What’s Scotland’s Gambling Scene Like?

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Scotland Gambling

Scotland is famous for many things, including the Highlands, the Loch Ness Monster, and bagpipe music. However, its gambling scene doesn’t generally draw a lot of attention.

Assuming you’re a gambler who’s ever thought of visiting Scotland, you may wonder what betting opportunities are available here. I’m going to discuss the gambling laws in this country along with what types of wagers are available.

Scottish Gambling Laws

Scotland is part of the UK and subject to the Gambling Act of 2005. The latter lays forth the rules, guidelines, and licensing process for the nation’s land-based and online gambling market.

It also established the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC vets applicants, issues licenses, ensures fair gaming, and protects problem gamblers.

The Gambling Act allows for a wide range of legal betting in Scotland. Bingo, casino gaming, lotteries, poker, and sports betting are all available here. Licensed operators can legally advertise to Scots and other UK residents.

Anybody who wishes to bet in a land-based establishment or at a gambling site must be 18 years old. They also can’t be on any self-exclusion lists.

The Scottish Love Gambling

According to a 2017 report by the Daily Record, Scotland is the gambling capital of the UK. Over two-thirds of adults place at least one bet each year.

At the time of the research, 68% of Scots had placed a wager within the past 12 months. Meanwhile, just 52% of London residents had gambled in that time.

The UKGC carried out the study. They looked at gambling habits in Wales, Scotland, and nine regions of England.

The national UK average for gambling was 63%. This figure is 5% lower than the Scottish who’d placed bets within the yearlong timeframe.

The Scots’ love of gambling isn’t just relegated to land-based venues. They led the UK in online sports betting, with 10% of adults having gambled with internet bookmakers. The national average for online betting was 7% at the time.

Scotland

5% of adults in Scotland had played fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Only Yorkshire and east of England matched this figure.

The UKGC performed this research to try and define the biggest areas of problem gambling. Their study eventually inspired reduced stakes on FOBTs.

“We now have over 200,000 problem or at-risk gamblers in Scotland, including 43% of FOBT users,” said Matt Zarb-Cousin, a spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. “At the least, the Government must recommend a reduction in the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2 a spin.”

Scotland’s passion for gambling isn’t always a good thing when concerning problem betting. However, it can’t be denied that the Scots love gambling just as much, if not more, than any other part of the UK.

What Types of Gambling Are Available in Scotland?

The Scottish enjoy many different types of gambling. Here are the main options that are available for legal wagering.

Bingo

Bingo is more popular in the UK than any other place on the planet. Not surprisingly, bingo is also a favorite among the Scottish.

Bingo halls can be found everywhere from Glasgow to the Highlands. This game is especially popular in larger cities, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Paisley.

Scots play a form of bingo called “Housie.” It features a card with three rows and nine spaces in each row.

Only five of the spaces in each row feature numbers. Every row or line represents a different game.

The goal is to cover five numbers in a line and win that particular game. The winner of the third and final game is the player who covers all 15 spots.

Casinos

Scotland may not be bursting with land-based casinos like the UK. However, it does offer a fair number of brick and mortar of gambling establishments.

Here’s a list of the Scottish casinos that are available today:

  • Alea Casino (Glasgow)
  • Genting Casino Glasgow
  • Genting Casino York Place (Edinburgh)
  • Grosvenor Casino Aberdeen
  • Grosvenor Casino Dundee
  • Genting Club Fountain Park (Edinburgh)
  • Genting Casino Leith (Edinburgh)
  • Grosvenor Casino Maybury (Edinburgh)
  • Grosvenor Casino Merchant City (Glasgow)
  • Grosvenor Casino Riverboat (Glasgow)
  • Rainbow Casino Aberdeen
  • Soul Casino Aberdeen

Glasgow’s Alea Casino is the largest gambling establishment in Scotland. It doesn’t quite rival the biggest Vegas casinos, but it does offer a fair number of slot machines and table games.

Lottery

Scotland is part of the UK National Lottery. The National Lottery features a massive EuroMillions top prize that’s reached as much as £170.2 million in the past.

Therefore, people from Scotland have the chance to play one of the world’s biggest lotteries. They can enjoy the National Lottery’s EuroMillions game for just £2 per ticket.

This country also features local lotteries that give gamblers even more chances to earn big payouts. Local lottery prizes aren’t quite as large as those in the National Lottery, but they can still be worth playing for.

Poker

Poker is fairly popular relative to Scotland’s size. You can find several brick-and-mortar poker rooms throughout the land.

Of course, the World Series of Poker isn’t going to be running here anytime soon. But you can still look forward to plenty of poker action through Texas hold’em and Omaha tables.

Here are the available Scottish poker rooms:

  • Alea Glasgow Poker Room
  • Genting Fountain Park Cardroom
  • Genting Glasgow Poker Room
  • Grosvenor Casino Aberdeen Poker Room
  • Grosvenor Casino Dundee Poker Room
  • Grosvenor Casino Maybury Poker Room
  • Grosvenor Casino Merchant City Poker Room
  • Grosvenor Casino Riverboat Glasgow Poker Room
  • Rainbow Casino Aberdeen Poker Room

Sports Betting

Just like England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, Scotland also features a large number of betting shops. You’ll be able to find a sports gambling shop in any decent-sized city.

The UK betting industry has earned its fame through sports gambling. However, the aforementioned FOBTs are also extremely popular at betting shops.

FOBTs give you a chance to play electronic versions of roulette, slots, bingo, and virtual horseracing. Each betting shop is allowed to feature four terminals.

In 2019, lawmakers decided to reduce the maximum FOBT stakes from £100 to £2. That said, you won’t be able to play for high stakes on these games.

Esports Gambling

Esports have become very popular among bookmakers in recent years. They give you an opportunity to wager on video game competitions revolving around many popular games. For example, you can wager on the Fortnite World Cup, Dota 2 International, and League of Legends World Championship.

Most Scottish betting sites offer lines on major esports competitions and leagues. They’ll probably cover even more markets as esports betting continues growing.

Can You Win Big Jackpots in Scotland?

Scotland (pop. 5.54 million) may not be the biggest place on earth, but it does give you a chance to win life-changing amounts of money.

If you’re looking to win serious money, the best place to start is with the National Lottery, specifically EuroMillions. The latter features a prize that can climb as high as nine figures.

Scotland Casino

You can also win jackpots through slot machines in Scottish casinos. Some of these progressive prizes reach seven figures.

Certain Scottish bingo halls deliver big payouts, too. In some cases, the biggest bingo prizes can be worth up to six figures.

You also have the opportunity to play for high stakes in casino games, poker, and sports betting. The more you bet, the more you stand to win with these forms of gambling.

Do Online Gambling Sites Serve This Country?

Scotland is part of the Premier UK internet gambling market. The Scots enjoy some of the finest online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks that the world has to offer.

The UK Gambling Commission presides over the country’s internet gaming. It heavily vets any perspective operator to ensure that they meet the UKGC’s lofty standards.

As a result, this market features the best of the best when it comes to online gambling in the UK. Scots are privy to big casino deposit bonuses, countless betting markets, and many large online poker tournaments.

Scottish gamblers need only meet limited requirements to start placing online wagers. They must be at least 18 years old and have not put themselves on an exclusion list.

Conclusion

You won’t find the biggest land-based casinos or poker rooms in Scotland. Nevertheless, you’ll enjoy more than enough betting opportunities here.

Scotland features countless betting shops and FOBTs. You can place sports bets and enjoy electronic FOBT games at any local shop.

This land also offers over a dozen casinos and several poker rooms. You’ll find major lotteries and lots of legal online gambling here too.

Just like with gambling anywhere else, you always want to be mindful of your bankroll when playing in Scotland. After all, you’ll have betting opportunities around every corner here.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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