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The difference between Wales and England gambling markets

Gambling is a prominent activity in the United Kingdom, and you’d think that everything that happens within the niche is the same on every island due to similar laws and regulations. But as you probably figured from the article title – that is not so. And although there are some differences in the gambling market between Wales and England, both must operate under the UK Gambling Commission, and hold casinos to similar standards in many ways. So what are the dissimilarities? 

Let’s start with this – we’re talking about both, online casinos and brick-and-mortar facilities. And if you’re unfamiliar with the online gambling world, check out the best UK online casino sites. Casinority does a wonderful job at rating available sites, and it will give you some insight on how much contributing igambling has in the online casino market. It’s currently contributing over £5 billion to the overall gambling market revenue of £14.5 billion in the United Kingdom, the majority of which comes from England. 

Online gambling vs brick-and-mortar casinos

Before discussing the differences in the gambling industry, note that the laws for traditional casinos came into play much earlier than any regulations regarding online gambling. Physical casinos have been around since the 16th century, although specific laws didn’t come into play until 1694. And it wasn’t until the early 2000s that laws surrounding online gambling started falling into place. So accomplishments in the gambling market stream from various forms of gambling entertainment. Wales and England pushed various types of casino activities at different times, thus causing the market to fluctuate on completely different waves.

Gambling market: Wales vs England

First and foremost, mind that the population in Wales vs England is completely different in numbers. England hosts about 56.29 million people, while Wales is only at 3.15 million. It’s important to consider when touching on the subject of the gambling industry.  Although the number of people in Wales is significantly smaller, over 50% of the entire population have been reported to gamble, while the reported number for England residents is just a hair less. That should give you an idea of how high the demand for gambling is for both regions.

Sports Betting is an entirely different topic in Wales versus in England. Although Association football is considered the most popular sport in both, Wales is known for an insane passion for Rugby. And England’s second most popular sports are Cricket and Tennis. Horse racing also happens to be on England’s top list of Sports Betting types.  Therefore, online casino sports books, as well as physical facilities for Sports Betting offer their own variations of gambling entertainment depending on the region and the demand of the sports’ fans.

Language differences served as a mild roadblock when it came to the gambling industry in Wales.  Although most Welsh residents speak English, the main language is Welsh, and many players are displeased by the lack of online casinos that offer services in their native language. Not that it’s a significant issue – as most residents are quite adapted to navigating online sites in English, but it’s a problem that hits close to home more than anything else. So now the difference is that the igambling market is shifting its focus to implementing Welsh into new, as well as existing casino sites, while players in England carry on enjoying web gambling unbothered by the matter.

Although the gambling laws in the UK affected each region in a similar matter, Wales saw its first legal casino in 1961. That’s only 1 year after gambling became legal! George Alfred James launched a casino called Club Port, and offered casino lovers a facility that continued operating for 50 years before it shut down. And although England didn’t get to claim this accomplishment, London became the first place in the UK to experience the wonders of an online casino site. William Hill was responsible for launching a Sports Themed casino in 1998.


All in all, the gambling industry is flourishing in both – Wales and England. It seems as though Wales is more intertwined with gambling activities as a whole, as we see more gambling addiction issues there. The market for online gambling is moving at a steady pace in both places  and the only differences are found in the type of content that is being offered and promoted across both regions. Due to the pandemic, we also see a slight decline in the revenue in land-based facilities in Wales, as well as England. Although of course, England has a larger revenue number wise despite the decrease of brick-and-mortar gambling in the UK.