Gambling didn't always have a strong presence in the United Kingdom, but over time it grew into a pretty common part of life. What began around the time of World War II has affected most areas of life in the UK today and just walking down the street in England you'll likely notice a few fruit machines and other signs of the acceptance of gambling in everyday life.
After soldiers came back from World War II bingo became a highly popular game and method of gambling amongst the population. People would gather informally to play these games and enjoy this fun aspect of gambling. It wasn't until 1960 that bingo became a more regulated game and that actual bingo halls were created through Great Britain.
After the construction of bingo halls were approved they became a bit of a club affair. It wasn't legal for organizations to take any part of the money generated through actually playing bingo. Instead the companies had to form clubs and charge fees to get into these bingo events. That meant that after paying the fees to get in the many players could freely play bingo with one another and the money collected would all be redistributed as prize money to the other players taking part. It was a fun activity that many people from the UK enjoyed.
Even before bingo halls were legalised sports betting was a major affair. People loved betting on greyhounds, race horses and football matches, but it wasn't until the legislation passed in 1960 that off-site bookmakers were a legal thing. That's when sports betting locations began to pop up more around the countries in the UK and it quickly grew into a major source of entertainment for folks around the UK.
Sports betting has had strong support in the UK for centuries.
Casinos were a thing from World War II on just like bingo, but they were typically operated on such a small scale with 10 slot games or less that they weren't a big deal in most areas. It wasn't until the Gaming Act of 1968 that casinos became the large commercial enterprises that they are known for being today. After 1968 casinos with more than 10 games and additional table games like baccarat and chemmy were also allowed into the casino. This more favourable legislation led to mid-sized casinos springing up around the country. Players would play in local casinos quite a bit smaller than most of the casinos Brits are familiar with today.
Back in 1698 a statue was passed that made the lottery illegal in the UK. This law was loosened in 1934 and some small lotteries formed. From there the laws became even more relaxed in 1956 and 1976, but a true national lottery didn't form until 1994. The government worked with Camelot group to get a national lottery in place. The first lotto numbers were drawn in 1994 and no you have a variety of lottery offerings around the UK for players to pick from.
There were simply too many restrictions on both bingo and casino games for massive casinos on the same scale as Atlantic City and Las Vegas to be built. It wasn't until after 2005 that creating casinos on such as massive scale was finally allowed and that was due to the Gambling Act of 2005. This act formed the Gambling Commission and freed up the country to produce larger casinos, though ultimately local pressure kept such massive casinos from coming to fruition. An Atlantic City-esque casino was planned for Manchester, but instead 18 smaller casinos were produced around the country.