Great Britain is the world-known capital of gambling. From ancient times until today, residents of the island have participated in gambling entertainment and popularized gambling games and activities around the world. In this article, we will review the impact of the UK on the development of the gambling industry, as well as the popularization of the corresponding activities around the world. Meanwhile, if you are looking for some cool slot games like Smuggler Cove, you can read only the best reviews from experts that can be found by following the link.
The Early Birds
The first known European gambling law was issued in 1190 by King Richard I of England. This document indicated the categories of people who could and could not gamble. The law prescribed corporal punishment or a fine in favour of the church in case of violation. So, playing dice for cash was available only for the upper class, and that one must be at least a knight. Meanwhile, the first known woman to fall in love with gambling was Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland.
The first betting shop in the UK appeared on May 1, 1961. In a year, their number grew from a few hundred to 10,000, and already at the dawn of the 1970s, it exceeded 15,000. The first betting exchange was Betfair created in 2000 by two Britons – Andrew Black and Edward Wray who offered an innovative betting model. The player got the opportunity to become a bookmaker by setting odds and accepting bets from other people. Often, the odds on the exchange are slightly higher than those of most bookmakers, while the exchange itself takes only a fixed commission of 6.5% of the won bet. In general, Betfair has opened up a number of opportunities, including arbitrage betting and trading, which have found their fans around the globe.
Who Gambles in the UK Today?
The gambling industry in the UK is worth around £14.3 billion. Just imagine, there are more than 98,000 employees involved in its operation! In general, Brits love gambling of various kinds: from betting on races to participating in the national lottery. Many of them are also fans of casinos, including online platforms.
According to statistics, about 47% of people in the United Kingdom gamble at least once a month. They also spend an average of £2.60 a week on bets and games, which is more than £135.20 a year. People with the highest incomes spend more on gaming – £4.20 a week, while low-income gamblers spend at least £1.50 a week. This activity is so popular in the UK because it has long been legalized at the state level. Casinos inspire great confidence among the population, attracting more and more visitors. This trend is observed for three reasons:
- The government actively monitors the gaming industry and ensures fair interaction between customers and operators;
- Casinos create the most comfortable conditions for playing;
- Almost all casinos have quite profitable bonus systems and loyalty programs.
This policy encourages UK residents to devote their free time to gambling. Meanwhile, the charitable organization Gambleaware has published a report on the corresponding habits of the British, examining 139,152 active online accounts of the seven largest operators in the UK. The results showed that sports betting was the most popular form of gambling: 86% of all accounts analyzed wagered at least once a year. Also, slot machines or pokies accounted for about 93% of gross gaming revenue from online casinos.
Who Regulates the Industry in the UK?
The British Gambling Commission is the executive branch of the UK government, which is responsible for regulating gaming in the country and overseeing the corresponding legislation in the United Kingdom. This includes arcades, betting, bingo, casino, slot machines and lotteries, as well as online gambling.
The Commission ensures that gambling crimes are prevented and that vulnerable groups are protected. It issues licenses to operators and advises the government on the hottest topics. It also cooperates with police on suspicion of illegal activities. In 2007, the Commission replaced the UK Game Committee. In 2013, it became responsible for regulating the activities of the British National Lottery.