How the UK became the centre of the gambling industry

uk gambling

If you live in the United States or somewhere similar, you might be surprised how prevalent gambling is in the UK.

Online casinos and betting sites are still banned or prohibited in many locations across the planet—but not in the UK. In fact, the UK has become the absolute centre of the online gambling industry in the last decade or so.

A number of massive corporations base their operations there and the Government already brings in a lot of tax revenue thanks to gambling.

As other countries look to loosen up their online gambling laws, they could learn a thing or two from what the UK did over the last couple of decades. Both from their mistakes to their successes. Now it’s common to walk down any high street in the UK and see multiple betting stores. Watch any sporting event and see adverts for plenty of different online betting sites and casinos.

Whether you want to enjoy online casino games like the Royal Dynasty slot or simply want to place a few bets on your favourite sports team, you can do all that and more. But how did we get to this point? Has the UK’s gambling stance been a success or a failure? In this article, we’re going to have a look.


The first step the UK Government took to make it a fertile ground for many gambling companies was to deregulate the market. Gambling licenses became easy to get hold of and barriers to entry were reduced. Instead of having sites operating offshore with no access to the money they made, the UK wanted to offer licenses to as many gambling companies as possible.

This created a competitive market. Competition has meant that individual gamblers can make the most of tons of different offers. But it also means that it’s hard to avoid gambling in the UK, no matter where you look. And this has problems, especially for those who get hooked or have trouble managing their gambling.

When you look at how other countries have gone in the complete opposite direction, you can see how different things are in the UK. In some places, online gambling sites are blocked. In others, you can’t advertise bookies or other gambling products on television. In the UK, you can do all of this and more.

There are some limits, and bricks-and-mortar bookies can only offer a certain number of fixed-odds terminals. The tide is finally changing on this front, and more limits look set to be put in place on these machines as they are seen as some of the most pervasive and damaging aspects of a liberalised gambling industry.

Tax changes

Another big change that was made was by scrapping tax paid by individual gamblers on anything they won. In the past, if you won big, you’d be hit with a big tax bill. Now taxes are only paid by the gambling companies themselves.

Anything you win can be kept in its entirety. This made it easier and more appealing for people to start gambling, or even start treating gambling as their main income.

These are the two main factors that kickstarted the gambling boom in the UK. The smoking and tobacco advertising ban also made an impact as sporting events looked for new sponsors in relevant fields. The gambling industry has filled this hole and more.

It’s now so tied up with football and many other sports it might be hard to separate them. Is this a good thing? It remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, if you want to gamble in the UK, there are plenty of options.