Online Gambling by the Numbers in the UK

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Foreword: Leading statistics portal, Statista released a comprehensive report on the share of people who gamble online in the United Kingdom between the years 2016 through 2018, by age group. Notable changes have taken place in the UK legal-gambling demographic, with an uptick in the number of 45 – 54-year-olds and 55 – 64-year-olds playing online casino games.

In 2018, 22% of players between 45-54 years old gambled online, up from 18.6% in 2017. In the 55-64-year-old age group, 22.7% of UK players gambled online, up from 20.6% in 2017. The respondents in the 16-24-year-old age group, 25-34-year-old age group, 35-44-year-old age group, and 65+-year-olds were all characterized by slight declines in year-on-year player numbers.

As one of the world’s most developed legal gambling markets, the United Kingdom serves as a benchmark for many other gambling markets. Equally important is the remote Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) generated in the UK in 2018 – £5.35 billion, which now forms a significant chunk of the overall GGY in the United Kingdom, valued at £14.4 billion.

Britain’s Premier Regulatory Body – the GBGC

Source: Share of People who Gamble Online in the UK Statista


The United Kingdom plays host to the world’s premier online casinos, many of which are fully licensed and regulated by the Great Britain Gambling Commission (GBGC), the Ireland Revenue Commissioners (IRC), and other European regulatory bodies such as the Government of Gibraltar, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), and licensing bodies in continental Europe. In recent years, tremendous focus has been placed on expanding remote gaming activities to more countries across Europe, Latin America, and at state level in the US.

Over the last five years, there has been a dramatic shift from PC-based gaming activity to mobile gaming. The 2019 Gambling Industry Report from iovation analyzed the transactions posted from over 100 gambling platforms and online gaming operators, including hundreds of millions of transactions. The reports indicate that a total of 70% of all online gambling transactions now take place over a mobile gaming device – iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, and phablets.

The growth in mobile gaming functionality has been met with applause from industry aficionados, given the decreased instances of cheating and abuse. Enhanced security protocols at online casinos feature bank-level SSL encryption protocols, firewall protection, KYC policies, AML policies, RNG (Random Number Generator) verification for randomness and transparency, full licensing and regulation, et al.

These security protections ensure that players have recourse in the event of disputes with an online casino. Licensed and regulated operators now dominate the UK gaming scene, and players are apprised of the merits of regulated online gaming as opposed to unregulated operators with questionable behaviors.

Fun-Filled Selection of Casino Games

Source: Starburst Slot from NetEnt


Players have choices, what with hundreds of world-class online casinos now availing their services to a global gaming audience. Among the many popular options available to players nowadays are interactive slot machine games blending Vegas-style gameplay and video game elements. This eclectic mix; a fusion comprising the interactive gaming elements of videogames with the gambling-style appeal of slots has resulted in an avalanche of new games.

Many immersive titles are now readily available to players from the world’s premiere providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Betsoft, Play’N Go, and Quickspin. With the holiday season in full swing, well into January 2020 and beyond, festive titles like New Year’s Bonanza are all the rage. One of the most enduring titles in the online gaming scene is Rich Wilde and The Book of Dead – an archaeological adventure through the tombs of ancient Egypt.

But the ranking game among UK players remains the 5-reel, 10-win line slot machine game – Starburst. This dazzling NetEnt creation features a cavalcade of star-studded gemstones set against the night sky. This interstellar adventure offers players wins up to 50,000 coins, and Starburst Wilds which substitute for other symbols to form winning combinations.

This visually stunning game consistently ranks as the #1 slot machine game at regulated online casinos, and it is associated with some of the biggest payouts in the online gaming industry.

Development of Gaming Options

The age-old aphorism, ‘variety is the spice of life’ certainly holds true at the premiere online casinos, where a wide range of games is provided to players. The likes of video poker, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, slot machine games, and even live casino games are now standard. The latter gaming option is particularly notable, given the sophisticated technology that allows players to enjoy live casino games.

Professionally-trained dealers at authentic casinos take player bets and pay winnings in real-time via streaming cam. The technology is typically provided by NetEnt Live and Evolution Gaming software to mimic the authenticity of a Vegas-style experience, from the comforts of home or on the go. Live casino games do not rely on RNGs; all of the action is managed by live dealers and casino managers. Players can interact with dealers in real-time via chat functionality, with no interruptions or disconnects in the live stream.

These represent some of the notable developments that have taken place in the global gaming scene, with many more exciting tech changes slated for 2020 and beyond.

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