articles-imgWhether you are looking for the best strategy to bet with or you simply want to understand how betting sites and casinos work, explore our sports, casino and general articles in this section.

We cover everything from horse racing grades to random number generators, from full cover bets to progressive jackpots.

Whatever your questions or interests we’ve got your back at

Gambling Industry Articles

positive and negative bar on a graphThe UK has had legalised gambling for longer than the rest of the world and betting and gambling is ingrained in British culture.  The long history of gambling in the country means that some of the biggest names in the industry herald from here.  Britain has created a multi-billion industry around sports betting, casino gaming, bingo, poker, lottery and arcades.  In this section you will find articles about the industry, how much it is worth and who are the biggest players.

Biggest Betting Companies in the UK


Before online betting came to dominate gambling it was easy to tell who the biggest betting companies were, you just had to look down any high street where you would see names like William Hill and Coral.

Things have now changed and these days most of the biggest betting companies are mega-gambling groups where brands have merged to create multi-billion global powerhouses.

We look at the biggest gambling companies in the UK and the world and how they got to be where they are.

Latest UK Gambling Industry Data, Statistics & Trends

UKGC Gambling Industry Data

The gambling industry is a very big place with lots of different sectors and products for bettors and players to choose from.

Some are more popular than others, some have lost or gained popularity and momentum over time, but all are regulated by one governing body; the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The UKGC keeps data on all areas of the industry, including the revenue or gross gambling yield (GGY) for each type of gambling activity, and this gives valuable insights into the changing landscape of the gambling industry and the tastes of the people who bet and play.

This article investigates this data and goes into a lot of depth exploring what is happening industry wide and why, what changes and trends are apparent, and also covers world events and regulatory changes that have impacted the gambling industry along the way.

The Contribution of Gambling to the UK Economy

Saving Your Money

Gambling has an uneasy relationship with the UK, on one hand Britain is a nation of gamblers and we have huge freedoms to bet as we wish but at the same time gambling can be addictive and cause harm. The fact is some of the biggest betting companies in the world come from the UK and this means it contributes a lot to the economy, both directly in tax and jobs and indirectly through sponsorship and donations.

Gambling Mergers, Consolidation or Monopoly?

merger takeover monopoly concept

The nature of capitalism and free markets means as most industries mature they end up consolidating into larger monopolies. We've seen it with Energy companies, airlines and transport, finance and security, you name it.  Although mergers and takeovers are not new in the gambling industry they have significantly increased in the last decade or so as large companies hoover up brands and technology from smaller companies that were potentiated by new online markets.  The question is is this good for the punter and who will ultimately be left standing?

How Many Betting Sites Are There In The UK?

risk planning people pointing at charts on a desk

We can get a good handle on the number of licensed betting sites in the UK by looking at the number of remote gambling licenses there are.  This tells us there are roughly 1000 remote licenses that have been granted by the UKGC.  This doesn't mean there are 1000 sites as multiple sites can operate under one license and sites are coming online and offline all of the time.

If there were say an average of 10 domains under each license that would give 10,000 sites.  It becomes difficult when we start to factor in unlicensed gambling where it is hard to get any firm numbers.  On a world scale it becomes almost impossible due to the number of different licensing jurisdictions

What Sports & Events Do Bookies Sponsor

bet365 sponsored kit advert shown at bet365 sponsored stoke city stadium

It is no secret that the big betting brands sponsor a lot of things and have done for many years. This is usually sports and games as that is where there main customers are and it is a sensible way to get a brand name out there and maintain recognition.

On this page we look at all the big named brands and what they have sponsored now and over the years.  We also look at how sponsorship has changed and how it may change in the future.

Sports Articles

sportsWe’ve broken down our sports articles into three categories to help you find the information you need.  In betting guides you will find everything you need to know about betting in general, including how various bet types work, how to use live betting, cash out, how odds are calculated, etc.  The football and horse racing sections are fairly self-explanatory, here you will find articles on specific bet types and offers, as well as how to bet on the various markets available in each.


A typical top level football match now comes with literally hundreds of pre-match and in play markets. No matter how much experience you have betting on the footy there are always new bet types, strategies and features to be aware of that could add value to your wagers.

Our football articles will help you get the best out of your betting, whether that’s both teams to score strategies or how to effectively bet on goalscorer markets, etc.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is the oldest sport for betting on and was originality known as the sport of kings for its popularity among the elite. In the modern day, however, racing is enjoyed year round by people from all walks of life, with many prestigious races, great offers, and top markets from bookmakers.

For the uninitiated, however, betting on racing can seem a little daunting; history is a great thing but it means the sport has maintained some rather antiquated terminologies and features. In our horse racing articles, you will find information on the basics such as racing grades, what is rule 4, how to bet on horse racing and much more.

Betting Guides

betting guide

If you want to know what cash out is or how to use it, or you don’t know what a handicap or full cover bet is then you’ve come to the right place. Our betting guides contain all the need to know information that will not only help you get the most out of your betting but will also help you to expand your repertoire.

This section also contains details of common rules and features that are essential in making sure you place the right bets, whether that be how to use betting tools or when to best place your bets. Being in the know and getting the right information is often the best way to win.

Casino Articles

casinoOnline casinos are not very different from their land based cousins, the games, odds and requirements are ultimately the same but there are many differences in how you play and particularly in how to get the best out of playing casino online.  We’ve split our casino guide section into two major areas, a general guide to how to play casino and a separate guide to casino software.

Casino Guides

Our casino guide page covers everything from the very basics of how to play classic games right up to detailed guides on how number generators work, what a progressive jackpot is, how to deal with game errors, casino bonuses explained, and everything in between.

These articles apply to both land based and online casinos and discuss features relevant to both. Understanding how casinos work will help you to hopefully win more often, and have fun in the process, of course.

Casino Software

casino software

Most casino games are not run by the casinos themselves, rather it is the software provider that develops and delivers the game; the casino is largely acting as a host. Therefore, if you want to play specific games you need to do so with a casino site that hosts the right software.

Some casinos have games from just a single software provider whereas others can host twenty or more. Some even develop their own exclusive titles. See our software page for guides on the various providers and what to expect from them.

Poker Articles

Poker AcesPoker is a game of skill, or so they say.  Of course, luck plays a massive part in the ability to win any given game but over time it is the skilful players that do the best.  Assuming you are playing against other people poker is the one gambling game where you can stack the odds in your favour if you play well enough.  The more you know about the value of your hand in relation to others, and the mistakes that other people commonly make, the better you can do in the long run.

Poker Guides

cartoon animals playing poker

In this section you can find guides to poker, but rather than just the basic ‘how to play’ type guides you get everywhere, here we focus on the elements that can make a difference to success in the long run. Things like how implied odds work, how opportunity cost impacts how you should play, the impact of poker bots online, human factors that influence decision making, and more.

If you want to play poker for more than just entertainment and you want to win regularly then you have to have an edge over other players. Hopefully these pages may help you find and exploit those edges.

General Betting Articles

Betting Systems

There are no foolproof ways to earn money whether betting in casino or on sports. Over the centuries many ‘systems’ have been invented (and reinvented) from the famous Martingale double up system to more intricate sequence bases systems.

Ultimately though, there is no way to use these and win with certainty – if there were the bookies would go bust!

Responsible Gambling And Self Exclusion

Gamble Responsibly

Gambling is fun but it is also addictive and it can often be hard to know when, or how to stop. We only cover UK licensed bookmakers and casinos, and by law they must promote responsible gambling and self-exclusion.

Find out more about these tools here.

Luckiest People

jackpot winners

There are lucky people and then there are super lucky people, such as those that have won the lottery jackpot more than once or who have had an unbelievable streak of consecutive wins.

The question is are these people just the outliers on the graph or is there something to being very lucky?

Longest Running Bets

climate change protestors

A lot of people will bet on things that may happen in the next year or so, such as a horse to win the Grand National or a team to win the league. Here we are talking about bets placed long into the future.

We look at bets people placed in the past that took a long time to settle, in some instances after the bettor had dies, and bets placed now that will not settle for a long time.

Taking Betting Companies to Court

can i sue

Gambling is a leisure activity for most, a space to enjoy yourself and possibly realise a dream if you are lucky enough to win big. Inevitably though things can go wrong and this can lead to disagreements between betting companies and customers, which if serious enough can lead to court action.

Here we look at what leads to someone taking a gambling company to court with examples of cases that have gone for and against players.

The Decline Of Greyhound Racing

greyhound track closed and overgrown

Greyhound racing was once one of the favoured pass times for people, it peaked in popularity after the second world war in a time when there were no betting shops and betting at a track was one of the only options. Unlike horse racing, dog tracks were generally in cities and appealed most to the working classes, with meetings held in the evenings to allow people to attend.

Legalising betting shops was responsible for the initial decline as people could now bet on other things, there was recovery in the 1970’s and 1980’s but this was short lived due to the invention of the internet and online betting.

What Was The First Betting Shop In The UK?

old style betting shop

While gambling has been going on in the UK for centuries the 1845 Gaming Act and subsequent legislation made bookmaking largely illegal. This created a massive underground black market in the UK that couldn’t be ignored.

Changes were planned by WWII got in the way. It then took until 1960 for new legislation to be passed that legalised off-course gambling. This came into effect in 1961 and literally thousands of betting shops opened in the course of one year. We look at who were the first and why.

Sports With The Most Match Fixing

match fixing

We all know that match fixing still goes on at some level, it is estimated that up to 1 in every 100 bets can be linked to some form of suspicious activity. It is certainly harder these days to get away with it, especially online where every account and wager can be tracked by people and software.

We look at the sports where match fixing is more common than others. Predominantly these are sports contested by individuals rather than teams for obvious reasons.

Why Is Trading Not Classed as Gambling?

buy sell dice

It is quite puzzling as to why trading in stocks, shares, currency markets, etc., is classed differently to gambling. After-all both involve speculating and taking risks on a result, in gambling that might be the score of a game and in trading that might be whether stocks go up or down.

We look at why trading is classed differently to gambling and ask why some countries that have banned gambling are happy to allow people to trade.

Gambling Addiction In Poorer Communities

homeless man sits outside casino

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that people will less to lose are liable to suffer more from gambling addiction. This, however, oversimplifies the debate and the stark reality is many studies have shown that more disadvantaged communities and people suffer from gambling problems in a disproportionate way for many reason.

Here we explore why addiction is more prevalent in deprived locations and whether there is a solution to the problem.

When Do People Bet and Play Games the Most?

game time

There is a natural tendency for people to place sports bets at different times depending on when events are on but by and large most gaming sessions are conducted in the evenings. This is mainly because gaming takes more time than betting and therefore people have to wait until they have time and space to play.

Still, it is interesting how those who bet more at unsavory times are also the ones that have more potential to be addicted.

Is Gambling Part Of Human Nature?

rock paper scissors hand silhouettes

The act of gambling is specific to risking money on an outcome but in reality everyone takes risks every day of their lives, whether that may be driving 40mph in a 30mph zone or choosing to drink or smoke.

Taking risks is therefore very much part of animal and therefore human nature. The question is, is gambling for money something that is innate to people or is it something that has been imposed on us? We look at the question from both stand points.

Betting Psychology

betting psychology

Even the most intelligent and rational people are prone to inherent bias or human tenancies that can cloud their objective judgement. This is very important when gambling as misunderstanding probabilities or assigning patterns where none exist can lead to people losing more.

In this section we look at various psychological factors that can influence people when they place sports bets or play games, we look at how operators exploit these and how you can spot these biases to make more rational decisions around betting.

How Quantum Computing Could Affect Gambling

Binary Code Information Stream

You may have heard that we are getting to the limits of how small we can make conventional computer chips, which is hampering computers getting faster. We have become used to processing power doubling roughly every decade but that may no longer be the case.

Instead some clever people have come up with the idea of the Quantum Computer, which could be up to 100 million times faster than a standard machine. This could have a staggering impact on how financial markets and gambling works. If you want to discover more have a read, we have dulled down the science to make it understandable, don’t worry.

Female Pioneers In Sport

woman breaking glass ceiling

Things have started to change when it comes to equality between men and women in sport but let’s face it the battle has only just begun and there is a long way to go. We wouldn’t, however, even have the female sports we do now if it were not for a series of dedicated pioneers who refused to let their sex get in the way of success.

Here we look at the women that have made a serious difference in a range of sports in helping to bring women onto level terms.

What Are The Punishments for Gambling Crimes?

gambling crime and law

Gambling has been used for criminal purposes for as long as it has existed, for a long time it was the main source of income for the Mafia in the US, for example. Most gambling crime is fairly low level but that doesn’t mean you can’t be punished if you or an operator breaks the law.

Here we look not only at common gambling crimes but what can actually happen to people who commit those crimes along with the laws and rules behind it.

Why Betting on Future Events Can Be More Rewarding

people with binoculars looking into the distance

People bet for two main reasons, to try to win money and to enhance their enjoyment of something.  Those that do so more for enjoyment often find that the anticipation of a bet potentially coming in is actually more rewarding than winning the bet itself.  On that basis it can actually be a sensible strategy to consider placing more ante-post, or futures, bets.

Betting in advance generally means you get better odds on eventual winners but there is of course more risk.  The ultimate benefit, though, is you can place a single bet to enhance your enjoyment of a series of matches or competitions without needing to place single bets on each event.  This allows the overall anticipation to grow giving you a similar overall emotional reward while potentially reducing the amount you gamble.

Gambling in the Metaverse

The Metaverse is barely out of the box, it looks like an early 2000s computer game and hardly anyone is using it, but the companies who have set up casinos and poker rooms inside these virtual worlds are seeing ten times the digital footfall of everywhere else.

Although they operate differently to a regular online casino, by using crypto currencies and NFTs for a start, the games played in there are the same ones that we would expect to find everywhere else; blackjack, roulette, slots, and Texas Hold'em.

While the gambling experience in the metaverse is much more convoluted than in the real world or on the internet, the environmental changes give the whole thing a totally different dynamic as avatars controlled by real people sidle up next to you at the table, and can chat to you too.

This is the internet in 3D, and it has hardly even got going.

Famous Crimes Committed In Betting Shops

uk police in high vis jackets

Betting shops in history have seen more than their fair share of crimes and that is largely because criminals know lots of money changes hands at betting shops.  Whether it be criminals looking to defraud bookmakers or going for a more direct and violent approach to acquiring the money.  Still, not all crimes associated with bookie shops are for financial gain and some have more tragic endings.

In modern times with more betting done using cards bookies generally have less cash than they once did.  Crimes are not as common these days but they do still happen.  Here we look at some of the more famous ones.

Path To Play: Research Into What Drives Us To Bet

customer journey

People gamble for their own individual reasons but the UKGC conducted some research to look at what the typical customer journey is.  On average what are the biggest influencers and factors that make us bet and play games for money?

While no on influence covers everyone it seems the act of winning in itself is the greatest motivator for us to bet more.  Marketing and offers play a big role too.  Those at risk tend to be more affected by passive influences compared to recreational gamblers.

Is Sports Betting Being Gamified?

gamification achievement concept

Gamification effectively means adding gaming elements to something that isn't a traditional game and in recent times gamifying sports betting has become a tactic for many betting companies, but why?

Adding gaming elements to sports betting products serves two main purposes.  It firstly familiarises punters with gaming and that makes it easier to cross-sell casino games to them.  Secondly it creates a secondary sense of achievement, entertainment or involvement for customers with the aim of engendering loyalty.  Is it the right thing to do though and what methods are commonly used?

Do Betting Transactions Affect Mortgage Applications?

casino table chips and cards with house on top of chips

In effect all transactions will affect a mortgage application, what you spend in supermarkets, on gym subscriptions, holidays, etc.  It is all about how much income you bring in, how much debt you have and how affordable your lifestyle is.  There are of course some pursuits that are seen as riskier than others by lenders, such as gambling, and so how can you enjoy placing a bet without risking being declined for a mortgage?

As with all risk profiles it is about how much you gamble, how regularly and how much you lose as a proportion of your income.  Even if you win it doesn't necessarily mean you will be in a lower risk group should a lender see those transactions as unsustainable.  Naturally people cannot retrospectively change their spending so if you need a mortgage and you have lots of gambling transactions you are worried about the best thing to do is approach a specialised broker.

Can You Declare Bankruptcy for Gambling Debts?

petition to file for bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a last resort for people who cannot service their debts.  It places restrictions on people and their business activities in the future but can be a means to clear debts that otherwise would only continue to grow and would never be practically repaid.  What are the rules, however, if those debts, or some of those debts, derive from gambling?

Gambling debts are treated like other debts but the main thing is to be forthcoming about them and their extent from the start.  Rules in the UK that now prevent credit being used to gamble with have reduced the ability to acquire gambling debts but ultimately people can still find ways to use credit to gamble or gamble with money that should have been used to repay something else.

How To Prove Gambling Income

hmrc self assessment forms

There is no need to declare any gambling winnings in the UK no matter how large, whether it be a single win or you make an income from gambling.  That is because tax rules changed in the early 2000's meaning tax is now paid by the operator at the point of consumption and gambling proceeds are not taxable.

Just because they are not taxable, however, doesn't mean you will not be in a positon where you may have to prove that income.  Whether that be to apply for a mortgage or because you are investigated by HMRC.  It is good to keep records of gambling income and you can even declare it HMRC directly to head off any issues.

Can Gambling Debts Be Legally Enforced?

man empties wallet onto poker table debt gambling

In theory you shouldn't be able to get into debt when gambling directly with licensed operators since the 2020 ban on credit cards and use of credit for gambling.  Naturally there are of course still ways that people use credit to gamble and can get into debt.  There are also indirect gambling debts where people use money to gamble that should have been repaid elsewhere.

Since the implementation of the gambling act in 2007 gambling debts are enforceable by law.  This, however, also means the debt is treated as other legal debts and there are ways to repay that debt through voluntary arrangements.  Bankruptcy is also a possibility.

How Do Punters Decide How Much to Stake?

Coral Betting Slips

Some people can place a 10p bet and that is enough for them whereas some people will stake a lot more by default.  Within that people will often change their staking behaviour in reaction to the outcome of previous bets or due to peer-pressure or financial worries.

The UKGC conducted some in depth research into the topic in 2020 and from this we are able to garner some interesting information as to why different demographics and risk groups stake what they do and what influences them to change those stakes.  They also look at suggested maximum stake limits that could be applied.

Why Do Charities & Churches Use Gambling To Raise Money?

Church Bingo

Gambling is generally a selfish activity where the main motivation is to win money or a prize.  Charities and church fundraising, however, is seen as a selfless activity designed to distribute money to those less fortunate.  Therefore, why do so many charities and religions use gambling games as a means to raise money, is it morally correct, is it appropriate?

In many senses it is fine as most people gamble for enjoyment and accept they are more likely to win that lose.  They are generally even happier with this arrangement for these events because they do actually want to give money and there is a small chance they can win a prize along the way.

Not everyone is in that position, though, and there are many people addicted to or recovering from compulsive gambling.  Is it right that trusted bodies like charities should use gambling as a means to make money considering this?

Should We Have a State-Owned Bookmaker?

tote betting stall at uk racecourse

The gambling industry is often at odds with itself (pun intended).  On the one hand, in the UK, it is a private, capitalist and heavily competitive market where the ultimate motivation is to make profit.  On the other hand companies are licensed and are expected to deliver gambling responsibly and safely, more so now than ever.  This creates an obvious conundrum.

One solution often touted is a state run bookie, this would allow more revenue to go back to the government (which could be diverted to help people with problems) and gives the state a more effective means of control.  The thing is we had a state bookie for over 80 years, The Tote, but that was sold off in 2011.  Other countries like Norway do still have state run betting, however.  Here we look into whether there is merit in having a state-owned bookmaker again.

Did the Romans Create Our Love of Sports and Gambling?

caesars palace las vegas with statue of empeor julius caesar

When we think of the origin of sports as we know them today we think of the Ancient Greeks and the Olympic games in particular.  The Greeks, though, used sports to promote athleticism and for pleasure.  The Romans took sports to a whole new level introducing far more danger and creating the craze of betting on outcomes.

It isn't just gladiator fights and chariot races the Romans would bet on.  Wagering on board and dice games was common, if not rife among the elite classes.  As most Western society descends directly from the Romans it begs the question as to whether they are responsible for creating the sports and gambling passions that we now have today?

Who Are The Richest Gamblers in the World?

Man with money

Let's face it we all know that over time the clear majority of gamblers will lose more than they win.  That means, however, that there are always outliers, those very rare cases that do the opposite and win from gambling, not only win but make a fortune from it.

Here we look at the worlds richest gamblers, how they got there and ask whether it was luck or if there is something special about these people.



interview two businessmen shaking hands

If you really want to know what it is like to be a professional poker player or gambler or if you want to know what it is like to work in the gambling industry as a croupier, shop manager, odds trader or another role then the best way to do that is to talk to somebody that does it.

That is what this section is about.  We have interviewed numerous people within the gambling sector or who make a living from gambling (directly or indirectly) to help give you an appreciation of what is involved.