7 reasons why the UK gambling industry is constantly growing


The gambling industry has seen rapid growth all around the world in the past years. This is primarily thanks to technological advancement and innovations, which allowed players to enjoy a unique experience online and even from their mobile phones. However, the United Kingdom’s casino industry has one of the most interesting developments, and we are about to shine a light on how and why gambling has become so popular in the UK. Also, keep reading to find out what to expect from the UK’s gambling industry in the years to come!

The growth of the UK gambling industry


The UK gambling industry has been on constant growth for many years, and it shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down. But this is not a surprise, as British players are provided with endless ways to enjoy their hobby. From great and luxurious land-based casinos to fun and safe online casinos and the easily accessible mobile apps, every gamer can have fun in their own style.

While brick-and-mortar casinos in the United Kingdom are still very popular, online gambling contributes significantly to the overall growth of the casino industry. Many famous gaming halls and resorts across the world have created their own websites and mobile apps to allow even more players to join them, even if they cannot be physically there. This stands true for the casinos in Great Britain as well, and British players love it.

According to Statista, the gross gambling yield had grown from £8.4 billion in 2014 to £14.4 billion in 2018. This massive increase happened thanks to the change in the remote gambling legislation, which has the largest market share.

In 2020, £5.7 billion gross gaming yield came from remote gambling alone, £2.4 billion from betting, £2.09 billion from gambling machines and £1.02 billion from physical casinos.

With around 24 million players across the UK, about half of the country’s adult population enjoys this activity. 51% of men and 41% of women gamble either online or offline. On average, the UK’s residents spend £2.60 per week in casinos, totalling over £135.20 per year.

10.5 million of them choose to gamble online, which determines operators to launch new online casinos at a fast rate. The UK Gambling Commission has issued over 3,600 licenses to 2,600 online gambling companies, and around 175 online casinos are operating in the country in 2021.

These statistics look great for the casino companies, but there are also problem gamblers in the UK. 3.1% of players bet more than they can afford, and 7% of them claim to gamble to earn some money. For this category of players, the industry’s rapid growth is dangerous, as it may prevent them from quitting or getting help.

7 reasons why gambling is so popular in the UK

The popularity of gambling in the United Kingdom is due to a variety of factors, aside from technological advancements. Here are the seven key reasons why this industry is thriving.

1. Online casinos are more convenient

As we have already mentioned, the launch of online casinos has pushed the industry to flourish even more. This is because they are so convenient, and the players can enjoy their favourite activity from home or anywhere they may be.

The gambling websites are competing to offer better and more attractive features and games in order to have more players join them. Many are of very high quality and are optimised to work perfectly on any type of device, be it a desktop computer or a mobile phone.

They come with a variety of options regarding the game types, payment methods, and even currency and language, allowing players to fully customise their gambling experience and have fun in their own style;

2. Bonuses and promotions


Aside from fun games and features, online casinos have another significant advantage compared to land-based ones. They come with bonuses and promotions that are used as a means to attract players and keep them entertained. These are addressed to newcomers mostly, but platforms do not neglect their existing customers either.

They create bonuses to fit every need and requirement, and players are always hunting for them. Some come with extra funds for them to use in games or extra spins for slot machines, or even both. These promotions come with their own rules, and British players are always looking for the more convenient ones. This is why casinos compete in offering the most attractive deals and gain the most customers;

3. More betting premises and gambling machines


The United Kingdom has over 8,406 betting premises and, in 2018, there were over 181,309 gaming machines. In 2020, the number of betting premises was 9,036 and 191,826 gaming machines. This shows their numbers keep on growing as players want more.

Their increasing availability also makes more British residents try them out, and some even become loyal customers. This pushes the UK gambling market even further and helps it continue to develop at a fast rate.

4. Increase in fairness and trust

If gambling was something not to be trusted back in the day, nowadays, it is regarded as any other leisure activity in the UK. With so many people enjoying it, fairness and transparency are fundamental. These are ensured by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, which oversees all gambling activities within the country and issues licenses for gaming operators.

This authority is one of the strictest and has many rules that operators need to comply with in order to be able to provide services to British players. They constantly verify each operator and the players’ funds and integrity are protected by this authority, especially the vulnerable ones.

Underage gambling and gambling addiction are very pressing matters for the UK and particularly for the UKGC. They put in constant effort to reduce the number of both teenage and problem gamblers;

5. The industry is well established

In 1845, games of skill were made legal in the UK, and cheating became a crime. However, it was not until 1960 that private casinos were allowed to exist. Ever since, the industry has just kept on growing. With so many years behind, it managed to attract many customers, and with continuous improvements, it gained the trust of the British people.

With clear and strict laws, Great Britain manages to regulate and oversee all gambling activities with the player’s interests in mind. Every player who gambles at a licensed casino, online and offline, is protected by the law.

6. Change in cultural views

 Since gambling has been around for so many years in the country, the cultural views on it have changed. If people did not trust it much at first, nowadays, they have a more relaxed and responsible approach.

More and more British gamblers take their time to learn about responsible gambling and how to enjoy this activity healthily. Many are aware of the dangers of gambling addiction, so they stay informed about that as well.

A significant contribution to this change came from casinos and the UKGC. Gambling operators took security very seriously, especially for their online casinos. These now have a variety of security systems all working together to protect the customers’ data and funds. Meanwhile, the UKGC focused on fairness and made all casinos prove that their platforms and games are working correctly and allowing all players to have a fair chance when gambling.

7. Marketing


The ban on gambling advertising was lifted in 2007, and this helped the industry a lot. The ads and sponsorships easily reach consumers, with 6 out of 10 of them seeing them at least once per week.  

The UKGC ran an online survey conducted by Yonder Consulting in which approximately 6,000 adult respondents were asked questions related to gambling advertising, social media, and marketing. 85% of them stated they have seen gambling sponsorships or adverts. 76% of them saw gambling ads on TV, which makes the up the highest percentage of them all. The survey also reveals that about one in six adult respondents follow gambling companies on social media, and the majority of them are male, with ages between 18 and 44.

As you can see, the media is flooded by casino ads, but the UKGC and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) make sure strict rules are followed for these to be allowed on any media. These are meant to protect the underage and vulnerable population. In order to not be withdrawn, the ad must not link gambling to success or seduction, portray socially irresponsible gambling behaviour, or feature anyone under 25 years old. These are only a few of the rules in the Advertising Codes.

What to expect from the British casino industry

Looking back at the continuous growth of the gambling industry in the United Kingdom, one may only wonder how far this will go. Given the fact that the online gambling sector pushed the industry to higher levels in the past years, it is expected to continue to do so in the years to come.

The revenue from online gambling is projected to grow in the 2020-2025 period, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5.20%. Gamblers seem to prefer online gaming more than going to physical casinos, as it offers easier access and more features and perks for them. At the same time, more casino operators choose to launch gaming sites rather than opening land-based gambling halls because it is cost-effective and allows for more and quicker improvements whenever needed.

New technologies are on the way, and online games can now offer an experience as close to the real one as possible. Virtual Reality and Live Casino games are changing the entire online gambling scene, and they already have a solid fanbase among players, which forces game providers to invest even more in them.

Mobile gambling also plays a significant role in the industry’s growth, with various games being fully optimised for the smaller screens and made available for any type of device, regardless of its operating system. Players can now carry an entire casino in their pocket with all the features and games of a desktop one. Operators invest in developing and improving dedicated apps to allow even quicker access and a more stable experience for all gamers.

All things considered, if the growth continues as forecast, and it certainly will, by 2025, the UK’s online gambling market alone will be worth over £23.9 billion.


Gambling does not seem to go out of style anytime soon. With a steady growth in the past years and many new innovations, games, and features to be made available for online gamblers, the industry will only get bigger and better. Using marketing and great promotions, operators manage to continuously attract British players and convince them to indulge in this activity. UK’s laws and regulations ensure a fair and safe environment for all of these to occur, allowing gamers to trust the industry and join the fun.

The data we have presented and analysed in this article comes from the following sources:

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