Does Great Britain have a Gambling Problem?

Globally, gambling continues to thrive despite several impediments and limitations imposed by governments and states. While the industry is increasing in other parts of the world, expansion in the United Kingdom is unstoppable. With millions of active online accounts across all licensed operators, the UK can be considered the home of one of the world’s largest online casinos. This data should explain why the United Kingdom has such a high gross yield in the gambling industry. Here you can find the best sportsbooks online.

UK Gambling Industry Statistics

In late January 2020, Google searches for “casinos” in the United Kingdom reached an all-time high. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic struck, decimating the gaming industry’s revenue. According to Gambling Commission data, online virtual sports betting surged by 88%, and online poker increased by 53% in March compared to the same month last year. 

The pandemic struck a country already known for its high-rollers; according to a House of Lord’s study titled “Gambling Harm – Time for Action,” released in July 2020, half of all adults in the United Kingdom gamble at least once a month. A third of a million persons in the United Kingdom are “problem” or “disordered” gamblers. Six additional people – a total of two million – are expected to be injured for every problem gambler due to family breakdown, criminality, loss of employment, homelessness, and, eventually, death.

Gambling’s General Image in the United Kingdom 

When it comes to gaming, there are many different varieties available, both traditional and modern. For example, sportsbooks allow for wagering on various sports, Esports, and even virtual sports events, while casinos like the ones on have table games, slots, and lottery games. To get a sense of how frequently UK residents play dice, how much they spend on it, and other information, consider the following: 

  • In 2020, 30% of British people participated in the National Lottery, and 47% of British citizens gambled in the last month. 
  • In the United Kingdom, the annual budget per person is £135.20, and the weekly budget is £2.60. 
  • The industry employed 90,000 people. 
  • The United Kingdom contributes over £1.2 billion annually to gambling addiction treatment. 
  • In 2019/2020, the National Lottery donated £1.6 billion to charity.
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The Sum of Money Invested in the Industry 

If you’re curious about how much money the British spend on gambling, let’s start with the average weekly expenditure. In the United Kingdom, wagering, playing casino games, or bingo costs between £4.20 and £1.50, depending on the wagerer’s income. That is an average of £2.60 per week for this type of entertainment, which may not seem excessive. 

When we consider that the average risk taker spends at least £135.20 per year on this, the £1.2 billion spent on gambling addiction concerns every year does not seem that outlandish. After all, this is a centuries-old form of entertainment in this world region that has evolved into something more cultural. 

GamStop and the UKGC 

One of the most significant developments in the UK betting sector was the establishment of GamStop, a not-for-profit organization that collaborates with the UK Gambling Commission. GamStop offers a self-exclusion program for gamblers, allowing users to sign up for free and request a self-exclusion period. The plan will prevent them from using any gambling sites in the UK for up to five years, with no possibility of reversal. 

With the number of gambling establishments in the UK increasing, the ban may benefit gamblers on a losing streak and maybe battling psychological cravings to recoup their losses. However, the risks are the same for the basketball betting sector, with players gaining access to various games, alternative sports, and virtual betting, such as e-sports or casinos. 

Non-GamStop Casinos and Regulation

The gambling sites not included on GamStop are casinos like and sportsbooks not based in the United Kingdom and hence are not subject to UKGC regulations. These sites are often licensed by a gaming body in their own country, with the islands of Gibraltar and Malta being popular locations. The latter is home to a thriving betting industry, which the Malta Gaming Authority regulates. Due to their affiliation with the European Union financial system, many non-UK casino sites are subject to a high level of compliance.

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The requirements governing Know Your Customer (KYC) and the isolation of customer funds from the firm will be identical to those in the United Kingdom. The disadvantage of using these services may be the absence of third-party dispute resolution due to the citizenship issue. Sites are also growing increasingly prevalent in South American countries, such as Costa Rica and Curacao, and several of these countries will likely have laxer regulatory regimes.

UK gamers have been drawn to platforms such as because they allow for greater latitude for non-UK gambling sites than GamStop does, and the risk to US authorities is the same. If they impose too many restrictions on the US market, bettors will migrate to South American sites and still access the NBA and other competitions. 

The sites not part of GamStop frequently have their self-exclusion policies, but they are often reversible and certainly not as long as the five years offered in the UK. Additionally, there is a possibility that customers will exploit these offshore sites to circumvent GamStop regulations.


Gross gambling returns in the United Kingdom will continue to grow if all other factors stay stable and positive, as they have been for the last six years. There are signs that gross gambling revenues from arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, remote gaming, and it will expand dramatically in the next few years. All we can do is wait and observe what the gambling business in the United Kingdom does over the next half-decade.


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