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Betting industry in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Gambling or gaming is a considerable part of the UK economy and for many an enjoyable recreational activity. However, there is a considerable debate between those arguing that gambling is a harmful activity that should be prohibited and those who consider that people should be free to gamble in an open and regulated way.

Betting is a key component of the UK gambling industry. The number of betting shops in the UK decreased from 9,070 in 2011 to around 8,320 in 2019. The gambling industry as a whole, however, is growing in the UK. The gross gambling yield (GGY) is a prominent value in the gambling industry to determine how profitable the establishments are. The GGY in Great Britain increased from roughly 8.4 billion British pounds in 2011 to approximately 14.4 billion British pounds in 2018.

Alongside the rapid technological development of personal computers and mobile devices, the potential for remote gambling has also grown. This increase in remote betting possibilities may provide an explanation for the decline of betting shops throughout the UK, with the GGY of remote betting, bingo and casino gambling amounting to roughly 5.32 billion British pounds in 2019.

Gambling as well as the National Lottery in Great Britain are regulated by the Gambling Commission in partnership with licensing authorities. Although the legal gambling age in the UK is 18, over 36 percent of 16 to 24 year olds participated in gambling in 2018, with many of these participants much younger than the legal age. The number of new self-exclusions for betting has increased, whereas the amount of underage gambling has decreased in recent years. Despite this, the share of problem gamblers is highest among young people.

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Betting industry of the United Kingdom (UK)

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