Peculiarities of United Kingdom online gambling

The United Kingdom is home to a huge population of gamblers who are overly enthusiastic about it. Luckily for them, the government has created an enabling environment that allows them to enjoy their favourite activity conveniently. There are several online casinos that can operate legally in the UK since they have the necessary licenses. The land-based casinos are also available in abundance for the lovers of the actual gambling experience. 

The amazing site, a favourite among English people is, where they can play a huge variety of slots for free and find credible info on various games. The process has been eased to favour the player. But in the article, we are going to discuss all the peculiarities of gambling not only for free but for real money as well. Keep on reading to be aware of everything.

History & Regulations

Online gambling in the UK has a rich history that is filled with various ups and downs in terms of technology and legislation. The first online casino opened its doors in 1994. Compared to what we have now, this casino can easily be termed as a skeleton of an online gaming platform. It had a simple user interface, and a few simple games with subpar graphics, and the operation was not so smooth. 

The first few casinos were probably the genesis of the scepticism surrounding the online gaming realm. The traditional gamers thought that it was nothing close to the real experience and they might have been right. Nevertheless, this did not curtail its growth. Many casinos were created and after just a few years, they had risen to the hundreds. The software providers had also started venturing into it and the number of games also increased tremendously.

The real rise of this industry coincided with the legislation that legalized gambling in the UK. The gambling act was created in 2005 and it made it possible for these sites to advertise their services. It came to full effect in the year 2007 and the industry grew to over 8 billion pounds the following year. The UK Gambling Commission was also formed to regulate the practice and streamline it.

In 2014, the body started registering the online casinos that can legally work in the jurisdiction. The move was meant to enable the government to tap some revenue from online gambling through taxation. It was also a player protection mechanism that ensures that the punters do not get fleeced by dubious sites. The body only grants licenses to casinos that meet certain operational standards so the questionable ones would not dare to apply.

Initially, online casinos acquired licenses from Gibraltar, Malta, and Curacao. They are also quite respectable but are considerably cheaper and they are not as strict as UKGC. It is advisable for UK online gamers to choose casinos that hold valid licenses from the body. 

The legislation that has happened in the UK is peculiar because they have been positive over the past few decades. The government has made deliberate attempts to protect its citizens even as they claim a piece of the profits. This is quite unique since most jurisdictions tend to create new laws that either illegalize or limit the practice while others have been blowing hot and cold on the matter. Hence, the UK is a gambling haven.


The UK statistics also present some form of peculiarity since a huge percentage of the population seems to be engaging in this activity. The scepticism and criticism that is associated with gambling in society have always been a deterrence that discourages many people from it. Thus, it is a unique scenario in the UK.

It is estimated that about 47% of the entire population in this region engages in gambling. These stats have remained the same over the past couple of years. In terms of gender, men seem to be gambling more than women. It is estimated that over 50% of them engage in the different forms of betting while slightly over 40% of women do so. 

These stats reflect the overall picture of gambling in this region. It is noted that online gambling accounts for a significant portion of these numbers. While the rest of the world remains conservative, the UK seems to have embraced the practice entirely. The numbers prove this fact and they are unlikely to drop anytime soon. Hence, we can only expect them to rise to considerable levels.

Preferred Online Gambling Platforms

There has been a massive shift from land-based gambling to online gambling that has happened over the last two years. The obvious reason for this is the COVID 19 pandemic that ravaged the entire world in 2020 necessitating some tough measures like the closure of casinos, social distancing, and others. This made online gambling the perfect alternative.

The biggest population of online gamblers in the UK prefer to bet on their mobile phones and tablets. It is a bit peculiar because they are often criticized because of their smaller screens that lead to low-quality graphics as well as slow speeds. However, the shift could be attributed to the development of powerful devices that can handle complex programs. 

Statistics show that 50% of all online gamblers in the UK play on their phones. People aged between 18 and 34 years old are specifically keen on using these devices. The numbers are even more extreme with regards to this age group since 75% are using it. However, the elderly (above 65 years) in the UK present a totally different picture since barely a quarter of them have embraced it. Tablets, which are usually classified together with these smartphones, also had about 18% of people using them. This results in an overall of about 68%, which is massive. 

The second most widely used devices are laptops, which are ideally expected to be the first. They are significantly more powerful and their graphics are top-notch. Though heavier, they are also portable and hence can be used in diverse places. About 40% of gamblers prefer to use these devices through those above 55 years of age prefer them.

PCs and smart TVs are the least preferable platforms for gambling. Only about 26% of gamblers prefer this method, which could be a result of their bulkiness. Also, laptops have been upgraded to handle all manner of tasks so they offer a perfect alternative. Lastly, there are smart TVs that are being developed every day to offer an all-around entertainment to the people. It is estimated that 3% of gamblers use it in the latest statistics. Let’s see the general summarizing of all the information, mentioned above:

Platform Popularity
Mobile Phones 50%
Laptops 40%
PCs 26%
Smart TVs 3%

These are the main platforms that UK gamblers prefer to use to play their favourite games. Another peculiarity is that the majority of players prefer to play at home. The preference for smartphones as the ideal platform for gaming would indicate that gamers love to play while on the move. However, this is not the case. Over 95% of gamblers state that they gamble at home. Others stated that they played while travelling, at work, at a sports ground, or in a pub. 

Game Preference

Can you guess what the most popular game among UK players could be? These gamers are madly in love with bingo. It is estimated that this game accounts for a huge proportion of the revenue that is obtained through gambling. Other popular games in the UK include lotteries and scratch cards. All these are luck-based games that can be enjoyed by both amateur and expert gamers. 

Another popular form of gambling is sports betting. The UK is home to some of the most popular sports events such as the English Premier League and other European leagues that have a huge following across the continents. Other casino games that are significantly popular in the UK include:

  • Slots;
  • Roulette;
  • Blackjack;
  • Baccarat;
  • Poker.

The choice of games by UK gamblers is another peculiarity worth taking to account. The simple yet unique preference is perhaps the reason why the practice is so popular. Taking into account the love for free games, the slot free Rainbow Riches can be mentioned as one of the most popular ones among English people.

The Downside

Online casinos make it very easy for players to access and play their favourite slots and casino games. However, they have also caused the emergence of irresponsible gambling that eventually results in negative impacts on the individual, the family, and society at large. Fortunately, the UKGC only licenses the casinos that are registered by GAMSTOP, which ascertains that they are committed to fostering responsible gambling.

Studies show that over 10% of UK gamblers gamble at work and this is definitely a form of irresponsible gaming. Over 3% think that they play more than they should and about 1% believe that they could be addicted to gambling. A huge amount of money is used to mitigate the negative issues that are associated with gambling. This money would be saved if the problem would be prevented. 

Online casinos have set measures that help to mitigate this problem. They include the following:

  • Loss Limits;
  • Time Limits;
  • Deposit Limits;
  • Self-Exclusion.

They are all meant to assist the player to control their urges. However, the initiative has to start with the player. Many gamers tend to have an account in more than one casino; therefore, excluding themselves from one will not limit them from gambling entirely. Hence, it is important for people to self-diagnose and prevent addiction.


Here is a strong review that highlights the main points surrounding online gambling in the UK, where are the peculiarities of online gambling. It paints a rosy picture in terms of legislation, statistics, and the game preferences are quite adorable. However, the issue of gambling addiction remains a concern in this region. 

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