When it comes to gambling, no country embraces the activity as passionately as the United Kingdom. The UK boasts a heavily regulated betting industry, which generates more than £10 billion each year. Further, some of the world’s finest online gambling sites and sportsbooks originate in the UK, which testifies to the fact that gambling is highly praised by the British public. Actually, a 2016 research shows that almost 50% of all respondents have gambled during the past four weeks.

What makes UK citizens so keen on gambling is that they can enjoy a variety of regulated online casinos and gambling platforms – from betting on horse races to playing high stakes poker, almost all forms of gambling are legal in the UK. Nevertheless, statistics show that not all forms of gambling are popular. According to gambling data, bingo betting, casino betting, and sports betting are the three most popular forms of gambling on UK territory.

Casino betting in the UK

Both land-based and online casino gambling is legal in the UK. To play casino games, players can either visit one of the 150 land-based UK casinos or play at one of the thousand online gambling sites available on UK territory.

The most prestigious casino gambling area is Mayfair of London, but players can find various high-quality gambling establishments outside London, too. It should be noted that, unlike Las Vegas and Macau, the UK does not have casino resorts. Even though the Gambling Act 2005 paved the way for the construction of such establishments, no operator has proceeded to open one yet.

According to statistics, British casino enthusiasts play slots and other casino games online, rather than visit a land-based casino establishment for the purpose – online gambling revenues amounted to £4.7 billion back in 2017.

Bingo in the UK

Bingo is another legal form of gambling, available on UK territory. The UK bingo industry’s gross gaming yield amounted to nearly £4 billion in 2017, making it one of the most lucrative gambling businesses.

When did bingo become so popular in the UK? Historians say that the traditional 90-ball bingo has been popular since the First World War, but back then it was regarded as a recreational activity. As a matter of fact, it was only after the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 that bingo became a legal form of gambling. By the 1960s, some bingo halls welcomed more than 150,000 players a day. For the next few decades, UK bingo halls enjoyed unceasing popularity, but when online bingo came into existence, traditional bingo halls slowly died away.

At present, bingo is played via mobile, and the majority of UK bingo players are women – 4 out of 5 players are females. What is more, bingo is played by a much younger demographics today, with 62% of players being under 45 years of age.

Sports betting in the UK

Sports betting has a rich history in the UK – the first British racecourses were built as early as the 1500s. Betting on horse races was the only legal form of betting in the UK until the 1960 Act, which legalised off-course bookmakers. By 1961, 10,000 betting shops had been opened all over the UK.

In the 1990s, the first online betting shops were opened, and in 2016 the size of the remote sports betting industry reached £1.8 billion.

When big e-Sports tournaments emerged, more and more people became attracted to e-Sports betting, which resulted in the introduction of e-Sports betting sections at some of the most highly-praised British bookmakers.

In 2018, the US legalised sports betting, which led to the expansion of British bookies to the US. Currently, US citizens can place sports bets at betting shops owned by William Hill and other renown UK bookmakers.