Big British Betting – The UK is the World Leader in Gambling
The UK may not have the most massive and elaborate real-world gambling playgrounds like those in Las Vegas and Macau. However, when it comes to actual gamblers measured in numbers, no city or country in the world has more than the UK, with 33% of Brits gambling weekly.
Brits Love Gambling
Gambling has been around in Britain for centuries and is a pastime that has evolved among Brits over the years, especially with the introduction of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) and online gambling.
However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that gambling began to gain mainstream popularity in the country. This was during the time when the Gaming Board of Great Britain gave the green light to commercialised casino establishments and the Betting and Gaming Act 1960 allowed commercial bingo halls and off-course bookmakers in the UK.
Since then, gambling has become a regular part of British culture, with the industry now employing over a hundred thousand UK residents and raking in billions every year. To put this into greater perspective, data from Statista, which analysed the UK gambling industry from 2009 – 2017, reveals just how much the gambling industry has grown in the nation. For instance:
- The UK gambling sector employs between 100,000 to 125,000 people
- Total gross gambling yield in Great Britain is 13.9 billion GBP
- The annual number of visits to UK casinos is an estimated 19.72 million
- 33% of Brits gamble every week
UK Online Gambling Popularity
There’s no question that Brits like to play the national lottery as well as head to land-based casinos, bingo halls and bookmaker establishments. That said, since the inception of remote gambling, the number of UK gamblers has steadily grown.
Key facts from the UK Gambling Commission found that the remote betting, bingo and casino sector held 35% market share between October 2016 and September 2017, a 1.0% increase from April 2016 to March 2017.
This isn’t a surprise, as there are thousands of betting operators in the UK. The largest of these is GVC Holdings, which is the UK’s largest high street bookmaker after acquiring Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC, and is one of the world’s largest sports betting, casino, poker, and bingo operators, powering popular brands like Bwin, Sportingbet, PartyPoker, PartyCasino, and PlayOJO casino.
GVC Holdings aside, there is stiff competition in the online casino sector in the UK, especially after the Gambling Commission cracked down on operator licensing regulations to better protect UK bettors in the fight against rising gambling addiction problems. Since then, more reputable online casinos have been popping up with better offers for players and playful and rewarding experience that is fully transparent and wager-free.
The Gambling Situation in Kent
Just like the rest of Britain, Kent residents love to gamble, especially when it comes to using fixed odds betting terminals. In fact, gamblers in the region reportedly lost over £35 million in 2016 by using these terminals, of which there are a minimum of 645 in Kent and Medway.
However, these steep losses will eventually be minimized once the government reduces the maximum odds for these machines from their current £100 bet to £2, a change that bookmakers are dreading, but that is likely to take place next year.
Still, in spite of changing gambling regulations, it is unlikely that Brits will give up their passion for betting any time soon.