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The iGaming Market Differences between UK and US


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While gambling is undoubtedly a favorite pastime in the United Kingdom and the United States, there are significant differences between both markets. A set of established laws and regulations strictly governs the gambling industry in the United Kingdom. In the United States, gambling is significantly less regulated at the federal level; instead, each state has its own rules.

The iGaming’s growth in the US has been massive, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to the online gambling market in the UK, which has been regulated for years. In this write-up, we shall explore how both systems work, the regulatory bodies, and the benefits and downsides of each one. We shall also look at why fully regulated gambling markets aren’t exactly the best.

Why Fully Regulated Markets Can’t Work

Gambling regulations exist to curb crime and prevent players from becoming addicted to the activity. As a result, countries set up bodies to regulate the operations of online casinos and other gambling sites. These bodies ensure that whatever gambling platform offers services meet specific requirements that will make players gamble responsibly.

While these laws are made for a good reason, with some states in the US even banning gambling outright, a fully regulated market has created black markets. In other words, there are now many online casinos that operate illegally. These sites are not regulated even in states where gambling is legal, but there’s an influx of players to these platforms.

Why? Players are looking for diversity in entertainment, and a fully regulated market doesn’t provide it for them. For instance, sites controlled by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission have fewer games and promotions than offshore online casinos, and this is enough to drive players to those sites.

According to a significant report by PWC published in 2021, the number of British players using unregulated sites increased from 220,000 to 460,000 in just two years. The study also found that during the same time frame, bets on the black market soared from £1.4 billion to £2.8 billion.

How UK iGaming System Works

Non-Gamstop casinos such as those listed at have become quite popular in the UK due to many reasons. However, before delving into what fun offerings these gambling sites have, let’s explore the iGaming market in the United Kingdom.

The Gambling Act of 2005 is responsible for creating the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. This commission must approve every kind of commercial gambling, lottery, and bingo played in the United Kingdom. In other words, the UK Gambling Commission regulates gambling in physical and virtual casinos throughout the country.

The commission’s primary responsibility is to monitor compliance with three sections of the Gambling Act of 2005.

  • Reducing the likelihood that gambling will lead to criminal activity, contribute to social unrest, or be used by fraudsters.
  • Making sure that players enjoy a fair gaming experience.
  • Preventing gambling-related harm and exploitation, especially to minors and vulnerable people.

Since the establishment of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, online gambling in the UK has experienced consistent growth. As of 2021, there were supposedly more than 2,000 gambling companies serving the UK market.

However, the UK’s restrictions on the internet gambling are somewhat of a double-edged sword for businesses operating in the industry. While it aims for safe gaming, it limits what these sites offer. Slot games are played without sounds, bonuses are limited, players can use only fiat money for online gambling, there is a long KYC process, and there are many other restrictions.

That’s why players opt for non-UK casinos. These sites are not necessarily unlicensed; they are not just regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, so they have fewer restrictions. You have more games at your disposal and better bonuses, and you can even use cryptocurrency to gamble on some of these sites.

How US iGaming System Works

The framework of the online casino gambling industry in the US is totally different from that of the United Kingdom. Most types of online gambling are neither expressly permitted nor prohibited by federal law, but there is a patchwork of state rules and regulations. Since each state can set its own internet gambling regulations, each one now has its own system.

Some jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, allow almost all commercial types of gaming, including online casinos. Others, like Hawaii and Utah, forbid all forms of gambling. Currently, online casino gaming is illegal in 44 US states and permitted only in six jurisdictions: Delaware, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Unlike the UK, where there are many offshore sites, US law enforcement agencies can penalize violators who operate without a local license issued only in these six states. The unfavorable legislative framework discourages many operators from offering services to players in the States. Likewise, many game suppliers avoid the U.S. market. As a result, even online casinos that cater to the US market have very limited slots since they work with only a few developers.

Players in the United States don’t limit themselves from enjoying casino gambling to the fullest because of these regulations. They seek offshore platforms that accept US players and are well-stocked with offerings that are absent in US-licensed online casinos. Some punters have even opted for a VPN to hide their original location when accessing offshore gambling sites.

Final Thoughts: The Future of iGaming in the UK and the US

We have covered the respective regulations guiding the iGaming market in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The online casino industry in the UK is thriving. However, the limited offerings have pushed players to the black market, where they can find more fun gaming options. On the bright side, the regulatory bodies are looking to adjust and balance their gambling rules to suit modern-day punters.

On the other hand, the casino gambling industry in the US is still in its infancy. 44 states have banned it, and the six states where it is regulated have limited offerings. Given the widespread nature of online casinos, there’s a good chance that many other states in the US will amend their laws to accommodate online casino gambling.

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