The people of Great Britain have always had an affinity for gambling, as has been reflected by the relatively lax laws in the country surrounding the practice. While the rest of the world is gradually begin to open up to this lucrative industry, the UK has been a pioneer of such attitudes in many respects and as a result, serves as a market leader with regard to the regulation of online and offline casinos.
As the biggest city in the country, London has always been at the cutting edge of culture and gambling is no different. From the proliferation of brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the capital to the advent of offshore betting sites like Betsafe which require a VPN and cater to expatriates from Lithuania and other countries, London leads the way on all things gambling. Here’s a deeper dive into the habits of its citizens when it comes to enjoying a flutter.
The history of land-based gambling in London is an extensive one, full of interest and intrigue. One of the more noteworthy stories concerns itself with Crockford’s Casino in Mayfair, which was first set up by a working-class fishmonger in 1823. Taking advantage of the new craze for betting among the aristocracy, Crockford ended his life as one of the wealthiest self-made men in Britain and the casino remains a highly exclusive establishment today.
While Crockford’s is certainly one of the most prestigious casinos in operation in London, it’s far from the only option on the table. Other notable gambling sites include the Hippodrome and Empire Casino, both of which are located on Leicester Square in Westminster. In total, there are well over a dozen such locales for Londoners to frequent, many of which are open 24 hours a day.
The switch to online gambling
Since the launch of the first online casino in the late 1990s, the practice has steadily grown in popularity. That’s nowhere truer than in the UK, which has adopted a liberal approach to the online gambling sector since the very beginning. This foresight has allowed Britain to establish itself as a forerunner in the sector, with a significant chunk of the country’s gross gambling yield (GGY) coming from online play.
That trend has only become more pronounced in recent years. In fact, the upheaval brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has instigated a huge transition from offline to online gambling. A recent study conducted by the University of Bristol found that regular gamblers were now six times more likely to find their fun online than prior to the pandemic.
Catering to all-comers
Indeed, there is now such a plethora of online casino operators offering their wares to prospective punters that every segment of society is catered for. For example, minorities in London are more likely to download a VPN and access an offshore site due to the currencies accepted and the odds offered, with Polish gamblers favouring Betsson Casino or similar sites.
Meanwhile, those high rollers who might have been more likely to visit somewhere like Crockford’s in the past are also accommodated. The arrival of live casinos with real-life dealers and croupiers replicates the authenticity of the traditional experience, while VIP games target those players with bigger payrolls. As such, London simply has something for gamblers of all stripes.
Gambling has always been a favoured pastime for the British public and in its biggest city, the practice is more popular today than ever before.