Betting is a growth industry in the UK as an ever-increasing number of punters race to place bets on the outcome of their favourite sports matches. Premier League football, Grand Slam tennis, the next Anthony Joshua fight, if the masses have an opinion on the outcome you can be sure bookmakers will be putting together a market and accepting bets.
We’ve seen a shift over the last decade of punters placing the majority of their bets online compared to gambling in store. It has proven to be a smooth transition too and it has been widely predicted there will be a time in the very near future where more wagers are placed using mobile phones and tablet devices than in shops and websites combined.
The convenience of online gambling and betting through apps is one of the reasons we see the number of players, total bets and stakes continue to rise year-on-year. Gone are the days of having to get yourself down to the local betting office in plenty of time for the 3.00pm kick-off. You can now bet at the touch of a screen on your mobile phone whenever and wherever you want.
There is also no lack of supposed expert advice online, with tipsters promising us the best most profitable picks. Football betting sites are on the increase too and the growth in popularity of social media has contributed to that, many untested accounts making unfounded claims through the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Moves are being made to stamp out the dishonest while monitoring the more genuine services closer.
Backers also have more choice than ever before with hundreds of markets offered on football matches from all over the world, including winner, total goals, both teams to score, handicap and half time/full time. What’s more, when the game begins, you’ll find many of the most popular fixtures remain live courtesy of in-play betting, with prices and lines updated to keep pace with the flow of play. A bet is now as exciting in the final few minutes of play as it was before the start.
Technological advancements in the betting industry means it’s now easier than ever before to get your cash down and that applies with all sports and leagues. Bet on any major sport through your desktop computer from home, but for those on the move betting apps are leading the way. The improvements are never clearer than when looking at the impact on football betting and the numbers make for very interesting reading indeed.
The UK loves football betting and that was proven by a recent study carried out by the UK Gambling Commission which showed a whopping £786m was spent betting on the beautiful game. That’s almost 40% of the online betting gross gaming yield. To hammer home just how important that is, horse racing remains in second place but accounts for just 28% with £569m recorded. That’s quite a difference. Other sports returned £340m, ahead of Virtual sports which, in itself, also continued to rise to £175m. The list is completed by tennis at £143m, dog racing £53m and cricket £27m.
Here are some other numbers that’ll make you sit up and take note. Online gambling contributed £2 billion to a figure just shy of £14b annual gambling yield in 2017 and that figure was, of course, dominated by football and horse racing. The number of bets placed online rose, as was expected by experts across the board and that’s expected to shift north again this year.
A similar study carried out in the summer of 2018 demonstrated that although the number of gamblers is going up, the majority of players are betting low amounts on a regular basis. 38% of the people surveyed confessed to staking between £10 and £100 per month with little over 1% betting more than £500 in the same period. Interestingly, more than 35% considered themselves to be profitable players, with horse racing backers the most confident amongst them.
There are risks associated with sports betting, however, and the players who doubted they were in profit for the year admitted their losses. 20% thought they had lost hundreds of pounds with 8% losing thousands. Despite those alarming stats, less that 8% said they had ever been restricted or banned by their bookie and that will shock an industry being put under increasing pressure to protect players. That’s something that will have to change in the near future.