Reform Versus Revenue: A Brief History of the UK Landscape

Published July 23, 2020 by Lee R

Reform Versus Revenue: A Brief History of the UK Landscape

The UK market boomed as a result of early legislative efforts—now the market must be adapted to remain successful.

It is no secret that the UK market stands above all.

Foundation of Dominance

But what is the foundation for the hallowed market status?

Of course, it starts with growth: the UK industry boomed in the modern era of online gambling from 2011 and 2019 by £6 billion to £14.3 billion with 31% of residents betting at least once per week, with a consumership of some 67 million UK players.

The First Betting

While leading brands Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Bet365 have ingrained themselves into British culture as household names, the entrenchment of gaming that morphed into jurisdiction over the online space actually stretches back to the early 1900s, when betting on horse racing was available to the socially privileged.

Delivering to the Masses

In the 1920's, greyhound racing and football betting grew, with legendary Littlewoods Pools bringing punting to the working class.

The Reform Model

The 1960 Parliamentary approval of the Betting and Gaming Act laid the groundwork for a full-scale open betting jurisdiction with a now familiar refrain: stripping away inconsistent and restrictive gambling laws deemed obsolete.

The measure was designed to bring activity under licensed jurisdiction—off the streets and into the house establishments opening in the hundreds in the first six months following legislation.

The First Gaming Authority

Ten years later the Gaming Act put gambling supervision in the hands of a designated gaming authority: the Gaming Board for Great Britain--reporting directly to the Home Office.

Loosening the Market

Gambling restrictions gradually loosened thereafter, as National Lottery and football betting became mainstream in the early 1990s and the reforms comprising today's jurisdiction coming into being with the 2005 Gambling Act early in the online era.

The Advertising Onslaught

The new looser regulations welcomed a flood of operators to capitalise on so-called “deregulation” with the advertising campaigns that made gaming houses ubiquitous to today's enthusiastic patron--but also raised concerns about untoward manipulation of technology to tempt players by operators competing for business.

Outlook Today

That is why today the British authority is faced with beating back the aggressive marketing of operators, seeking to turn the world's largest and most appealing market from a breeding ground for overzealous marketing into a safe environment protecting the widest audience of any jurisdiction in the world.

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