other things.

Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org

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