Sports betting has a long history in the United Kingdom. For many decades it was strictly controlled but in recent years laws regarding gambling on sport have been relaxed. A Government Act of 1960 legalised off-course bookmaking, which led to the opening of betting offices where customers could place cash bets on horse racing and many other sports.
There is a substantial market in Britain for betting on sport. Initially horse racing was the main betting sport but now more is wagered on soccer than any other sport. It is still possible to bet on soccer matches through The Pools.
One of the main developments in betting legislation in Britain was the introduction of the National Lottery in 1993. This led to a more significant gambling culture and saw increased levels of interest in traditional sports betting through bookmakers.
Even though since the start of the 1990s there has been a massive growth in sports betting, wagering on sports has always been a popular pastime in the UK. Certain events and circumstances fostered more interest in this activity and the industry looks set to continue to grow with more events shown live on television, creating more betting opportunities.