Online betting UK sites – Stats and Interesting Facts
As the industry expands, the many ways online bettors have to wager in the UK are only growing.
When it comes to this relatively new remote industry, you may be curious about the laws that brought it to fruition and how this industry now affects the UK.
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With roots dating back to the 1990s and official legalization as recent as 2005, UK online gambling is now a massive operation. The country’s economy benefits significantly from online gambling, which regularly contributes billions of pounds.
Keep reading to learn more about online betting in the UK, including the history of its legalization, statistics on its economic impact, and more.
We’ll also share statistics and details about demographics that make up the UK’s gambling industry and more. Let’s get into it!
UK Online Betting Statistics
Among the many betting sites UK residents can access, it’s worth noting which ones lead the industry. Some operators have even bought out their competitors to create companies that own multiple online gambling sites.
The Most Profitable Online Betting Sites UK
The following major UK bookies – which offer casino and sportsbook wagering opportunities – are some of the biggest revenue sources in UK online gambling.
- Bet365 – £470 million profit, £2.8 billion revenue (as of 2020-2021 reports)
- 888 Holdings – £81.3 million profit, £332.1 million revenue (as of 2022 reports)
- Flutter Entertainment – £6.036 billion revenue, £746 million profit (merger of PaddyPower and Betfair)
Betting Platforms UK with the Largest Staff/Operations
These betting operators are some of the largest in the UK, each with thousands of staff to keep them running and meet the needs of their large clientele.
- Bet365 – 5,500+ employees
- William Hill – 12,000 employees
- Flutter Entertainment – 15,000+ employees
- Kindred Group – 2,000+ employees
10 Interesting Facts About Online Gambling in the UK
UK online sportsbooks and casinos have had an exciting journey leading them to the industry we know today.
Over the past several decades, legislation has enabled the online gambling world to thrive and for UK residents to enjoy these bookmakers without fearing the legal repercussions.
Believe it or not, online betting in the UK is a relatively recent addition to the list of ways people can gamble legally.
It wasn’t until 2005 that the UK Gambling Act made Internet betting okay, as long as the sites were regulated and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
And the UK Gambling Commission didn’t officially take over until 2007.
It wasn’t until specific legislation was passed that online bookies had to deal with taxes in the UK.
Specifically, betting sites had to start adhering to profit tax laws regarding UK punters in 2014.
This was known as the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act.
There are several different licenses that UK online bookmakers can acquire if they want to support legal gambling. Specifically for Internet bookmakers, the required licenses are known as remote general betting licenses.
Starting in 2014, remote bookies in the UK had to start acquiring UK licenses to be legal.
Online Bookmaker History
If you’re curious about the origins of online betting sites in the UK, you can look directly towards companies like Betfair and William Hill.
Betfair started as a UK betting exchange that joined the Internet at the turn of the millennium. And William Hill has even older online roots in the UK – going back to 1998 – as well as official in-person betting origins in the 1930s.
Traditional Bookmaker History
But before UK punters had online sportsbooks and casinos to turn to, there were the brick-and-mortar establishments of yore.
And these didn’t even become legal until the year 1960.
At that point, the UK’s Betting and Gaming Act was finally passed to allow players to go to casinos and sports betting locations legally.
There is also something called “duties” regarding UK online gambling. This refers to money that betting sites have to pay, with varying rates depending on the type of bet placed.
The UK gambling industry is centralized in London, where more than 1,000 betting shops exist.
Popular Online Markets
Regarding the most popular online wagering markets for UK bettors, football matches, horse races, and greyhound races take the lead.
Online and Mobile Betting
Did you know it’s legal to place wagers inside a UK pub?
UK betting sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and offer mobile betting make this possible.
As long as UK bettors don’t place bets on behalf of other people, this is considered valid.
National Health Service and Gambling
According to England’s National Health Service, the UK gambling industry is more focused on growing the gambling industry than helping problem gamblers.
The industry spends around 1500 times as much money to advertise and market gambling as it does to deal with gambling addiction and other adverse outcomes of the industry.
The amount of online betting UK players can access is substantial these days.
Gamblers can conveniently access their wagers with Internet bookmakers licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, such as Bet365 and William Hill.
The UK online gambling industry rakes in billions of pounds and involves millions of gamblers (primarily men in the 40s-50s age range).
And these numbers are only growing as the years pass.
The vast industry has grown considerably in the past two decades since UK legislation made it legal.
How big is the UK online gambling industry?
It is estimated that more than 2 million people in the UK take part in the online gambling industry. These numbers keep growing on a yearly basis by around 7%. And in terms of money, the industry of online sports betting alone is worth over half a billion pounds.
What percentage of the UK gambles?
According to 2019 statistics gathered in the UK, around 47% of residents take part in gambling. It’s worth noting that these stats are only based on studies that asked participants if they gambled in the last several weeks.
How much does the average person gamble UK?
In the UK, the average person gambles around £70 per week on betting and other gambling activities. It’s estimated that men often spend more on gambling in the UK than women do, and the numbers are also higher in London compared to other areas.
Who gambles the most in the UK?
Although the age range is fairly consistent when it comes to middle-aged individuals, there is a difference among men and women gamblers. According to 2018 Gov.UK data, 15% of England men gamble online versus a relative 4% of England’s women.
How much does the average gambler lose a year?
Gambling is an inherently risky practice, and the average adult gambler will lose around £9,000-£18,000 each year. This is common even among individuals with salaries that don’t exceed these numbers by much.
How much is gambling worth to UK economy?
The UK economy benefits from the gambling industry in multiple ways. First, there is UK betting on its own, which adds more than £6 billion.
Then, there is the contribution that comes from UK gambling tax revenue, which is worth more than £7 million. In the year 2021 alone, nearly £3 billion in gambling taxes went to the UK treasury.
What age group gambles the most?
Provisions of the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act serve to protect children from the harmful repercussions of gambling. This is why there are minimum age requirements for certain gambling actions (16-18 years old usually).
But the most common age group in the UK tends to be those between their mid-40s and mid-50s.