In the UK the gambling industry has grown into a multi-billion pound market, making it one of the world leaders in the segment.
According to The Guardian, online casino take-overs increased from around £ 1bn to £ 3bn in the period 2016-2020. In a semi-annual report by the UK Gaming Commission (GC), it was revealed that the online gambling industry generated a gross gaming yield (GGY) of £ 5.7 billion in the period 2019-2020. Which translates into an increase of 8.1% in relation to the previous year.
Thus, it became known that online gambling has become the largest sector of the gambling industry in the UK. It is estimated that about 40% of the total market share corresponds to online gambling. Online casino games (mostly slots) accounted for £ 3.2 billion and sports betting £ 2.3 billion.
Regulatory environment for online gambling in the UK
By the end of 2020 the Gambling Act of 2005 was amended by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, to administer the regulatory policies of the virtual world. Already in a previous review (in 2016), the maximum bet amount allowed in FOBT terminals (fixed odds betting terminals) was reduced from £ 100 to £ 2. Now, the last revision sought to restrict age limits, prohibit the use of credit cards in games of chance and strengthen identity controls, and demand operators to enable users a way to self-impose controls on their habits betting.
The Gaming Commission has also considered requesting controls where players must demonstrate that their economy allows them to lose 100 pounds per month. Otherwise, they will not be able to make deposits to gamble.
Due to this harsh regulatory environment that has been implemented in recent times, the best real money casino online operators in the United Kingdom would seek to expand internationally.
Regarding the payment of taxes in the United Kingdom, only operators are required to pay tax on their winnings, players can keep their full winnings as the consumer gambling tax was abolished in 2001. Gambling companies must pay 15% of their winnings as taxes. The same goes for any foreign company operating in the UK; which, in addition to requiring a license legally granted by the UK government, must also pay 15% in taxes.
In this regard, the annual income from paying taxes in the online gambling industry is estimated to be £ 3 billion. In addition, the same industry is a provider of work for approximately 100,000 people.
What does the future hold for online gambling in the UK?
The UK online gambling industry is facing a complete and comprehensive overhaul of the Gambling Act 2005. One of the main goals of the Gambling Commission is to protect users who are vulnerable to addictive habits that can generate the world of gambling. The cases of gambling addiction increased in line with the supply of online gambling, thus, many gamblers sought help to combat their addiction. Because of this, the Gambling Commission was forced to tighten restrictions and strengthen certain aspects of regulation.
This is how, today, the future of the online gambling industry is in the hands of the regulator. It will be in March 2022 when a final summary of the review carried out by the Gaming Commission will be addressed, which will also include the regulation that will apply to mobile bets.
Of course, in this framework, there is the possibility that initiatives will be taken in the black market in order to avoid all these new regulations, that is why the GC will make every effort to prevent this from happening.
While the online gambling industry continues to grow in the UK, and the best real money casino online games remain widely available, the overall picture in the world of virtual gambling in this region has been somewhat blackened by the large number of restrictions and the broad regulatory framework imposed in recent times. This does not mean that the industry has declined, or that it will in the near future; However, it will discourage the vertiginous growth that the industry has been experiencing worldwide. We have no choice but to wait and see how 2022 unfolds.