UK Online Gambling experiences Big Increase – Hits £2b
The United Kingdom has always had a pretty big gambling presence in their country. And much of this presence is now shifting to the online sector, which has experienced a massive 80% boost over the past five years.
In 2008, the UK online gambling sector was at £1.27 billion annually. But recent figures have shown that the internet gaming market has risen to £2 billion. The biggest reason for the boost is sports betting, which makes up 44% of all online gambling in the country.
Online casino games also make up a fair percentage of the market since 29% of internet betting occurs here. Bingo is also another huge game in the United Kingdom because it draws 17% of gaming action. Finally, online poker makes up the remaining 10% of the market.
What’s interesting is that, despite the success, the UK government estimates that they’ve lost over £2 billion in online gaming revenue. The reason why is because they imposed a big 15% tax on UK-based operators. This move pushed lots of gambling companies into offshore markets like Gibraltar and Malta.
Because of the estimated lost revenue, the UK is strongly considering lowering the tax rate. Hugh Robertson, who’s the Minister for Sports & Tourism, discussed this by saying, “These proposals will ensure that British consumers enjoy consistent standards of protection, regardless of where a gambling business is based.”
Even at the current 15% tax rate, the United Kingdom gaming market is definitely booming. However, many anti-gambling activists are getting worried about the large influx of online bettors. One study claims that 450,000 UK residents have a gambling “problem.” Going further, each of these problem bettors is believed to have over £17,500 in debt. Of course, with a population of over 63 million, there are bound to be a fair amount of people who have a gambling problem.