History of Gambling in the UK

Gambling has been prevalent across several countries in some form or the other. While some games were based on drawing lots, many involved the use of skills. The UK too has an interesting gambling history and happens to be one among those where gambling has extensively developed over the period. Today, gambling is accessible on smartphones via the mobile phone casino as opposed to any odd forms of betting or even traditional brick and mortar casinos for that matter.

Here we sneak peek into how gambling in the UK has developed from ancient till recent times.

  • Traditionally, gambling was positioned around horse races and cockfights for the feudal lords while the lower classes waged their fortunes in dice games such as “Hazard.” King Henry VIII was known to ban gambling during his rule as he believed that it distracted his soldiers from their state duties. It was his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I who permitted England’s first National Lottery in 1569 through a Royal Charter as a method to collect tax revenues. Her Highness offered a jackpot valued at £5,000 among other benefits like immunity from arrest for committing petty crimes. James I and Charles I also permitted methods like lotteries to fund state and private run expeditions.

  • The first official national lottery was authorised by the British Parliament in 1694, and 1721 legislation was passed that banned operation and practice of private lotteries. With the industrial revolution, horse racing and betting on races evolved as a national pastime of the British. Ironically, while the aristocrats wagered on such forms of gambling like chess and card games, the peasantry was penalised for such practice. As time passed, horse racing was complemented by stock market for the wealthier betting class, while the poor were confined to playing coin-based games in pubs. Thus, a class distinction has been apparent throughout the gambling history in the UK.

  • The 18th Century witnessed the evolution of two eminent racing institutions in Britain: The Tattersalls and the Jockey Club. However, the continuous resistance to gambling across the UK resulted in establishing the Select Committee on Gaming in 1844 which finally passed the Gaming Act in 1845 as the first official legislation on gambling followed by the Betting Act of 1853. Both these laws however banned gambling altogether for the working class.

  • The 20th century saw some betting shops sprawling across the UK with the 1961 Betting and Gaming Act that ascertained the arrival of the casinos. The Clermont Club that opened in 1962 was the first official casino in London.

  • March 2016 recorded 148 casinos in the UK offering a variety of popular slot machine games.

  • This market has been taken over by online and mobile casino with the UK Gambling Commission as the regulatory body.

May online and mobile casinos are the changing face of the gambling industry in the UK today. As one of the most popular destinations for the online mobile casino, UK has travelled in time and gambling is no longer a rich man’s domain. Jackpot Mobile Casino is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, anyone can enjoy mobile slots as well as table casino games to bag big jackpots. With promotions, varied bonuses and expansive payment methods, mobile casino allows you to select any game of your choice and reward yourself with the most entertaining experience.



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