In 2006 it was reported that there were more than 370,000 compulsive gamblers in the United Kingdom. Of these, only a 5th were said to have serious gambling problems and required treatment. The rest of this group was medium gamblers, recognizing that although they could have a mild problem, can still stay away from temptations such as horse races and casinos.
Furthermore, the number of problem gamblers in the United Kingdom is still low when compared to other countries' figures. Gambling has, however, been on the rise there, especially in areas such as Internet games like roulette and poker, with growth of around forty per cent from 2005. The question is still why are there less comparable UK than US online casino players? Even when US online casino players have such strict regulations?
Under the current UK Gambling Act of 2005, which came into effect in Sept 2007, no online gaming organization is allowed to run its operations in the UK. Although, the current enforcement doesn't keep UK residents from playing online casino games. In fact, this act has led to an increase to two per cent of the overall population of United Kingdom residents having gambled on the net in some form or another. It was thought that many operators would move operations to Britain in order to be regulated when the Act came into play in Sept, but this hasn't happened.
As individual's propensity to gamble tapered down along with the economic markets in the eighties, in comparison with current gambling figures, which are in line with today's economic growth, it can be said that individuals are more tempted to gamble, when the economy is at its strongest. While many paranoid types would say that individuals gamble when they are in need of a financial boost or depressed, perhaps when the economy is slowing down, it is clear that people normally gamble when their country has more economic stability and therefore they themselves also have more disposable income. This is not always true though as gambling has always proven popular with US online casino players, even in times of recession.
Current economic growth leads to a rise in the gambling turnover of the day, which is estimated to be around 85 billion pounds in the UK. So while the Bank of England may warn that they plan to increase interest rates, the increase in amount of people gambling online is also likely to remain growing. The same is true with US online casino players.
The UK's economy is on the rise, and gaming has become more and more popular. With individuals having more income at their disposal than ever, they can now gamble more. In summary, it seems like the lax UK laws are working for the UK population and that their gambling is not out of control. It will take a while longer to see whether the strict US regulation will be able to manage US online casino players.