Bingo and casinos
The game of Bingo was popularised in the armed forces in the Second World War and brought back to Britain after the end. The Betting and Gaming Act 1960 allowed commercial bingo halls to be set up, provided they were established as members-only clubs and had to get their take from membership fees and charges rather than as a percentage of the entry fees.
Casinos had a similar history, with requirement for licensing from the Gaming Board of Great Britain and for casinos to be members-only. The number of gaming machines in casinos was limited at 10.
In part due to the difficulty of enforcing this, the Gaming Act 1968 liberalised the law, by allowing true commercial casinos. The first very popular game was Chemmy, popularized by the Clermont Club, in London.
The Gambling Act of 2005 paved the way for larger resort style casinos to be built, albeit in a controlled manner with one being built every few years until the Act is fully implemented. Many towns and cities bid to host one of these so-called "super casinos", which will be similar to those found in Las Vegas. On 30 January 2007 Manchester was announced as the winning bid to be the location of the first 'super-casino'. The House of Lords urged on 29 March 2007 the Government to review plans for the massive 'super-casino' in Manchester. Instead it supported plans for 16 smaller casinos, including ones in Solihull and Wolverhampton. In 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the Government would not be proceeding with the 'super-casino' in Manchester.
Gaming machines are divided into a number of categories, mainly depending upon the stakes and payouts involved.
Gambling on sports
Sports gambling has a long history in the United Kingdom, having been controlled for many decades, and more recently relaxed. The 1960 Act legalised off-course bookmakers. Pool betting on horses is a monopoly of the state-owned Tote.
There is a large market in the UK for gambling on competitive sports at bookmakers or licensed website , particularly for horse, greyhound racing and association football (soccer). The last of these also has an associated form of gambling known as the football pools, in which players win by correctly predicting the outcome of each week's matches.
The UK's largest lottery is known as the National Lottery, which was set up under government licence in 1993.
A statute of 1698 provided that in England lotteries were by default illegal unless specifically authorised by statute. An 1934 Act legalised small lotteries, which was further liberalised in 1956 and 1976. There could be no big national lottery until the Government established one, however.
Several games are run under this brand, including Lotto and Thunderball. As with other lotteries players choose a set of numbers, say 6 from 50, with six numbers then being drawn at random. Players win cash prizes depending on how many numbers they match.
The national lottery launched a pan-European "super-lottery", called EuroMillions, in 2004. Currently 9 countries contribute.
In the UK the national lottery has so far raised several billions of pounds for Good Causes, a programme which distributes money via grants. 28% of lottery revenue goes towards the fund, along with all unclaimed prizes. Additionally, 12% goes to the state. The prize fund is 45% of revenue, with the remaining 15% going towards running costs and profits for the lottery organisers and ticket sellers.
In February 2011 the media tycoon Richard Desmond announced the launch of a new Health Lottery , the aim is for the Health Lottery to raise a minimum of £50 million each year for health related charities. Tickets will cost £1 each and 20.5p of every £1 will go to the charities involved.
The odds of specific combinations occurring in the UK national lottery are as follows:
Scratchcards are a very popular form of gambling in the UK, due to their easy availability and cheap price. These are small pieces of card where an area has been covered by a substance that cannot be seen through, but can be scratched off. Under this area are concealed the items/pictures that must be 'found' in order to win.
Income from gambling currently makes up a small part of the Economy of the United Kingdom.
The betting industry alone is reported to contribute £6 billion as of January 2010, 0.5% of GDP. Furthermore it employs over 100,000 people and generates £700 Million in taxes.