Why is the UK Considered a Key Player in Global Gambling Industry?

UK gambling industry image
UK gambling. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Due to a string of government policies and incentives promulgated over the past 15 years, the UK gambling industry has experienced a boom.

The rise of the gambling market segment in the United Kingdom is closely related to a set of government actions made over the last decade and a half.  As a result, the UK currently ranks as one of the hotspots of the global online gambling industry.  Whether you fancy playing slots at an online casino or backing your favourite team in the premier league, the opportunities for ordinary punters are endless. 

Here are some of the policy reforms that have firmly positioned the UK as a key player on the global online gambling scene:

1. Deregulation

Following the UK government’s decision to deregulate the online gambling market, many industry players took advantage of the more flexible legal framework to expand. As a result, obtaining licenses became more straightforward due to the lowering of entry barriers to the market. The government dished out permits to as many entities as possible, including offshore companies that fell outside the local revenue collection services scope.  

The gambling act of 2005 gave rise to a competitive market that knew exactly how to capitalise on marketing. The act permitted TV advertising of online gambling sites allowing wagering operators to advertise on a massive scale. Today, betting infomercials are commonplace and can be seen regularly during broadcasts. Additionally, the platforms enhanced their efforts through increased email marketing and social media presence.

2. Taxation Changes

The UK government also took a further step by scrapping the tax obligations of players on their winnings, permitting them to take 100% of their earnings. This brilliant marketing coup attracted droves of new online gamblers to the casino sites. The prospect of not paying a cent of tax on your gambling winnings is tempting and automatically led to the rise in popularity of online casinos.

These taxation changes came at the same time when bans on tobacco advertising were put in place in the UK. Companies with typically large advertising budgets for tobacco sponsorships had significant funding vacancies that the online gambling companies were happy to fill. As a result, online gambling firms could now market themselves using subsidies from renowned market players.

Rise of Online Gambling

The number of online casino players rose significantly from a mere ten per cent when the gambling law came into effect to over 17 per cent a decade later. As more gamblers used online platforms, the revenue from online casinos increased significantly. Remote gambling revenue increased to approximately €4.5 billion between 2016 and 2017. Presently, online gambling makes up more than 30 per cent of the entire wagering market in the United Kingdom.

Subsequently, the growth of online casinos allowed other branches of the economy to flourish. Companies dealing with marketing, entertainment software, and chat hosting significantly profited from the expansion of remote gambling in the United Kingdom. Despite the government not taxing the gambling industry, it continued to tax other industry beneficiaries, and this growth helped boost the government coffers.

Due to the government’s acceptance of all platforms, the gambling industry initially came across as untrustworthy. Furthermore, the inclusion of overseas gambling sites and their access to TV advertising did nothing to help the image of the betting industry. To counter this, online casinos took note of this trend and sought ways to improve their image by changing public opinion. As a result, the current market sees gambling sites as a fun and quick way to make money.

With the public no longer considering the online gambling industry as fraudulent, reputable tournaments began springing up online. Consequently, professional players, too, have become drawn to the industry. As for the political considerations, Brexit has not had any significant negative impact on the industry. However, some proposed changes in financial legislation might restrict the number of online players and subsequently affect the local gambling market.

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Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

Besides polishing his SEO skills, Bojan has a penchant for creative writing. With over half a decade of experience in the online gambling industry under his belt, his written take on the latest news from the Canadian and global gambling industries is an indispensable source of information for the CASINOenquirer team. Bojan’s primary goal is to ensure that players get a superior experience through the top-notch content that he shares.

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