Home Business Insights & Advice Where do UK bookmakers make their money?

Where do UK bookmakers make their money?

by Sarah Dunsby
13th Jun 24 3:18 pm

In the UK alone, bookmakers are generating a profit of more than the £13.5 billion annually. In fact, this number is estimated to grow around £1 billion every 12 months, meaning that the industry is clearly still growing and gaining traction. Where are UK bookmakers making this profit? Let’s take a closer look at where they operate.

Betting shops

When you think of sports betting in the UK, you are very likely thinking of the betting shops that are found on every High Street. These have been a mainstay of the UK retail scene for decades.

Betting shops were part of the movement that really brought gambling to everybody in the UK, not just the upper classes. With betting shops being available to everybody, everybody could enjoy the odd flutter on a game whenever they wanted.

When you visit a betting shop today, you will see the typically have lots of different TVs covering different sports, so you can see all of the live broadcast coverage as you bet. This was an actually allowed by law until 1986, when Satellite Information Services were formed and sports could be broadcast to bookmakers.

While while the majority of betting shops are found on the local high street, you will find some being operated at sports grounds, allowing visitors to bet on events happening at that arena.

Fixed odds terminal betting

Fixed odds terminals are found in betting shops, and allow people to gamble by placing bets directly through them. They have become very popular with betting shop patrons, but they have also stirred up a lot of controversy.

In 2014, there were proposals made to give local authorities to power to limit the number of terminals allowed in betting shops at any one time. Currently, there is strict regulation on how many can be allowed, and how much they can pay out at any one time.

Online betting

While the High Street betting shop still remains popular in UK culture, UK bookmakers are now making huge amounts of profit from online betting. The UK online betting scene really started in 2005, but in 2020 during the pandemic lockdowns, it really blew up into an industry all of its own. With betting fans not being able to go to their local betting shop the bet, they could instead find the website of their favourite betting shop, and bet through them instead.

As seen at Irishbettingsites.ie, new betting sites are being launched constantly and the online betting industry does not seem like it’s going to slow down any time soon. Right now, online betting is estimated at having made £2.6 billion in profits in 2022 alone.

It’s not hard to see why online betting has exploded in popularity, even after 2020. Having the ability to place bets through the internet, in the comfort of your own home, is appealing to so many people. Many betting sites are now able to offer live streaming as well, so members can watch games and bet on them all in the same site. That truly is giving you the full betting shop experience, in your home.

Betting sites are also able to give members some really unique and excellent promos, which they may not be able to get in physical betting shops. This again is why they have become so popular, because members can get even more out of the deposits they make with them.

Because these betting sites are online, they can be accessed by several different countries. Many UK sites are visited by Irish patrons for example, which helps bolster those profits and make them even more successful.


nos you are likely thinking of Las Vegas, but even here in the UK we have a thriving casino industry. In 2022, the casino industry it was seen to bring in a profit of £6.4 billion. That shows you that casino gaming in the UK is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Most good casinos will be offering you a variety of slots games, as well as a table games that are played with a dealer. The social aspect of gaming at casinos is part of why the industry is currently so profitable, as like-minded people can get together to enjoy the games available.

Many bookmaker brands have taken advantage of the popularity of casinos, and opened their own casinos themselves. This is especially true when it comes to online casinos, where these are built into their existing betting frameworks. Online casinos have contributed heavily to that above profit, so you can see just how popular they have become.

UK bookmakers have several different areas where they are currently making their money. One of the most profitable areas is online betting, which has seen huge growth in the last few years and does not show any sign of slowing down.


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

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