Gambling sectors

About the betting industry


What is betting?

Betting is defined by the Gambling Act 2005 as the making or accepting of a bet on the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process; the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring; or whether anything is or is not true.

What types of betting are there?

General betting licence holders are able to offer facilities for betting:

  • at premises-based bookmakers (off-course)
  • on tracks (on-course)
  • by  remote means (including online gambling).

Pool betting incorporates:

  • racecourse pool betting
  • football and other sports pool betting
  • many of the ‘fantasy football' type competitions.

Pool betting can be conducted remotely or non-remotely. Remote pool betting is conducted, for example, via an online betting site run by one of the football pools operators. Non-remote pool betting is conducted in person (for example, the Tote, which accepts pool bets on tracks and in high street betting shops).

Betting intermediaries

Betting intermediaries bring two or more parties together, but do not have liability for their bets. Betting intermediaries can be remote or non-remote.

Remote betting intermediaries, which includes betting exchanges, generally operate through the internet.

An example of a non-remote betting intermediary is a tic-tac, who normally works within a betting ring on a horse or greyhound racing track.

Spread betting

Spread betting: We do not regulate spread betting. This is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Further information about betting

More information about the betting industry is available in Gambling Industry Statistics.


Page last reviewed: April 2013

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