Gambling Developments in the United Kingdom
The laws on gambling in the United Kingdom have undergone a series of changes in recent years to update them and bring them into line with what is happening elsewhere in the world as well as Europe.
Betting on Horse racing has been around since time immemorial. There are 3 or 4 race meetings every day of the week in the UK. In 1960 Off Course Book Makers were first licensed and a whole range of off course bookmakers exploded across the land. With the rolling out of the internet and secure server online betting has become a major activity. But the other internet activities and online gambling is allowed. In specific the laws on internet gaming are a lot more liberal and advanced than in the United States.
The history of gaming in England really stemmed from the game of Bingo which was initially legalized in 1960 as member only clubs. There was also a license issued for Casinos with up to 10 Slot Machines and also for members only. These were essentially clubs where the tables had no edge (No zero or Double Zero on the Roulette wheel for example).
In 1968 this was liberalized and certain true, but smallish, Casinos sprang up in many cities across the UK.
The law was revised in 2005 which paves the way for a super Casino to be built. The first Las Vegas Style license was approved for the City of Manchester but this approval was subsequently withdrawn and instead 16 further Casinos are being allowed.
The UK also introduced a National Lottery with odds of 1 : 13,983,816 for the first prize and the Jackpot as well as a series of lesser prizes. These bi weekly draws have created many Millionaires over the years.
Sport betting has become more and more popular. Greyhound Racing and football (Soccer as it is known in the US) is a major activity. In fact the English Premier League is the most followed league in the world.
The UK gambling industry offers diverse forms of gambling to the public including casino games, sports-betting, bingo and gaming machines. All these are available on the high street from operators who hold the necessary licences issued by the Gambling Commission and local authorities.
The gambling industry is very innovative, often being amongst the first to take advantage of new technologies. With that in mind, this website also includes information about hi-tech ways to gamble via the internet and mobile phone.
73% of British adults gamble at least once a year, and for the overwhelming majority of them gambling is an enjoyable leisure activity. The UK gambling industry employs some 214,000 people – more than enough to fill Wembley stadium twice over. In 2009 the industry generated £8.7 billion turnover.
The seriousness of the industry’s commitment to protecting and helping problem gamblers is reflected in the size of the voluntary contribution that it makes to fund research, education and treatment for them. In 2009/10 the industry contributed £5 million via The GREaT Foundation, and is expected to exceed £5 million in 2010/11. The gambling industry is unique in funding relevant research, education and treatment activities on this voluntary basis.