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Betting industry in the UK - statistics & facts

Betting is a type of gambling that refers to the act of placing a wager on the outcome of an event. Bets are typically made through bookmakers, also known as bookies. These operate both as land-based establishments, for example, at casinos or betting shops, and online. The gross gambling yield (GGY) of the betting sector in Great Britain between April and September 2020 was approximately 63 million British pounds, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this showed a steep decline over previous years. Comparatively, the GGY between April 2019 and March 2020 was 2.4 billion British pounds. Similarly, the number of betting shops in the UK also decreased in recent years, from over nine thousand in 2011 to under seven thousand by 2020. Meanwhile, the number of employees in Great Britain’s betting sector remained slightly more stable throughout the last decade, despite a general decline in the workforce.

The growth of online betting in the UK

With the rapid technological development of personal computers and mobile devices in recent times, it is perhaps unsurprising that the online gambling, also known as remote gambling, sector has grown. The GGY of the online betting market in the UK amounted to roughly 204 million British pounds in July 2021. This figure has grown during the pandemic, surpassing the online betting market GGY of around 92 million British pounds in March 2019. Betting on virtual events in particular peaked at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, likely due to the Virtual Grand National and the cancellation of many live sporting events. During a 2020 survey on online gambling participation in the UK, over a quarter of male respondents stated that they had participated in some form of online gambling in the last month, along with a fifth of all women surveyed. The overall number of online bets placed in the UK is dominated by betting on real events, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bets placed on real events dropped significantly in April 2020 and bets placed on virtual events increased. By July 2021, the number of bets placed on real and virtual events began to stabilize at pre-pandemic levels.

Sports betting participation in the UK

Some of the more common events that are bet on in the United Kingdom (UK) are sporting events, such as horse racing, dog racing, and soccer. Increasingly many sports bets are being made online, in particular through leading UK sportsbook websites such as betfred.com, paddypower.com, and betway.com. That being said, there are still those who bet on-course at events, this being especially common at the races. In between April 2019 and March 2020, the turnover of on-course horse race betting was approximately 185 million British pounds. This figure declined in the later months of 2020 as a result of the pandemic, when safety regulations were put in place that meant sporting events were either canceled or must take place without spectators. The GGY of off-course horse race betting in the UK and the GGY of off-course dog race betting in the UK both also showed significant declines during the health crisis, though these have both been experiencing a general decline for the last decade.

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Betting industry in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Betting industry in the UK - statistics & facts

Betting is a type of gambling that refers to the act of placing a wager on the outcome of an event. Bets are typically made through bookmakers, also known as bookies. These operate both as land-based establishments, for example, at casinos or betting shops, and online. The gross gambling yield (GGY) of the betting sector in Great Britain between April and September 2020 was approximately 63 million British pounds, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this showed a steep decline over previous years. Comparatively, the GGY between April 2019 and March 2020 was 2.4 billion British pounds. Similarly, the number of betting shops in the UK also decreased in recent years, from over nine thousand in 2011 to under seven thousand by 2020. Meanwhile, the number of employees in Great Britain’s betting sector remained slightly more stable throughout the last decade, despite a general decline in the workforce.

The growth of online betting in the UK

With the rapid technological development of personal computers and mobile devices in recent times, it is perhaps unsurprising that the online gambling, also known as remote gambling, sector has grown. The GGY of the online betting market in the UK amounted to roughly 204 million British pounds in July 2021. This figure has grown during the pandemic, surpassing the online betting market GGY of around 92 million British pounds in March 2019. Betting on virtual events in particular peaked at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, likely due to the Virtual Grand National and the cancellation of many live sporting events. During a 2020 survey on online gambling participation in the UK, over a quarter of male respondents stated that they had participated in some form of online gambling in the last month, along with a fifth of all women surveyed. The overall number of online bets placed in the UK is dominated by betting on real events, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bets placed on real events dropped significantly in April 2020 and bets placed on virtual events increased. By July 2021, the number of bets placed on real and virtual events began to stabilize at pre-pandemic levels.

Sports betting participation in the UK

Some of the more common events that are bet on in the United Kingdom (UK) are sporting events, such as horse racing, dog racing, and soccer. Increasingly many sports bets are being made online, in particular through leading UK sportsbook websites such as betfred.com, paddypower.com, and betway.com. That being said, there are still those who bet on-course at events, this being especially common at the races. In between April 2019 and March 2020, the turnover of on-course horse race betting was approximately 185 million British pounds. This figure declined in the later months of 2020 as a result of the pandemic, when safety regulations were put in place that meant sporting events were either canceled or must take place without spectators. The GGY of off-course horse race betting in the UK and the GGY of off-course dog race betting in the UK both also showed significant declines during the health crisis, though these have both been experiencing a general decline for the last decade.

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