AngusD switched from pro chess to poker two decades ago and has been professionally involved in the game on numerous levels since the very beginning of online poker, including playing as a poker ambassador both online and at major festivals around the globe. He has written much about the game over the years, and brings to YPD a wealth of experience in all aspects of the poker industry. Meanwhile, his many years on the pro chess circuit (he’s an International Master and prolific author) afford him an interesting perspective on the psychology of poker.

· Published 20.04.2021 · last updated 20.04.2021

With the UK government planning the most significant shake-up of the betting industry in 15 years, a recent study commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) found that their members contributed £7.7bn in gross value to the UK economy in 2019.

Ministers are due to being out a White Paper on future regulation of the industry later in 2021, so news of the impact of the gambling sector on the UK economy is of particular importance.

In 2019 the members of the BGC – consisting of casinos, betting shops, and online companies – not only employed 61,000 people but generated a further 58,000 jobs via their supply chains.

Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC, said “As the recent report showed … as well as providing a much-needed boost for the millions of people who enjoy a flutter, they will also be able to play a key role in the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery.”

Significantly, over half of those employed in the industry are under 35, while almost a fifth is under 25. These numbers are considerably higher than the economy generally, highlighting why this sector is important in providing young people with entry-level jobs – something that is particularly crucial given the increase in unemployment figures brought about by COVID-19 over the last year. BGC members contributed £3.2bn directly in tax to the Exchequer in 2019, and this amount increased to £4.5bn with taxes paid through the supply chain added.

It’s a clear sign of the high level of interest in betting and gambling in the UK that the organizers of the recent Grand National horse race resisted calls to postpone one of the world’s biggest sports events to a date at which the country’s high street betting shops would be open. Instead, the race was held as planned, two days before the reopening that is part of Step 2 of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Indeed, it’s testament to the healthy state of interest of the online betting sector in Britain that the nation tuned in to watch and bet on the behind-closed-doors race – and the entire meeting – and placed their many, many bets online.

It’s no surprise, then, that what has been essentially a year-long mini online poker boom led by UK players – both new, returning, and existing – has slowed down but nevertheless remains in place. With plenty of online poker festivals to add to the numerous promotions on offer to keep the momentum going and the prospect of a repeat of last year’s World Series of Poker being so successfully hosted online by GGPoker (one of our main partner online poker providers), there’s every reason to expect the UK’s love of online betting, gambling and poker to continue in 2021 and beyond.

And the numbers back this up, with an estimated 30 million people in Britain enjoying a gamble. Brigid Simmonds: “The contribution made to the Treasury by the betting and gaming sector, its support for sport and the jobs they offer to young people, so many of them highly skilled, is absolutely vital, especially in these uncertain times.

It should be pointed out that online poker fans don’t just sit around in their underwear all day waiting for aces – they sit around in their underwear all day enjoying online sports betting and casinos, too… However, as study after study continues to show, in doing so the great British gambling public are doing their bit for the UK economy.

So, to those online poker fans in the UK – do your bit for your country and keep hitting those tables! And don’t forget to reward yourselves by checking out our recommended sites in order to get exclusive YourPokerDream extras!

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