Online gambling continues to grow and gain more customers worldwide. Today, its global market value is worth over 59 billion US dollars and it is projected to reach up to 127 billion US dollars by 2027 with a CAGR of 11.5 percent. As more countries start to regulate online gambling, it is easy to believe that the market will be as big by then.
When it comes to the countries where gambling online is extremely popular, the United Kingdom is definitely on the top of the list. The UK is easily one of the biggest gambling markets out there. It is considered the number one market for online gambling worldwide.
Over 100,000 people are working in the UK gambling industry and many of them are working in the online sector. Online gambling in the UK is completely legal, and so most forms of online gambling can be easily accessed by the locals.
History of Gambling in the UK
The UK has a deep and rich relationship with gambling. It’s embedded in the culture and history of the country and the locals just really have the knacks for it. The earliest gambling activity in the country can be traced to the middle ages. During this time, people of all classes were participating in activities where wagers are involved like chess, cockfighting, and horse racing. However, it was mainly the nobles who had the money to splurge in these activities.
And so many betting events were mainly involving rich and noble personalities during that time. As time goes by, things start to balance out and more people who are not related to noble families were also able to get more access to gambling activities like sports betting.
The Age of Online Casinos and Sportsbooks
Casinos came to the internet in the 90s and it was in 1996 when the first known online casino was available to the general public. Since then, the number of online gambling operators rose and online gambling started to boom.
In 2005 came the UK’s Gambling Act, which also marks the existence of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This is a regulatory body formed to be in charge of regulating the local gambling market in the country. It aims to practice transparency and protect minors and people who are vulnerable in terms of gambling activities.
Since the UKGC was founded, it has been protecting gamblers and ensuring their safety. Since online gambling is becoming the more preferred option by many in the UK, many of their recent projects are focused on the online gambling population.
Rules Implemented by the UKGC to Ensure Safe Gambling
With how online gambling has become popular, the UKGC started to implement stricter rules for gambling operators to follow. This includes them banning the use of credit cards in any gambling activity, be it online or not. They ended up with this rule when they found that around 22 percent of online gamblers who use credit cards are problematic. With a credit card, they are more susceptible to the risks that gambling has.
Another rule they implemented was to tighten the verification process of online gambling operators. This is to ensure that no minor will be able to access any online casinos or bookies. With this new rule, no operator should offer its services to a customer if is not able to verify his or her name, address, and birthdate. The verification process will also have to be completed within 72 hours from the application of the customer.
The UKGC also noticed that when the pandemic started, online gambling activities in the country skyrocketed. This is why they had to take more steps to ensure that everyone is safely gambling online during the lockdown.
They required gambling operators to check on the players who have been gambling away for more than an hour. Promos and bonuses should also not be available to customers who are considered high-risk. Operators should also be able to identify problematic gambling behaviors and give assistance to those who need them.
Since the UK is one of the biggest online gambling countries out there, the government wants to make sure that the customers are safe from its harmful effects. This makes the UK one of the best places to gamble online.
The rules implemented by the UKGC has caused restrictions to some. However, this only means that UK casinos are one of the safest out there. As a responsible gambler, you should always prioritize your safety when placing real money bets online.