From October 2017 to September 2018, the UK gambling industry reached a staggering Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) of £14.5 billion. And because gambling enterprises are required to pay taxes ranging from 15% to 50%, the industry has effectively claimed its place as one of the largest and most profitable industries in the UK.
Understandably, there are people who are against gambling from a moral perspective. There are also those who are against gambling because they believe vulnerable individuals are at risk of becoming addicted. These are the people who are calling for tighter controls to be imposed on the industry as a whole. Despite resistance from some people and strong calls for tighter controls, though, it is clear that the gambling industry has become an integral part of the UK economy.
The Various Sectors
The gambling industry is comprised of several sectors. There are betting shops, bingo halls, the arcades, lotteries, land-based casinos, and online gambling. These days, it is the online gambling sector that is responsible for the biggest share of the industry’s profits at 39%. This sector includes online casinos, online betting, online bingo, and online lotteries. Second in line comes land-based betting shops at 22.1%, and then the National Lottery in third place, accounting for 20.6% of the profits.
Traditional land-based casinos aren’t the king of the gambling industry that it used to be, although they still rake in a sizable amount. This area comes in fourth in terms of share in the profits at 7.4%. Last comes old-school bingo halls at 4.7%. Although the profits logged in that period were a bit lower than the previous year’s it still points to the fact that the UK’s love of gambling continues to hold strong and true.
The Growth of Online Gambling
When the internet became a part of practically all aspects of people’s lives, land-based casino didn’t want to get left behind. They created online versions of their games and made them accessible to players from all over the world. In most cases, UK online casinos are designed exclusively for UK-based players; players from outside the UK have a separate site designed for them.
This segregation helps ensure that the UK economy benefits from the sectors GGY. At present, there are so many UK-based online casinos that players may have to spend a great deal of time looking through sites before they find one that perfectly suits them. And this is where another part of the gambling industry comes in--the review sites. These sites are run by industry experts and provide players with up-to-date information on anything related to casinos.
In response to calls for tighter controls to protect vulnerable individuals, as well as questions regarding moral responsibility, the UK government has recently imposed stricter regulations and guidelines. These new regulations are meant to combat the potentially negative effects of gambling. The introduction of GambleAware was one of these measures, along with the more recent cap on betting limits for FOTBs. The legislation currently in place help ensure that no enterprise can provide gambling options without securing a licence from the UK Gambling Commission.
Where the UK gambling industry is concerned, it is looking more and more like the pros outweigh the cons. And the UK’s GDP has benefited a great deal from the industry, bringing it closer to becoming a stalwart of the economy.