Gambling has been a part of society for many centuries, and the society of England is no exception. Of course, in its early days, the game in the UK was very different from how it is known today. In those days, games of chance were defined by betting on people’s possessions, or by betting on a coin game called the cross and pill. Another favorite was a card game called Bragg, in which three cards were dealt and players had to make combinations, something similar to today’s poker. However, with the passage of time, English society began to bet on more serious issues, such as sporting events. Soccer games and horse races became the gamblers’ favorite events.
The first casino settlements in the UK occurred during the 19th century. They existed in the form of gambling clubs and were exclusively for members. From then until now, the changes and evolution have been immense. Not only was gambling legalized and casinos were built throughout the country, but today it is one of the most outstanding in the field of online casinos. One of the biggest doubts that bettors have today is: what is the best online casino for real money to bet on, due to the wide range of sites to choose from.
In this article we will speak about how this industry has evolved in one of the countries with the highest number of gamblers.
UK’s first legal casino
In 1960, the Gambling Act was signed in the UK, which made it possible to legalize gambling and casinos. Before long, George Alfred James opened the Port Talbot Casino Club in Wales. This establishment was for members only, it had a restaurant, a dance floor, a bar and a game room. The gambling hall offered a wide variety of games such as slot machines, blackjack, and baccarat.
Then James expanded his empire and built more casinos, one of them was the Kingsway Casino, which introduced a new level of lavishness, as it received occasional visits from the stars of the time, and offered some of the best musical shows.
Since then, casinos have become an important part of society in the UK. Gambling today is regulated by the Gaming Commission under the Gaming Law of 2005. Thanks to the updating of the law to certain flexibilities, the sector has grown exponentially. UK casinos currently carry unmatched grandeur, and thanks to the incorporation of the online gambling segment into regulation, the industry in this country is experiencing the highest growth in history.
75% of UK casinos currently operating are owned by the Grosvenor and Genting groups. The Genting group owns 50 casinos throughout the entire region, making it one of the largest forces in the market. The Grosvenor group owns more than 30 casinos deployed between England and Scotland, being the second largest market force.
The origin and evolution of online casinos in the UK
In 1998, William Hill launched the UK’s first online casino, through a gambling service called Sportsbook. Since then, many operators began to wonder what is the best online casino for real money project in order to invest in this market that is in full development.
However, the rise of online casinos did not come until the beginning of the 21st century, along with the spread of the internet on a massive scale. It was then that the internet spread throughout the world and allowed people to connect from their homes. Thus, the ideal terrain was created that made it possible for online casinos to become a great boom and one of the main hobbies of today’s society.
By the early 2000s, many UK casino operators realized that the internet was here to stay so they decided to seize the opportunity to succeed by investing in the online gambling industry. Thus began the full development of the sector, both in the UK and in the rest of the world.
The gaming industry in the UK has grown very rapidly. In the 2019-2020 period, it generated a GGY of 14.26 billion pounds, and revenues of 5.7 billion pounds. What’s more, the UK has one of the highest online gambling revenues in the world. Today, online gambling has become one of the region’s favorite activities, to the point that within the 30.2 million registered players in the gaming industry, 10.5 million prefer to gamble online. In addition, statistics show that online gambling generates the most income. Over the period 2020-2025, the annual growth rate for gambling in the UK is expected to be 5.20%.