Gambling Industry in UK

Gambling Industry in UK

What Is the Gambling Industry?

The gambling industry is a general term for organisations which encourage or offer to bet as a business activity. In addition to the online gaming sites, bookmarkers and casinos, the industry also comprises of promotion and marketing organisations, related hospitality and travel services, regulators and legislators who play a major role in offering gaming services to people. Gambling companies can also be categorised by both national and international lines, and also into the different minor industries which act as the building blocks of the entire system.

Gambling Industry Clarified on a Legal Scale

From a legal point of view, the term “gambling industry” may vary from one jurisdiction to another. However, the law of plenty of countries and regions generally refers to any business unit strongly involved in the marketing or selling of betting services, and as a collective body to all related units. Even though each country or state having authorised gambling has a nationwide business of its own, the worldwide betting industry covers all organisations and gambling companies which work in the gaming sector.

This term could also be extended to include unauthorised gaming. In nearly all countries in the world, there is illegal gaming. There are evaluations which indicate that the illegal betting industry could, in fact, be worth more than the lawful market itself. While there are millions thought to be placing legal bets every day, the same applies to the players making unlawful bets daily.
Besides covering online and land-based casinos, this industry covers a much broader variety of related business types which makes most if not all of their cash from gambling. For instance, some hotels get involved in the bookmaking industry by putting up next to casino resorts. The same also applies to several bar franchises and restaurants. Bankers who give credit lines and account management to gamers, promotion firms who work on advertising, and business-financed campaigners who fight for or against betting activities all form a unit of the extended gambling and casino industry.

Gambling in the United Kingdom

For gambling in United Kingdom, the gambling and casino industry is made up of bingo halls, football pools, casinos, as well as machines such as amusement arcades and lotteries. Over the recent years, the industry has grown due to the popularity of online gaming. As a whole, it is made up of the following:

  • The gambling trade is controlled by five gambling companies namely, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Tote, Corals and William Hill. The operatives account for about 80% of all the gaming outlets.
  • The two major players when it comes to Bingo are Mecca Bingo and Gala Bingo. These constitute more than 43% of the bingo industry in the UK.
  • The casino industry is controlled by three firms, namely Stanley Leisure/Genting International/Stanley Casinos that combined in 2007 and currently have 46 casinos, Grosvenor having 32, and the Gala Coral Group having 28 casinos.
  • Of late the online cyberspace gaming sector has significantly grown. It majorly comprises the large and familiar high street bookmakers, several great online gaming operators such as Bet365 and Betfair plus some minor operators.

Major Facts About Gambling in the United Kingdom

  • To help you get a much clearer picture of the state of betting in the United Kingdom, here is a summary of facts and figures related to the population that is employed by related businesses:
  • In about 11,500 businesses, 94,600 people are employed by this sector.
  • Of all the gambling businesses, 2% employ over 50 people, 7% employ between 11-49 and 91% employ between 1-10 people.
  • The workforce is made up of 56% female employees. And in matters of race/ethnic background 93% are white, and 7% are from Black Ethnic minor groups.
  • 21% of the workers are aged over 50 years, and above, 22% are aged 40-49 years, 34% of those are aged between 20-29 years, while 18% are 30-39 years old and finally, only 4% are in their teens, between 16-19 years.
  • Most of the workers (26%) have an NVQ level 2 qualification. 19% have an NVQ Level 4, and above qualification, 14% do not qualify, and 69% are employed full-time.
  • Most of the people working in this business work in either the managerial occupations (33%) or the administrative occupations (22%). An additional 15% work in other professions.

From the above numbers, it looks like lots of people are getting their bread from this industry. And as the business grows, it surely is going to help many more citizens earn a living in the years to come.

Gambling Industry Statistics

The gambling statistics in the UK are crunched twice every year, in May and November to provide the latest info on each sector of the industry that the country’s administrative systems control. This includes online betting services offered to players in the UK. The numbers come from the statistics provided by license holders via their governing returns.

The table below is a quick timeline of the major facts and figures about the gambling and casino industry in the UK:

Dates Features Numbers
Oct 2016 – Sep 2017 GGY (Gross gambling yield) of the UK Gaming Industry £13.9 billion. A 0.7% increase as from April 2016 – March 2017
Sep 2017 Number of employees in the UK betting industry 106,366. A 0.8% drop from March 2017
Mar 2018 Total number of casino sites in the UK 152. 2 more than March 2017
Mar 2018 Total number of betting shops in the UK 8,532. A 3.2% drop from March 2017
Sep 2018 Total number of bingo sites in the UK 649. A 2.0% growth from March 2017
Oct 2016 – Sep 2017 Contributions to good causes from the National Lottery £1.5 billion which is a 0.6% rise from April 2016 – March 2017
Oct 2016 – Sep 2017 Total number of gaming machines in the UK.

excludes those requiring only a local authority permit

183,928. A 0.7% drop from April 2016 – March 2017
Oct 2016 – Sep 2017 Contributions to good causes from large society lotteries £251 million which is a 1.7% drop from April 2016 – March 2017
Oct 2016 – Sep 2017 Market share of the bingo, casino, and remote betting businesses 35% which is a 1.0% growth from April 2016 – March 2017
Oct 2016 – Sep 2017 Total GGY for the remote betting industry £4.9 billion. This is a 3.7% rise from April 2016 – March 2017

These statistics are helpful to any person who has a commercial interest in the betting industry counting, academic researchers, statisticians, journalists, financial organisations, international regulators and local authorities. So, if you are interested, the above table will give you a solid head start.

Gambling Licensing in the United Kingdom

The amendments made in 2014 that extended to online gaming also covered the old forms of gambling. Offshore companies that offered gambling services to British subjects were also included.

  • The Essentials of Gambling Licenses in the United Kingdom

Before offering gambling services, in nearly all cases, you must complete a gambling license application and present it to the gaming commission. There are stern licensing measures imposed by the authority. The collection of rules is called the LCCP, License Conditions and Codes of Practice. A candidate for a license must meet the criteria below under the LCCP’s rules:

  • The applicant must provide help programs to assist players who acquire an addiction or a different gambling problem.
  • The applicant must provide honest and fair gaming.
  • Children are not allowed to take part in any gambling activities, and the applicant must never misuse, hurt, or otherwise use kids in any way.

The above measures affect all gambling operations, whether owned by organisations or individuals. Besides meeting these measures, the gambling operators also have a responsibility to assist end illegal activities related to gambling. These include terrorism and money laundering. This implies that anybody who manages or owns a gambling operation must keep correct and full details of all businesses.  Operatives must also make an effort to identify any tendencies that would signify illegal gambling activities. There are no minimum financial limits for criminal activity. Anytime an operative realises an illegal activity, he or she should inform the right authorities without further ado.

  • The Various Classifications of Licensing

Due to the characteristics of the many varieties of gambling, passing somewhat different guidelines for each was required. The License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) are familiar with the categories below:

  • Gambling Software
  • Lotteries and Fundraising
  • Bingo
  • Betting
  • Arcades
  • Casinos
  • Gambling Machines
  • Remote

As a gambling operation owner make sure you familiarise yourself with the applicable documents to avoid any kind of problems.

  • The Cost of a Gambling Licence in UK

The total amount of money you pay to run any gambling business is governed by some aspects. The factors include the type of business you’re running, number of businesses you’re running, your yearly gross receipts among other factors. For instance, let’s say you’re running an online gambling site that lets players wager on horse races, earn in excess of £500,000 but not more than £5,000,000,000, your charges for the whole year would be £7169.

If, as an alternative, you run some betting shops that let players wager on horse races, your fee is controlled by the number of shops. If for instance, you were to own 9 betting shops you would only pay a fee of £977.

  • Offshore Licensing Conditions

There are two types of offshore gambling operations that offer gambling services to Players in the United Kingdom: Those who have their equipment in the United Kingdom and those who don’t.
To cite the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP):

  • “If all your remote gambling equipment is situated outside Britain, you don’t require a license from us to operate a remote gambling service.”

In simple terms, if all your servers are not in the country and you have no brick-and-mortar locations in the United Kingdom, such as betting shops for horse races that contain virtual stations, then there is no need of you obtaining an online gaming license from the UK Gambling Commission.
On the other hand, if you provide betting services to British players, then you must use software provided by software developers who have licenses with the Gambling Commission.

What is the UK Gambling Commission?

Commonly referred to as the UKGC, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission is a supervisory, non-departmental public body. The UKGC is responsible for overseeing the lawful regulation and licensing of Internet-based betting, the national lottery as well as land-based casinos.

This commission was officially formed back in 2005 as a result of the passing on the Gambling Act of 2005. This act was the one that took over from the Gambling Act of 1968 after the massive growth of the businesses related to online gambling in the United Kingdom. Apart from ensuring that gambling providers adhere to the drafted standards, the UKGC is also in place to protect players’ interests by ensuring that they are playing in a fair environment and a responsible manner.

Social Responsibility by Betting Brands

The Gambling Commission issued its ‘Strengthening Social Responsibility’ updates in 2015, which demanded gaming operatives look out for their players’ best welfares. Some of the guidelines for the updates comprised:

  • Joining hands with licensing organisations to evaluate dangers and improve players’ betting experiences.
  • Developing software that follows each player’s gambling to identify any addiction or harm possible.
  • Concluding marketing and promoting loopholes that encouraged any addiction and harm.
  • Not allowing kids to take part in gambling activities.
  • Offering ‘self-exclusion’ options for problematic players. This will block a player’s IP address or delete his or her account in the future in case persistent addiction is detected.

As a betting operator in the UK, you must provide your clients with comprehensive info on how to bet wisely. Also, you must advocate for betting as a form of entertainment rather than a real source of income in every situation. That way, it encourages gamers to treat it as fun and games without leading to destructive behaviours.

No Big Difference Between Gaming and Gambling

While the word gaming doesn’t refer to betting on all occasions, the word gaming and gambling are usually used interchangeably in the online betting industry. So, to help you understand the context here’s a quick breakdown of gaming depending on when and where it’s used;

What Is Gaming?

This is the term commonly used in to describe authorised betting activities. Gaming can take a number of forms such as online gaming, mobile gaming, and casino gaming. It can also refer to casino games such as blackjack, roulette, poker, slots plus even bingo and lottery games. Though gaming hardly refers to activities such as sports betting, this type of betting still falls below the overall term of ‘gaming’ and is covered by the gambling laws in UK.

Gaming in the Eyes of the Law -Is Gambling Illegal?

On plenty of occasions, gaming refers to video gaming for instance in arcades or on game consoles. It has a different meaning though in the betting industry laws. It refers to any business gambling activity which is lawfully allowed. This can include participating in online and offline casino games, or playing lotteries or placing bets on sports. So, in the eyes of the law gaming refers to any act of lawful betting where money or goods are bet against an arbitrary outcome. From time to time the casino industry itself is called the gaming industry.

Our Take on Gambling in the United Kingdom

All in all, the United Kingdom has gone all-out to offer a fair and safe atmosphere for players to gamble wisely. This has helped those running bookmaking businesses as well. In the end, if players realise you’re on a higher level, they’ll always come back for fun rather than go somewhere else. The Gambling Commission is there to assist both players and operatives in the same way. Do you have any more questions about the gambling and casino industry in the UK? We would love to hear from you. On the other hand, if you found this post helpful, share it with as many people as possible, especially regular gamblers as well as those who have an interest in the business aspect.

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