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10 Amazing Gambling Industry Statistics in the UK

The gambling industry continues to grow worldwide, and remains a major tech employer. One of the main contributing factors comes from online wagers.

A recent report claimed the online gambling market may grow by $142.38 billion between 2021 and 2026. Between 2021 and 2022, the market grew by an estimated 11.82%.

The Gambling Act of 2005 sought to regulate the online gambling industry in the U.K.

The world’s top gambling companies have their headquarters in London.


Here’s an in-depth perspective of the U.K. gambling industry.


Most Popular form of Online Gambling in the UK: The National Lottery

The National Lottery remains the most popular form of online betting in the U.K.

In 2017, 8.6% of survey respondents bet on National Lottery draws.

That number increased to 14% by September 2021. An extra 8% also gambled on another lottery.

At 4.9%, wagers on sports betting stayed the same. Betting on horse races increased from 1.8% to 2.6%.


45-54 Year Olds Gambled Online the Most Between 2020 – 2021

The top age group that gambled online the most in the U.K. between 2020 – 2021 were 45-54-year-olds. They represented 32.8% of those surveyed.

The rest broke down as follows:


  • 35-44 year olds: 28.8%
  • 55-64 year olds: 28%
  • 25-35 year olds: 25.2%
  • 65+ year olds: 18.8%
  • 16-24 year olds: 15.8%


An Estimated 48% of UK Bettors Gambled at Least Once a Week in 2021

Almost 34% of bettors in the U.K. gambled once a month/less than once a week in 2021. Out of the 1,690 respondents, 26.9% said they gambled once a week.

About 21% claimed they bet more than two days per week.

That represented 48.1% of U.K. bettors who gambled at least once weekly.


Non-Remote Betting Decreased by 57.1% Between April 2020 – March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic increased the popularity of online gambling. That trend continued among U.K. gamblers between April 2018 and March 2019.

Non-remote betting decreased from a gross gaming yield (GGY) of £m 3,261 to £m 2,416 between April 2018 – March 2020.

According to the U.K. Gambling Commission, non-remote GGY dropped again between April 2020 – March 2021 to £m 1,037.

That represented a reduction of 57.1%.


Remote Betting Increased by 13.5% Between April 2020 – March 2021

The U.K. Gambling Commission also reported an increase in remote betting. Between April 2020 – March 2021, remote betting GGY grew by 13.5%.

That trend represented three years of consecutive growth.

Between April 2018 – March 2019, remote betting generated £m 2,021 in GGY. It grew to £m 2,330 and £m 2,645 in the following two years.


46.1% of Remote Bettors Between April 2020 – March 2021 Gambled on Football

Two sports also saw three years of consecutive growth among remote bettors. Between April 2020 – March 2021, 46.1% of remote betting GGY came from football.

During that same period, horses took 32.4% of remote betting GGY. (Other categories included betting on dogs, tennis, and cricket.)


GGY of Remote Bingo Increased for Five Straight Years

The Gambling Commission began tracking statistics on remote bingo in April 2015. Since then, GGY has increased for five straight years.

At a rate of 37.1%, its steepest incline occurred between April 2016 – March 2017.


Remote Casinos Grew by 22.5% in the Wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic brought U.K. land-based gambling establishments to a halt. Between April 2020 – March 2021, the GGY of non-remote casinos dropped by 88.5%.

Remote casinos benefited from that decline. During the same period, their GGY increased by 22.5%.


Online Casinos: UK Gamblers Bet on Slots the Most

Slots represented the most popular online casino game between April 2020 – March 2021. Among remote casinos, slots generated 72.5% of GGY.

Roulette came next with 13.2%. Blackjack took in 4.9% of GGY during that period.

Online slots continue to surge in growth. Today, many options exist to play the best online slots for real money.


Year-on-Year Gambling Among UK Adults Increased by 43% (March 2022)

Adults in the U.K. who gambled at least once a month increased by 43% YoY in March 2022. That represented a 3% increase from the previous YoY period.

Online wagers also continue their long-term growth trends. The rise in the availability of casino apps remains a major contributor.



The U.K. gambling industry is one of the top betting markets in the world. The most popular brands include the National Lottery, William Hill, and Bet365.

These companies stay favored by men and women, Baby Boomers, and millennials.

With easy access to online apps and a simple internet connection, gambling continues to thrive in the U.K.

For more information about online gambling news, visit SBS.