The Rapid Growth of Online Sports Gambling in the UK

Thanks to changes by the culture secretary,  online gambling finally became legal in the UK in 2003. This was thanks to a new bill that passed through Parliament that was set up to keep up to date with modern technology. And also keep an eye on the new methods and techniques that were being introduced as a means of growing the betting industry. Since then, almost two decades ago, there have been massive changes in the online betting landscape in the UK. The sheer number of betting customers, looking to win the jackpot online, has increased enormously. Today we’re going to take a brief look into the probable reasons for this rapid growth in online sports gambling.

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The Growth Of The Sports Betting Industry

Here’s a startling number for you to consider. Online sports gambling in the UK has seen a year on year increase since 2003 of 90% in gross gaming revenues (GGR). Way back in 2003, online sports gambling only represented 4% of the total amount spent in sports betting. In 2019 that number had grown to 45%. All online sports betting operators working in UK markets have reported considerable month-on-month increases in their revenues. And in just September 2019 alone, revenues rose by 53% from £189 million to £290 million in just one year to 2020. 

The huge growth in betting numbers has made UK betting operators extremely profitable. Today new types of sports betting are being introduced. Also, there’s been a massive search uptake in online sports betting by punters. And that’s why sports betting has become one of the most profitable online business ventures ever. But what exactly has caused this industry growth? And why is it so substantial?

Online Sports Gambling: Habits Are Changing


As more and more bettors are comfortable using their phones or tablet to play sports betting online, then the traditional venues and physical bookmakers of the high street are gradually disappearing. In fact, the majority of today’s sports gamblers have a constant connection to the internet 24/7 thanks to their smartphone. So placing bets today is a very simple and straightforward process.  The smartphone itself has been a major contributing factor to the explosion of both online sports betting and the use of online casinos. The sheer convenience of using a handheld mobile device to play casino games and bet on all types of sports is pretty much an unbeatable quality.

Today’s betting websites are designed to be easy to navigate and very quick to use. By streamlining the whole betting process, automatically encourages punters to bet more as they stay more engaged. You’ll often find that the sports better will also dabble in live casino games such as bingo, blackjack, baccarat, slots, and jackpot poker. The fact that so many sports betting sites also incorporate casino sites has seen both industries boom. Now consumer habits are being altered to incorporate different forms of gambling activities.

A Truly Immersive Experience

Thanks to clever design, the internet online sports gambling websites have managed to increase player engagement by a huge factor. Playing on your smartphone, whether you’re using an app or directly collected via the internet, you’ll find that the whole experience of placing sports bets whilst watching real-life sporting events is totally immersive. A huge amount of time and effort has been spent on perfecting both the visualisations and the graphics that incorporate both online sports, as well as casino jackpot games. Thanks to increases in telephone RAM memory and the huge amount of data that can be streamed over 4G, the whole betting experience is seamless and so easy to take part in.

The Live game Experience

Your typical online sports gambling site will include such things as live odds, along with live results, being shown as the sporting event is actually going outlive. By incorporating these into the user experience, there’s a greater chance that the gambler will place more live bets as the games or matches develop in front of him. As a direct result of this, all sports fans and sports bettors feel closer and more involved in the events they’ve placed a wager on.

Both live streaming and live betting are huge contributors to the major success of all online sports gambling companies. Being able to watch a live game from anywhere, using your portable phone or tablet, as well as having the latest odds at your fingertips, is a huge winner for both the betting operator and for sports bettors themselves

Online Sports Gambling: New Betting Markets

online sports gambling

Again, thanks to the internet, online sports gambling companies are able to offer many more betting options than your average high street bookmaker. Simply by swiping your finger across your phone, you suddenly have access to literally hundreds of sports betting markets. Gone are the days when these markets consisted only of the most popular sports such as horse racing and trying to win the football jackpot. Today the coverage is enormous. So you’re going to find all sorts of sports from countries all over the world. Our favourite bookmaker, 1xBET Sportsbook even takes bets on cock fighting! With niche marketplaces, you are able to place bets 24/7. Once again, this encourages engagement, as fans for rare sports can finally bet on them.

Improvements In Security

One of the major factors that could have slowed down the growth of online sports gambling and sportsbook betting could have been the lack of online security. But online betting operators have spent huge sums of money to design and then demonstrate that online technology offers maximum protection towards the customer’s money. Today, no customer needs to hesitate when it comes to sending money to an online betting operator account. Thanks to governmental strict licensing requirements, customers can sleep well at night knowing that funds are secure and that their winnings will be paid out. One such reputable licencing authority is the Malta Gaming Authority.

Some of these measures involve such things as high-level encryption, along with e-wallets and cryptocurrencies. These aim to make all sports gambling an attractive proposition. More especially for those who are concerned about the safety of their online gambling funds.

Recent Tougher UK Gambling Laws

We should point out that online sports gambling regulations in the UK have become much stricter in recent years. All local-based gambling sites in the UK must hold a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. As previously mentioned these licences come with very strict rules. The companies themselves are continuously under audit by outside entities. This is to ensure that their businesses and their business operations are totally above board. It’s true that some online bookies and casinos have experienced solvency issues. That’s why, here at, we always recommend that you only stick to the big players. The major brands are much more reputable. Thanks to their licensing arrangements, they’re able to offer a much higher level of protection. 

Bonuses And Promotions


Anyone who’s been gambling online for more than 10 minutes recognises that the incentives and promotions given by online bookmakers and casinos are second to none. Obviously, there’s huge competition for new customers. So, if you play your cards right, you can certainly benefit in a big way from these generous incentives.

As time passes, it appears that online bonuses are getting bigger and bigger. If you were visiting a real brick and mortar casino, they can only offer you some drinks or maybe a hotel room at a push. But the online casino or sportsbook where you send your first cash deposit will allow you to claim a welcome bonus that is worth real money. For example, 1xBET Sportsbook offers a nice but perfectly playable, 100% up to €100 to all new players. 

Bookmakers Are Thinking Long Term

On top of welcome bonuses, you’ll find any number of other bonuses and promotions. Many are given out on a weekly or even daily basis, especially across most sports betting sites. All of these promotions will be to the customer’s benefit. Meaning that they really will benefit the customer more than the bookmaker. The bookmaker knows that the real work is getting a customer onto the site and keeping them happy. This is going to reap greater profits in the long run.

In other words, they are thinking very long term. One thing we will add is that you should be wary of bonuses that appear to be very generous. It’s essential that you read the terms and conditions of the website in question before you accept any bonus. Sometimes you will find some weasel words that make actually taking the bonus a very expensive proposition for the gambler. And this will not help increase your jackpot winning chances.

Conclusion: The Growth Of UK Online Sports Gambling


There are many factors that have helped lift sports gambling up. Taking it from the rather rigid high street shop into the modern age of the internet. These include such things as ease-of-use, variety of options, security, accessibility, and a greater sense of immersion. In particular, the leaps and bounds of technological advancement. These have enabled the online bettor to enjoy an experience almost similar to being at the live match or game itself. With the increase in onboard computer memory for your phone, along with the introduction of 5G, we will see the online sports gambling market continue to increase yet further at an even greater rate of growth. 

Today’s bookmakers are constantly evolving and introducing new forms of betting. They are also able to accept bets on more and more sports even in very niched areas. We predict a time when technology will allow you to be able to bet on absolutely every single possible outcome during a match. This will include such things as the number of times a single player touches the ball. Or even how often a player’s shoelaces come undone. In some ways, this will take betting to its ultimate destination. That is the ability to find the odds for absolutely any future event. As the old Chinese proverb says, “we live in interesting times.”