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June 19, 2018

UK Online Gambling Industry Growth Over the Years


The UK gambling industry has been on the rise for over a decade now. This is the only industry which not only remained largely unaffected by Brexit, but actually continued to grow in revenues. What paved the way for the rise of gambling in the UK was the Gambling Act 2005, which allowed TV advertising of gambling sites and provided betting operators with the chance to attract customers on a mass scale. 

The UK Gambling Act 2005 came into force in 2007. Shortly after, UK gambling revenues went on the rise, and taxes the industry pays to the Treasury soared as well. For less than a year after the Act came into force, the gambling industry hit £8.36 billion. Continuing its upward trend, the industry reached a record £13.8 billion in revenues in September 2016.

While the overall growth of the UK gambling industry is undoubtedly interesting, what most people find compelling is the outstanding growth in online betting.

The Rise of Online Gambling

Despite being a controversial issue in the US, online gambling has been legal in the UK ever since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force 11 years ago. And it has been attracting customers ever since some online gambling restrictions were loosened, following the example of land-based casinos. Consequently, the number of players gambling online rose from 9.7 per cent in 2008 to over 17 per cent in 2018. Of course, as more people gamble online, remote gambling revenues increase as well.

Remote gambling in the UK totalled £817 million in 2009, but rose to £4.5 billion between April 2016 and March 2017. According to a report by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), this constitutes a 10.1 per cent rise in online gross gaming yield (GGY) over less than 10 years. Today, remote gambling holds 34 per cent of the entire UK gambling market and accounts for the biggest increase in gambling revenues as well. Land-based casino products, such as poker, account for 56 per cent of the total GGY; exchange betting constitutes 2.8 per cent of total GGY, whereas pool betting holds just 0.7 per cent.

Other Businesses Benefit From The Growth of Online Gambling

Nowadays, the online gambling industry is bigger than ever and numerous other businesses take advantage of its growth. Marketing companies, iGaming software development companies, casino news websites like and even chat hosts make money from the remote gambling industry.

But the government benefits as well. Various taxes have been imposed over the years so that the government can make profits from the continually growing online gambling industry. In fact, taxes imposed on the remote gambling business allow the UK government to accumulate profits at higher rates than other industries.

Online Casinos Improve Their Image

While not long ago people still perceived the online gambling industry as a disreputable one, its grim image has been completely transformed today. For the past ten years, online betting operators have been investing great efforts into improving their image and changing the public opinion. Today, online casinos are no longer looked down on. Instead, the public views them as a modern, fun, and quick way to make money. Statistics provided by online betting sites show that the number of players winning money at online casinos has increased substantially, which certainly helps improve the image of online casinos as well.

Now that the public no longer views the online gambling business as a lowly industry, major gambling tournaments can be held online. In fact, major tournaments such as Poker Masters are already held online at renown UK gambling sites. What is more, professional players are increasingly drawn to online gaming, as it is more convenient.

This is not to say that land-based gaming venues are on the decline. They still attract customers, primarily those seeking a more social experience. Nevertheless, online gambling is prevailing and estimations show it will continue to grow. Analysts predict that, if the upward trend continues, the remote gambling industry could generate more than half of the total gambling GGY in the near future.

Challenges Presented To Operators

With major political changes coming to the UK, online betting operators are facing serious challenges. Even though Brexit did not substantially affect the gambling industry as a whole, it certainly left an impact on many international dealings between online betting operators and on the value of GBP, too. Some operators have already closed their venues as it is no longer valuable enough to keep their venues. What is more, the high taxes imposed by the government make it increasingly difficult for operators to offer value for money without being at a loss.

Another challenge posed to online betting operators comes from the upcoming changes in financial legislation. These changes could reduce the number and value of casino bonuses offered to players, which can lead to a decline in the total number of online gamblers.

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