Britons Spent Nearly $20B on Online Sports Bets in Five Years

Sports betting in the
Sports betting in the

In 2023, the gross gambling revenue in the online sports betting industry, or the total value of wagers minus payouts, will hit $43.5bn. Around 10% of that value will come from the United Kingdom, one of the oldest sports betting markets. Although the UK market saw much lower growth rates than Canada and Australia, the two fastest-growing markets in this segment, UK sports fans still spent billions of dollars on betting apps and websites in the past years.

According to data presented by, UK sports fans have spent nearly $20bn on online sports betting in the past five years.

Annual Spending on Online Sports Bets Surged 83% in Five Years; Football the Most Betted Sport

As the oldest and largest sports betting market in Europe and the third largest globally, behind Australia and the United States, the United Kingdom has seen online sports betting explode in popularity.

Over the past years, millions of British sports fans have switched brick-and-mortar betting shops for betting sites and apps, helping the entire market’s gross gambling revenue, or the total value of placed bets minus payouts, hit all-time highs.

According to Statista Market Insights, Britons spent over $2.5bn on sports betting sites and apps in 2018. Two years later, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this figure jumped to $3.11bn and continued growing. Last year, the gross gambling revenue in the UK market hit $3.84bn. Statista expects this figure to grow by roughly 10% and hit $4.21bn in 2023, showing a massive 83% increase in five years. The average revenue per user grew 43% in this period, rising from $215.9 to $309.8.

Statistics show football is the most betted sport in the country, which comes as no surprise with the UK being home to the world’s largest and highest-grossing football league. Over the past five years, Britons spent more than $5.6bn on online football betting, far more than on any other sport. Also, the annual value of placed football wagers jumped from $710 million to almost $1.2bn. Boxing and MMA follow with $2.36bn in placed bet value.

More than 13.5M Britons Use Betting Apps

The UK online sports betting market has skyrocketed over the years because this type of betting is accessible, relatively easy to start and offers a much wider range of betting options than most brick-and-mortar betting shops, which has remained the key driver behind the impressive user growth.

Statista data show around 11.6 million Britons used betting apps and websites in 2018. Since then, the market has added roughly 1.8 million new users, pushing the total user count to 13.6 million in 2023.

Statista expects the number of Britons placing bets online to grow by a further 8% and hit 14.8 million by 2027. Also, UK’s penetration rate will increase from 19.8% to 21.3% in this period.

Latest news

View all
Arrow to top