BUSINESS

Online gambling in the UK up 80 percent since 2008

TAGs: Business, Online Gambling, UK

uk-online-gambling-tax-planOnline gambling in the UK is a huge business and the growth has been staggering in the past five years. Whereas other industries have struggled under the weight of the economic crisis, online gambling has seen nothing but bright and sunny days. OnlinePoker.net is reporting that the more than £2 billion in revenue online gambling firms in the UK generated in 2012 is 80 percent better than the £1.27 billion it earned five years ago.

Online gambling companies are making hand over fist and the largest slice of that pie is apparently owned by William Hill, which boasts of a 15 percent market share, followed by four companies – Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Bet365, and Betfair – each boasting of an 11 percent piece of the UK’s online gambling pie.

Of all the online gambling options available in the UK, sports betting remains king, boasting 44 percent of the overall market total. Sports betting’s popularity in the UK can’t be understated, in large part because it has more than doubled in revenue since 2008 with revenues now breaking £1 billion. Far behind in second is online casinos, which slices up 23 percent of the market share. Though not as popular as sports betting, online casinos have also seen its popularity increase exponentially, growing to more than 79 percent from its numbers five years ago.

Despite sports betting’s overwhelming popularity in the UK, it still can’t lay claim to having the biggest growth since 2008. That distinction belongs to online bingo, which has seen its share increase by a staggering 155 percent in the past five years. That growth has translated to the game now making up 17 percent of the overall UK market. Then there’s online poker, which itself has grown 8 percent since 2008 with an overall market share of “just” 15 percent, the smallest of all the gambling categories.

But the most surprising aspect about the market’s growth is that it could’ve been much more if the UK government didn’t impose such strict requirements on operators and gambling companies, including a tax rate of 15 percent for UK-based operators. These strict guidelines have forced a lot of these companies to take their operations abroad, particularly in locations like Malta, Girbraltar, and more recently, Asia.

The government is planning to soften its stance in an attempt to get back these companies, although with the rapid increase in revenue online gambling has experienced in the past five years, it’s a safe estimate to say that further growth isn’t too far out of the imagination.

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