Differences in the Gambling Industries in the United Kingdom and the United States

The United Kingdom and the United States have the world’s largest regulated gambling markets. The United Kingdom leads with a more established online gaming industry. While the United States, despite the recent entry into the online market, is closely following and rapidly growing. The two behemoths run and regulate their respective online markets in different ways. Understanding the various laws that govern them and how gambling issues are addressed in each country can tell us a great deal about their approaches to this subject.

Gambling Legislation, Regulation, and Licensing

The United Kingdom

The Gambling Act of 2005 made online gambling legal in the United Kingdom. The new gambling law also established the UK Gambling Commission. The commission was tasked with regulating all gambling operations in the country. Online casinos in this jurisdiction must obtain a license from the commission. Licenses are only available to firms passing a stringent vetting process. The UK Gambling Commission ensures that all licensing conditions, particularly those aimed at keeping players safe, are strictly adhered to. If an online casino operator or their sister sites violate licensing terms, a variety of punitive measures may be imposed. Such penalties include license suspension, fines, and even expulsion from the jurisdiction.

The United States

The gambling industry in the United States is quite different. The United States legal system makes a distinction between Sports betting and traditional online casino games such as table games and slots. Conventional online casino games are illegal in all states except New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The states of Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and New York are among those in the process of legalizing online casinos in their jurisdictions.

In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Except for Nevada, the legislation previously prohibited sports betting in all states. Since 2018, several states have actively legalized online sports betting, while others have opted to first legalize in-person sports betting. Unlike in the United Kingdom, where online gambling regulations are standardized, the gambling market in the United States is decentralized. Different rules and regulations exist in each of the different states.

United Kingdom and United States Revenues from Gambling Markets

The United Kingdom

The gross gambling yield in the United Kingdom for 2020 was 5.89 billion British Pounds. The novel Coronavirus pandemic closed down land-based gambling establishments in the UK. This resulted in a massive revenue drop from the previous year’s 14.12 billion British Pounds. In the UK’s online gambling market, 2,838 licenses were issued in 2019. The previous year’s gross gambling yield of £5.6 billion fueled the market’s rapid expansion in the years that followed.


According to the American Gaming Association, the gambling market there hit a record gross gambling yield of $53 billion in 2021. This was the cumulative total from gaming mobile apps and casinos. Despite the rapid growth of sports betting and online gambling, in-person gambling remains the most profitable segment of the American gambling industry.

Winnings and Taxation


Winnings are taxed in the United States. Proceeds from casinos, off-track betting, horse racing sweepstakes, lotteries, and game shows are all included. Winning jackpots or lump sums in legalized games are taxed at a rate of 24 percent by the gaming operator. Form W-G2 must also be completed by the player. Big wins in specific casino games like craps, roulette, and blackjack are not taxable, and the player is not required to fill out Form W-G2. The nontaxable games are classified as skill-based casino games rather than games of chance. The tax regulations apply not only to American players but also to non-citizens visiting US gambling markets. Their proceedings are taxed at a 30% rate and must be reported on Form 1040NR. In some American states, winners must also report their winnings and pay additional taxes to the state.

The United Kingdom

Winnings are not taxed in the United Kingdom. If a player wins a large sum of money while gambling online or in a land-based casino, he or she gets to keep all of it. The gambling operator, on the other hand, is taxed at a standard rate of 15% on cumulative profits.

Future Industry Growth

The gambling industry in the United Kingdom is relatively mature and well-regulated. Despite the already large market, it continues to grow. More gambling operators and game developers enter the market every year. There is also a good chance that the government will soon review the Gambling Act of 2005 in order to make positive changes to the UK gambling scene.

The gambling industry in the United States is expected to expand at a faster rate in the coming years. More states in the United States will legalize online casino gaming and sports betting. Increased gaming options will almost certainly result in more standardized gaming regulations and better taxation terms.


The regulated gambling markets in the United Kingdom and the United States stand out in the industry due to their excellent organization and unwavering regulatory framework. These features ensure player safety and provide a diverse range of online and offline gaming options. To stay within US gambling laws, it is recommended to conduct a background check on gambling options per state. The two massive markets have enormous potential and will continue to grow steadily over the next decade.