How Many People Does The UK Gambling Industry Employ And Where?

William Hill ShopThe gambling industry involves a myriad of different jobs. Some people are employed directly and obviously, such as those that work in betting shops, whilst others work in the world of gambling in a more tangential manner. It is unlikely that manner people will know about the nature of affiliate marketeers, for example, or the people that write content for them. At the same time, a marketing executive working directly for a gambling company will be much better paid and lead a more interesting life.

The oft-touted figure for the gambling industry is around 100,000 people, but quite how true this is is difficult to identify. On top of that, which sector people work in is also somewhat unclear, not least of all because there will often be a crossover. A company like William Hill, for example, will employ people that work both online and offline, thanks to the business’ empire covering both aspects of the industry. When the world changes thanks to global events, such as the pandemic in 2019, the gambling industry responds and exact employment figures become hard to get.

How Things Looked In March Of 2019

Sector Number Of Employees
Betting 50,065
Bingo 11,826
Casinos 13,129
Arcades 10,229
Gaming Machine Technicians 6,468
Remote Gambling 9,878
Lotteries 1,037

Though it is virtually impossible to give exact employment figures at any one time, with shops shutting and other sectors opening on an almost daily basis, we can look to some statistics from the end of March 2019 to give us a sense of how things were prior to the world shifting on its axis.

The table above at the different sectors of the gambling industry then and the number of people employed in each.

You can see from these figures that betting was far and away the biggest sector of the gambling industry back in 2019. Indeed, it was just shy of 50% of the 102,632 people that were employed in these part of the gambling industry at the time.

When you consider the fact that most gambling enterprises employ fewer than 50 people, that shows you just how many such companies exist. There are about 95 companies that employ more than 50 people, with only around 35 that had in excess of 250 employees according to the VAT and PAYE figures for 2021.

Employment Figures

trader analysing marketsThe reality of the gambling industry is that it is all-encompassing. There are countless jobs that obviously fall under the jurisdiction of being employed within the betting and gaming sector. Someone that works in a betting shop, for example, or a croupier in a casino would clearly and easily be identified as working in the industry. What about someone who works for a company that makes a gambling advert? They are, say, the accountant of the company and had no direct role to play in the making of the advert, but wages they receive will be thanks to it.

As a result, it helps in our understanding of the gambling industry to take a look at some of the jobs that come under the banner headline of being betting-related positions. It goes without saying that these positions are far from exhaustive. It is just to give you a sense of the sport of role that is important in the gambling industry but that you might not have thought about in the past.

Risk Management

One of the best places to starts is by looking at the career of risk management. Whether you’re looking at betting shops or websites that offer sportsbooks, you still need someone to take on the job of assessing the risk that the company is exposing itself to. Risk managers tend to begin life earning around £60,000 per annum, with chief risk managers seeing that more than double to around £150,000. Though it might seem as though the data does everything, there is an art to risk management that makes it an important role.

Data Scientists

Often working in conjunction with risk managers, data scientists are the ones that compile the data that explains what people are betting on and what other companies in the gambling industry are doing. The more customers a company has, the more data there is to be collated and analysed, meaning that the role can be in high demand. As a result, they can earn anywhere between £45,000 a year and £160,000. This is a crucial role within the gambling industry, even if most people will barely think about it being a part of the sector.

Software Engineering

Someone might head off to university to study computer science with no real sense of where their career will take them, only to end up working for a gambling company. That is because they are the ones that will be responsible for putting together betting apps, writing new programs for a gambling product or integrating the third-party systems that a site uses. Though lower-level software engineers are likely to be on about £45,000 a year, the senior ones can earn up to as much as £250,000 a year, which young nerds considering a future career might want to consider.

Content Creators

One of the best ways of getting people to visit your site is by offering top-notch content. This can range from blogs to reviews via YouTube videos and audio content. Depending on the company that content creators work for, they could earn up to as much as £55,000 per annum, but often the people that they work for aren’t that generous and so they tend to work for peanuts. Much of the work of a content creator goes unnoticed, so many people won’t even realise that it is a job that they could do and tend to merely stumble into it.


The people that tend to use the content that has been created by the content creators are those that work in the marketing department of a company. Whether it be creating the look and image of a betting site or coming up with clever marketing campaigns that will garner headlines, marketing departments are key to winning the way for the attention of the customers. They will usually start off earning about £40,000 a year, though this can double if they manage to make it up the greasy pole to become a marketing manager.

Gambling Commission Employees

It might sound obvious, but the United Kingdom Gambling Commission is an important part of the betting industry. Though the UKGC is constantly under threat from different angles, there is certainly an argument that it is a more stable job than working directly with a gambling company. The country’s governing body offers a number of solid benefits for workers, in addition to critical experience that might help with future roles. Lower level employees can expect to earn between £30,000 and £40,000 per annum.

Betting Shops

Those obvious examples of people that work in betting shops being related to the gambling industry are worth mentioning here. The truth is that this is not considered to be particularly skilled labour, so an average worker will make in the region of £10,000 to £14,000 per year. If they progress to become a manager then this can get up to closer to £30,000, depending on where in the country they’re working and the company that they work for. Regardless, it is definitely considered to be on the lower scale of employment opportunities.

Casino Workers

Another obvious sector to look at is people that work for casinos. Whether it be croupiers or pit bosses, there is a necessity to find people that can work in the brink and mortar locations up and down the country. Again, these are not considered to be overly skilled workers, so new dealers will earn about £12,000 raising to £15,000 as the gain more experience. They can also earn a fair few grand in tips across the year, too. Gaining more experience might lead to a better paid job in a more managerial position over time, too.

Where People Work

rock of gibraltarThe locations that people tend to find work will depend largely on what sector of the gambling industry they work in. Obviously those that work in casinos and betting shops will be spread around the country and they tend to be employed from the local region. The same is not true for those that work in the head offices of gambling companies, many of whom are working in areas such as Gibraltar. The difference will also be seen in their wages, not only because less skilled workers will be paid less money but they’ll also be taxed differently depending on where they live.

Quality of life will also differ, as you’d expect in a situation where people are paid different amounts of money. Yet where you live can also be a contributing factor on that front, given that living in a warm location can be better for the soul than living somewhere like London. Ultimately, the gambling industry is one that is spread throughout the world, with pockets of large employment numbers where the biggest companies are based. With different job opportunities promising a range of wages, it is perhaps no surprise that it is a competitive one.