January 16, 2021

How big is the betting industry in the UK?

The UK gambling industry, which is regulated by the Gambling Commission, is one of the biggest in the world, and also one with an important growth in the past years.

The latest data about the gross gambling yield show that it generated more than 14.2 billion British pounds over 12 months. And the biggest share of it is one the online market, with more than a third – somewhere between 5.3 billion and 5.6 billion pounds. This one is a continuously growing market, with so many opportunities to bet on.

One example is sports betting. In the UK, the most popular sports for gamblers are football and horse racing. The truth is that almost half of the bets are placed on football games. And the online betting agencies, like Unibet, offer a how to bet on football guide that details the needed information to get the players started.

Other popular betting sports include tennis, hockey, and greyhound racing. The total number of players who bet on sports is over 2 million.

But there are roughly around 25 million gamblers in the UK, and almost half of them bet online. This number means more than 40% of the total adult population.

The most common gambling activities are linked to the national lottery, with over one quarter of the total gamblers. Then there are other lotteries, the slot machines, bingo, and many others.

Looking now at the place the UK online gambling industry has in the world, that is sensational: Its share is almost 12% – out of the total around 50 billion pounds. The world’s online gambling market is expected to rise with more than 40% by 2023, and that can mean a huge boost for the UK gambling industry too.

And here is the “could” explained: While the global market has increased steady in the past years – with a significant spike in the last year –, this is not also the case for the UK gambling market.

The numbers up until the end of 2019 show a light decrease in the past two years to that date, after a huge growth from 9.8 billion pounds to almost 13.5 billion, between 2014 and 2016.

What does the future look like?

The future will bring its challenges too. The shape of the industry is likely to change in the next five years. There will be winners and losers among operators too. The larger ones, that have the financial flexibility to cope with the increased operational costs, will be the winners.

Then, some questions still remain – like what regulations or taxes will the Gambling Commission come up with in the future, and also the eyes will be on the pricing and promotions.

One thing which will drive the changes will be technology. While it will keep on progressing, the gaming providers will develop new and exciting games that will be very attractive to the players.

And there are many other things to consider that may influence this industry. For example, Brexit, the development of the 5G networks, the development of AI for online gambling, and also the evolution of mobile gaming will have a say in the coming years.

But what we know for sure is that the UK gambling industry has always been an adaptable one. Things have changed constantly, yet the industry emerged to what it is today – a leader in Europe. This means it will almost for sure overcome any challenges and continue its growth – be it a steady one like in the past years, or slowed down. But will eventually rise up to its value of billions and billions of pounds.