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History of Gambling in the UK

Just like the countrymen gambled their way into conquering 25 to 28% of the world, they also had an affinity for gambling activities! In the past, most people were interested in horse races and some even preferred baiting and such activities. Back then only the Royals and the Nobel class had the right to gamble; unlike today, where the freedom of this entertainment lies with everyone in the country! This change in the UK gambling world is most attributed to Queen Elizabeth. Read on to find out more on this!

History of Gambling in the UK

The Official Beginning of UK Gambling

While King Henry VIII banned gambling of all kinds throughout England, he himself was involved in these activities during leisure. He considered gambling as the distraction for his soldiers and hence the ban. However, Queen Elizabeth, King Henry VIII’s daughter had some other plans in her mind. When she was handling the kingdom affairs, she introduced the first ever English lottery in 1569. This was done in a pretext to increase taxes. Later, many lotteries were also introduced. But these were still allowed only for the Noble class people.

Horse Racing, Industrial Revolution and Stock markets!

There was an exponential rise in horse racing and gambling at the time of the industrial revolution. This was the first time when someone saw the potential of horse racing in a different way and thought of introducing horse race wherein people could bet their money on horses and jockeys through differently fixed odds. This man was none other than Harry Ogden. He also added that the bookie gets to keep some percentage of the profit. This again did not go hand in hand with the interests of the monarchy.

The Gambling Act of 1845 and the Betting Act of 1853

While the first Act allowed gambling, which gave rise to several gambling dens, the second one made it illegal to possess gambling properties. If you think this was in any way effective to curb gambling, you are wrong. Instead, there was again a steep rise in the UK gambling industry thanks to the bloom in the middle-class population.

Involvement of Other Games

Yes, horse racing was the most famous betting sport back then. But later on, other games like football pools, coupons, greyhound racing and such were introduced.

The New Age in UK Gambling

The Betting and Gaming Act of 1961 brought solace to the UK Gambling industry which was clear by the tens of thousands of betting shops that were introduced just