The United Kingdom is one of the main gambling markets in the world. In terms of regulation, the Gambling Commission supervises operations across the country and overseas.
UK gambling market size in 2024 was estimated to be around £12.6 billion and was expected to increase throughout 2024 and 2024.
The UK gambling industry is regulated by the Gambling Commission, an executive agency supervised by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in the United Kingdom. This agency is responsible for regulating activities such as sports betting, casinos, bingo halls, gaming machines, and lotteries in Great Britain.
The Gambling Act of 2005 established the Gambling Commission to regulate and monitor commercial wagering in Great Britain, as well as monitor any changes or developments in the sector and evaluate the effectiveness of their regulations. The Act also gave oversight to a system of approved testing agencies that play an important role in maintaining safety and fairness within each jurisdiction.
A range of different rules and regulations are put into place for the UK gambling industry to adhere to. These guidelines help reduce potential risks associated with gaming activities such as underage gambling, money laundering & terrorist financing activity which can occur due to a lack of integrity within a business or insufficient controls across customer transactions.
Economic Impact of Gambling in the UK
In 2024/2022, it is estimated that this industry contributed £11.5 billion to the UK economy. This comprises contributions from both direct and indirect sources — for example, activities like events and providing gaming machines account for £4.3 billion of those earnings on their own.
Gambling also supports jobs through both direct employment as well as indirect employment (estimates of up to 180,000 in the past year).
Generally speaking, most subsectors saw significant growth caused by online gambling such as betting, bingo, casino, and gaming all more than doubling their income figures during this period. Online casinos offer lots of perks like dr bet withdrawal time, promotions, and bonuses that attract customers more than traditional casinos.
What do Statistics Show?
In 2024, the number of people who gambled online in the UK was estimated at approximately 13.2 million, with 80 percent of those adults aged between 25 and 54 reporting that they had gambled at least once in 12 months.
The vast majority (90%) reported having gambled on sports betting and casino/gaming sites, while 8% reported having taken part in lotteries and 3% reported experiencing betting exchange or peer-to-peer exchanges within a given 12-month period.
Around 79% of adult gamblers who took part in the research described themselves as recreational gamblers rather than experts or problem gamblers trying to make money from their activities, while 71%, overall considered themselves to be ‘in control’ when it comes to their gambling behavior.
The Gambling Commission’s figures for 2024 stated that 66% of adults who gamble did so using either debit cards or eWallets such as PayPal and Skrill, showing how popular and accessible these payment options have become for wagering, especially when compared with cash payments which accounted for only 10%.
The total amount spent by individuals on all forms of gambling was estimated at £724 per person – though this total does also include smaller bets made through fruit machines and scratch cards as well as more costly activities like horse racing or online casinos.
When combining this information with projected GDP growth levels estimated through 2024 it can be seen that the prevalence and financial impact of the gambling sector is set to remain buoyant over this short time frame period before slowing down again towards 2024/2025
Gambling Advertising in the UK
In recent years, gambling advertising in the United Kingdom (UK) has come under increased scrutiny, with numerous changes and restrictions brought in to ensure that vulnerable people are protected while enjoying the benefits of a liberalized market.
In 2011, the Gambling Commission introduced a code of practice and guidelines that apply to all operators within their remit. This sets out requirements around responsible wagering, advertising, and marketing activities and authority self-assessment and control.
Challenges Facing the Industry
The UK gambling industry is currently facing a number of challenges due to changes in the regulatory environment and technological advancements.
The Gambling Commission, the Government’s regulator of gambling in Great Britain, has implemented new rules which have placed more restrictions on the industry. These regulations have had an impact on both land-based operators and their online counterparts.
The development of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) has also presented a challenge for the industry as it attempts to adapt its services to keep up with these advances. The growing prevalence of mobile devices and tablets has meant that people find it easier to access online-based services, meaning that land-based operators cannot compete any longer.
In addition, gambling addiction is still an issue in the UK, with reports suggesting that over half a million people are at risk from problem gambling in Great Britain. This is leading to policymakers demanding further research into risks associated with this form of entertainment and for measures to be put in place to help protect vulnerable individuals who may be adversely affected by these activities.
Projections suggest that despite some worrying trends such as slow growth in revenue due to closures caused by the pandemic, continued strong competition within the market, and decreasing consumer spending on gambling, revenue is expected to continue to grow steadily in 2024. The popularity of online casinos and betting sites indicates that this growth will remain consistent even as traditional forms of high street gambling decline or become extinct altogether.
The total number of UK employees working within the industry is expected to reach around 120 000 by 2024(an 8% increase from 2024). While job losses have been common throughout 2020 due to measures implemented due to pandemic restrictions on business operations, it appears this trend levered off by early 2024 as more sectors returned firmly into their roles prior to 2020 disruptions.