Even though the betting scene has changed a lot over the past decades, the roots of betting go back centuries. People have always had the need to compete with each other in one form or another, and betting against other people, or the casinos, is nothing new. What is new is the scale in which it's being done today. Based on a survey in 2012, around 65% of population gamble in one form or another. In big part the numbers have gone up together with the evolution of computers and online betting world. With thousands of betting platforms to choose from these days, finding the best betting sites in UK in 2017 is getting more difficult by the minute.

From physical to cloud

There used to be a lot of betting shops in UK. But with the move from physical betting shops to online, the actual need for real estate for the business has gone down a lot. For example, the number of physical betting shops has decreased in UK from 16 000 in 1960 to 9000 in 2015. At the same time, the number of online betting sites has gone way up the last decade or two.

It's a numbers game

Pun intended? Betting itself is a numbers game, the bankroll, the odds, the wins and losses. But there are also bigger numbers involved, and those numbers show how big the betting industry has actually become, and as weird as it might sound to some people, how important source of revenue the industry has become to the government.

According to a report by Deloitte, betting industry can be considered a very strong contributor to the UK economy, which now just ahead of Brexit, could be more important than ever. Betting industry is directly generating roughly 2.3 billion towards UK GDP (out of which sports betting accounts for roughly half; casino games, poker, and bingo together account for the other half). While it doesn't seem much compared to UK's total GDP of roughly 2 trillion, it's still a big number. Especially considering that the industry employs roughly 100 000 people.

Here are a few other important figures about the UK gambling industry:

  • UK gambling industry total GGY (gross gambling yield) last year (Apr 2015 - Mar 2016) was 13.6 bn. GGY is "the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings, but before the deduction of the costs of the operation."
  • In 2016 there were 8,709 betting shops, 575 bingo premises and 148 casinos. The number of both, betting shops and bingo premises, is decreasing every year.
  • Number of gaming machines in UK is 167,839 (+/- 1000, depending on when you're reading this)
  • Remote sector (online betting, etc) makes up roughly 33% of the total GGY.
  • The National Lottery contributes roughly 1.8bn to good causes .

All signs show that the betting industry is growing every year, in UK, and other countries. What feeds it? The man's need to win, obviously.