UK gambling industry generates over $1.8B from taxes through first half of 2022

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Gambling has been a prevalent activity across Europe in recent years, yet it all took a toll in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic affected numerous industries, including gambling and sports betting operators.

Even if the future didn’t seem so bright for casinos, bookkeepers, and other related businesses, 2022 marks the industry’s first recovery step. The United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission reported that the tax revenue for the first semester of this year exceeded 1.8 billion dollars.

To make a comparison based on data available from this year and the last year, 2021, the taxes collected by the UK designated authorities registered a growth of approximately 11%. For 2021, the HM Revenue and Customs department in the UK Government collected 1.67 billion dollars, while for 2022, the same authority collected 1.87 billion dollars.

While the tax revenue seems to be on an ascended path of growth since the Covid-19 pandemic, the actual numbers are nowhere near close to where they were before the coronavirus hit. In 2019, the gambling industry of the UK generated more than 5 billion dollars in tax revenue, with an exact number of 5.2 billion dollars.

Who brought in more money?

The gambling business includes different types of activities, as there are many forms of gambling, from land-based casino games and sports betting to online casinos and lotteries.

In 2022, the main contributors to the tax revenue were the iGaming industry, which included all online gambling operators and activities, and the National Lottery. The National Lottery brought in 574 million dollars, while the iGaming services accounted for 579 million dollars.

Despite enormous contributions made by the National Lottery and the iGaming sector to the 2022 tax revenue, the return to land-based gambling activities made the most significant difference.

Slot machines generated taxes of a little over 308 million dollars compared to 2021, when the same sector only accounted for 122.5 million dollars. Land-based casinos also made impressive progress, generating 87.83 million dollars in 2022, compared to 12.71 million dollars in 2021.  

Mobile casinos have created a revolutionary impact

Even if the reopening of the British land-based casinos made the most significant difference in tax revenue for 2022, the cornerstone of the industry remains the mobile casino industry.

Online gambling platforms and mobile casinos are well-liked for numerous reasons, including easy access and enhanced comfort.

Not only do gamblers find it easier than ever to gamble since online casinos have taken the world by storm with a wide range of investments that have proved to be fruitful over the years, but the new mobile technology has also played its part in this incredible growth.

Nowadays, mobile casinos offer gamblers from all over the world the option to place bets quicker and more facile than ever, which translates into an even greater impact on the overall revenues of the betting sector.

UKGC brings impressive results for 2022

The UK Gambling Commission has achieved a significant milestone not only regarding recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic but also in terms of players’ safety. For the first six months of this year, the UKGG reported that only 0,2% of gamblers in the UK encountered issues like addiction or gambling problems.

Michael Dugher, the Betting and Gambling Council’s CEO, addressed these results in a press release:

“These newly released figures are yet again further evidence of the positive progress we have made on problem gambling, which is low by international standards and has fallen in recent times, thanks to the many initiatives we have taken, including using advertising to promote safer gambling tools like deposit limits and time-outs, as well as other changes we have made to further raise standards.

Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month, and it is clear once again that the overwhelming majority do so perfectly, safely, and responsibly. However, one problem gambler is one too many, and there is no room for complacency. That’s why our work continues to raise standards across the regulated industry, in marked contrast to dangers posed by the unsafe, unregulated, and growing online black market.”

The data on problem gambling comes just as the UK Government intended to review the existing Gambling Act and take more restrictive measures regarding gambling activities. 

The UK Gambling Act white paper has been in work for years. Yet, gambling specialists and some authorities, like the Betting and Gambling Council, warn that very restrictive measures could make players turn to the black market and illegal gambling. That is also sustained by the opinion that the predicted financial recession of the following years will slow down the net value of real money bets, as declared by Casino Alpha’s CEO, Tudor Turiceanu.

New restrictive measures could also impact the revenue the gambling industry generates, just as it is recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This article was written in cooperation with Tudor Turiceanu