The Popularity of Gambling in the UK


The gambling industry is one that covers many parts of the world, but inside of that, there are certain areas where it is hugely popular. This is either because of the long history that gambling has had in the country or because of the high-quality service available there. The UK is one of these places, because of both, making gambling a very popular hobby.

There are many forms of gambling available in the UK, and due to having a specific license needed to operate, many bookmakers and casinos specifically tailor their service to the UK market. 

Gambling in Numbers

In 2019, a long list of gambling figures were released to show what was happening in the UK and where the industry was heading. These numbers highlighted just how popular gambling was, and there is a very strong chance that since then, the numbers have increased further. 

A total of 47% of people in Britain said that they had participated in some form of gambling within the past month of being asked. This covers everything from casino gaming to sports betting and lottery playing. 

The national lottery is a huge part of the gambling industry in the UK, with £1.6 billion being generated by the lottery and going to charity. This shows that gambling as an industry provides a lot for other areas to help those thrive in the UK. 

Types of Gambling

30% of people living in Britain played the national lottery in 2019, which makes that the most common type of gambling in the country. Behind that, the next most popular type of gambling was other lotteries, 13% of people said they played those and that is followed by scratch cards, 10% of the population said they played these in the year. 

Next up, sports betting is played by 7% of the population, which should come as no surprise given the UK is crazy about sports and we have access to a huge range of live events via TV. From daily horse racing to live football, cricket, tennis and golf, if you like sport then you have many options for viewing, with betting alongside available. 

The casino industry is another part of gambling in the UK, with many casinos offering their services to players online. Popular games include blackjack, poker, roulette and slots, with these being provided many operators such as those listed on

In terms of the choices that UK gamblers have in front of them, few other countries in the world can match what is available. With a service so strong, it is easy to see why gambling of all types is popular. 

Money & Jobs Created by the Industry

In 2019, the gambling industry was worth over £14 billion, which is a staggering amount, but one that has slightly decreased recently. Over 100,000 people were employed in the industry in 2018, that has seen a small drop to 98,000 in 2019, still a huge amount of people who rely on gambling for their income. 

These figures show the size of the industry, and how important it is to the economy in the UK. It would be no surprise to see the value of the industry increase in the coming years, though that may not be reflected by the number of employees also increasing.

This is mainly down to the move online, where companies can run their business with fewer staff and this is certainly seen as the future of the industry. As more and more people move their betting online, an increase in the value of the industry is expected, but that could potentially lead to a decrease in the number of people employed.