Similar to other jurisdictions around the world, gambling over the internet continues to be popular with consumers in the United Kingdom.

Current laws governing online gambling in the UK took effect in November 2014 with the implantation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 which included a point of consumption tax requiring online gaming operators to pay tax for those customers wagering from within the UK.

Figures reported by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) show that Remote Gambling—which is the term the regulator uses to describe gambling that usually takes place over the internet via computers, smart phones and other mobile devices—generated £4.7 billion in Gross Gaming Yield (GGY) between April 2016 and March 2017.

To help understand just what this figure represents, the UKGC defines GGY as “the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings but before the deduction of the costs of the operation.”

In addition to internet gambling, the UKGC also is in charge of regulating all other forms of gambling in the country including wagers placed at casinos, betting shops, horse racing venues and on the National Lottery. However, of all the other forms of gambling regulated in the UK, Remote Gambling represents the largest sector, generating 34% of all GGY, an increase of more than 10% over the previous one-year period.

Digging deeper into the Remote Gambling sector, we can see that casino games made up the largest proportion of GGY generating nearly 56% (£2.6 billon) of all GGY. The amount generated represents year-over-year growth of 10.75%. Gambling on sports over the internet made up the next largest portion of the Remote Gambling sector (37%) with betting on football (soccer) and horse racing proving to be the most popular sports for betting.

Casino gambling is broken down into several categories by the regulator with online slots representing the largest game for the sector generating £1.7 billion in GGY and representing 64.5% all remote GGY.

Table games made up the next largest slice of the online casino sector with £414 million in GGY generated over the year.

Even online poker, which generated £101 million during the last fiscal year, showed growth by posting a nearly 3% increase in GGY over the prior year.

In spite of some challenges faced by operators surrounding advertising that was deemed to be beyond the allowable bounds of gambling regulations, much of the success of the regulated online gambling industry in the UK can be attributed to the widespread promotions done by the operators and their affiliates.

As the industry continues to expand, we will likely see more innovative ways of marketing online games. But for now, the tried-and-tested method of providing information about online games in the form of reviews and rankings, such as those found on sites like, appear to be doing a sufficient job at driving customers to the virtual tables and slots.

Gambling in the UK in general was quite successful over the past year. During the period from April 2016 to March 2017, the entire regulated gambling industry in the UK (including land-based gambling activities) generated £13.7 billion in GGY, a 1.8% increase over the year prior.