Betting Sites

UK Betting Sites showed the biggest growth between April 2013 and March 2014

People employed across the industry  102,715

Remote betting, bingo and casino +22%

Casinos were up compared to last year.  +15%

The British gambling industry generated over £6.8bn


betting sites

Betting Sites
3.1 (61.11%) 18 votes

List of Betting Sites

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Betting Sites Market in the UK

Betting Site Market

The UK Betting Site Market

Useful Links

link-building-2-xxl Betting Site Statistics November 2014

link-building-2-xxl Industry-statistics-April-2010-to-September-2014

Betting Sites Statistics 

Market size (excluding the National Lottery)

During the period October 2013–September 2014, the British commercial gambling industry generated a gross gambling yield (GGY – see appendix 2) of £7.1bn, an increase of 5% or £327m when compared with the previous publication.

The non-remote betting sector represents the largest market within the industry with a 46% share, followed by the British regulated remote sector (19%) and the casino sector (16%). However, during the period covered by this report, most British consumer remote gambling activity sites were regulated overseas. This will change for future publications of industry statistics which will include data from overseas gambling companies licensed by the Commission in line with the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, which came into force on 1 November 2014. For further details on these changes, please see the Remote section of this document, starting on p36.

GGY increased across all sectors between October 2013-September 2014 and the previous year with the exception of arcades and bingo which reported a reduction.

Figure 1: Market share by GGY October 2013 to September 2014 (excluding the National Lottery)

Table 1: GGY comparisons (excluding the National Lottery)
GGY (£m)Apr 2010-Mar 2011Apr 2011-Mar 2012Apr 2012-Mar 2013Apr 2013-Mar 2014Oct 2013- Sep 2014
Non-remote sector4,772.364,964.085,233.855,358.815,443.66
Betting Sites, bingo and casino gambling653.06710.18932.611,134.661,347.23
Large Society Lotteries[1] (remote and non-remote)170.12233.36284.17306.83336.11

As the Commission does not license pubs, clubs, working men’s clubs or family entertainment centres (FECs) operating under a local authority permit, we do not collect regulatory returns for those businesses. Therefore Table 2 and Table 3 do not represent activity in those sectors.

Table 4: Number of employees across all gambling sectors The number of people working in the industry has declined overall between March 2014 and September 2014, continuing the trend seen in previous periods, with the exception of the remote sector which experienced an increase in the number of employees since March 2013.

EmployeesAs at 31 Mar 2011As at 31 Mar 2012As at 31 Mar 2013As at 31 Mar 2014As at 30 Sep 2014
Gaming machine technical7,6737,6047,2936,8606,618
External lottery manager754849817971952

 Participation in gambling activities

Following the Commission’s 2010 consultation on collecting adult gambling prevalence data, we use questions in telephone omnibus surveys (conducted by ICM Research) as our main measure of gambling participation. Until 2012 the omnibus survey captured basic data on past four week participation. In 2012 the omnibus survey was expanded to more closely reflect the participation questions administered in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey series and to provide more in-depth information on mode and frequency of play. The survey collects data on past four week participation in gambling activities, mode of participation (online/in person) and frequency of play. The survey is conducted with 1,000 respondents per quarter and a rolling yearly average is reported on a quarterly basis. The published reports can be accessed in the gambling data and analysis section of our website.

Participation data is also collected through the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) and Health Survey for England (HSE). In addition to this, these survey vehicles also collect data on problem gambling rates. In July 2014 the Commission published a report of the combined SHeS and HSE data. Further information on the SHeS and HSE can be accessed in the gambling data and analysis section of our website.

Betting Sites

The non-remote betting industry (betting sites) is made up of both on-course and off-course betting operators. As of 31 March 2015, there were 299 operators licensed for the activity non-remote general betting standard (off-course). This is a decrease of 51 from 31 March 2014. During the same period, there were 565 operators licensed for the activity non-remote general betting limited (on-course), a decrease of nine from 31 March 2014.

Structure of the non-remote betting industry

The betting industry in Great Britain is dominated by four operators and, as of 31 March 2015, their estates accounted for 86% of all betting shops.

Table 5: Number of betting shops by operator

Betting Siteat 31 Mar 2011at 31 Mar 2012 at 31 Mar 2013at 31 Mar 2014at 31 Mar 2015[4]
William Hill2,3502,3202,3452,3822,309
Gala Coral Group1,7121,7251,7451,8121,838
Betfred840 1,3451,3691,3831,381
Other operators1,5541,6071,4141,2891,225
Total9,0679,128 9,1009,1378,958

The figures in Table 5 for 2011 through to 2012 are based on licensing authority notifications. The figures from column ‘at 31 Mar 2013’ onwards are taken from each operator’s most recent regulatory return. 

General information about the betting industry


Employee numbers in the betting sector have decreased by 9% (5,052) between March 2011 and September 2014.

Table 6: Betting sector employees

at 31 Mar 2011at 31 Mar 2012at 31 Mar 2013at 31 Mar 2014at 30 Sep 2014
Number of employees55,41155,88255,25752,41650,359



Structure of the non-remote bingo industry

As of 31 March 2015, 209 operators held non-remote bingo licences. Table 13 details the premises figures for two large operators in this sector.

The figures in Table 13 up to 2012 are based on licensing authority notifications.  The figures from 2013 onwards are taken from each operator’s most recent regulatory return. 

Table 13: Number of premises by operator[9]

Commission licensed activityat 31 Mar 2011at 31 Mar 2012 at 31 Mar 2013at 31 Mar 2014at 31 Mar 2015[10]
Gala Leisure Limited[11]267143140137135
Mecca Bingo Limited10397979897
Other operators325406443472408
Total695646 680707640

Although only a single licence type, the bingo industry is made up of various types of businesses including large bingo clubs, holiday parks, working men’s clubs and smaller high street venues. In this publication these venues are only included where they held a premises licence up until 31 March 2012 and more recently where they are indicated as active on their regulatory returns.

General information about the bingo industry


Bingo employee numbers have decreased by 4,476 (24%) between March 2011 and September 2014.

Table 14: Bingo sector employees

Commission licensed activityat 31 Mar 2011at 31 Mar 2012at 31 Mar 2013at 31 Mar 2014 at 30 Sep 2014
 Number of employees18,49515,82915,19014,14514,019


Bingo turnover and GGY

The overall turnover figures for bingo (Figure 10) have decreased by £159m (12%) between the reporting periods. Main stage bingo saw turnover decline by £83m (12%), mechanised bingo turnover declined £54m (10%) and prize bingo turnover declined by £22m (68%) between the reporting periods.

The overall GGY figures for bingo (Figure 11) have decreased by £39m (10%) between the reporting periods. Main stage bingo, mechanised bingo and prize bingo GGY have declined by £20m (15%), £7m (3%) and £12m (71%) respectively.

Figure 10: Bingo turnover £m (ticket sales)                             


Figure 11: Bingo GGY £m (participation fees)

The data tables for these charts can be found in the Excel version of Industry Statistics.

 Figure 25: Methodology diagram

Mergers and acquisitions are commonplace in some sectors of the gambling industry. This could result in some duplication of data provided in regulatory returns.


A thorough cleansing of the regulatory returns data is undertaken for each Industry Statistics publication. This starts with the controls put in place to highlight to the operator potentially erroneous numbers at the point of their submission of the electronic returns and is continued with extensive scrutiny of the data by sector specialists and data analysts at the Commission.


Appendix 2 – Terminology

  • Account – an account represents an entity (for example, public limited company, limited company, partnership, individual) that holds an operating licence.
  • Adult gaming centre (AGC) – an arcade comprising a limited number of B3 and B4 machines and an unlimited number of category C and D machines.  No one under the age of 18 is allowed to enter an AGC.
  • Known breaches of self-exclusion – includes the number of times any self-excluded customer has attempted to gain access to operators’ facilities, attempted to gamble, or actually gambled. It is not limited to an attempt to gamble, and includes attempts to enter premises or access online gambling facilities. 
  • Casino drop and win data – is provided voluntarily by all casinos (licensed by the Commission) on a monthly basis, and shows the amount of money exchanged for chips in a casino (drop) and the amount retained by the casino (win). The Industry Statistics relies on drop and win data for premises information and attendance information. The latest drop and win is on our website.
  • External lottery manager (ELM) – a person or body that makes arrangements for a lottery on behalf of a society or local authority of which they are not a member, officer or employee. A society or local authority may employ an ELM to promote all or some of its lottery.
  • Family entertainment centre (FEC) – an arcade comprising unlimited category C and D machines. Under 18s are allowed in FECs but not into the area offering category C machines.
  • Gross gambling yield (GGY) – the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings but before the deduction of the costs of the operation.
  • Licence – an account may incorporate one or more licences. There are three types of licence that an operator account can hold and these are non-remote, remote and ancillary.
  • Licensed activity – a licensed operator may be authorised to carry out one or more licensed activity. A licensed activity is the actual type of gambling function permitted through an operating licence in a particular sector such as bingo or a lottery.
  • Numbers – is the term used to capture virtual content and lotto style games such as ‘49’.
  • Pool betting – is wagering where the winnings are determined with reference to the total stakes placed on that event.
  • Regulatory returns – a means of collecting a range of information from licence holders within the gambling industry in order to monitor compliance with gambling legislation, regulations and the licence conditions and codes of practice, and to inform the Commission’s understanding of the industry. Forms used to complete regulatory returns are determined by sector and can be found on the Commission’s website.
  • Sector – there are six industry sectors regulated by the Commission – arcades and gaming machines, betting, bingo, casinos, lotteries and remote (which includes remote betting, bingo and casinos). A number of licensed activities may take place within each sector.
  • Self-exclusion – is an agreement between an individual and an operator whereby the operator takes all reasonable steps to refuse services or to otherwise prevent an individual from participating in gambling at their premises or by using their facilities. The minimum period of self-exclusion is six months.

Turnover – the amount accrued through the sale of their product (bingo book/betting slip/lottery ticket/software etc) before winnings and overheads/expenses are deducted.