New figures have been released showing an extraordinary increase on gambling revenue over the last three years in Britain. Three years ago the British population spent £7.3billion a year on gambling pursuits, last year they spent £29.6 billion. These figures do not include money spent on bingo, lottery tickets, gaming machines and in casinos.Several reasons can be cited for the dramatic rise in these figures. Firstly the abolition of betting tax saw a rise of £3 billion the same year the law was changed. In 2001, the government scrapped the 9% tax punters had to pay on bets, replacing it instead with a 15% tax payable by bookmakers on gross profits. This saw a leap in the number of bets being made, as punters took advantage of their new tax free wagers.Other factors which are thought to have contributed to the increase include the introduction of the fixed odds machines in betting shops, which have proven to be a successful move for shop operators. In line with global growth of the online gambling industry, the availability of betting exchanges and other online forms of gambling is believed to have had a huge impact on this total amount of British spending in the last couple of years. Online options and betting exchanges have proven to be extremely popular and have attracted new customers who may have been intimidated by the idea of going into betting shops, as well as providing new forms of betting to existing betters. The appeal of betting exchanges allowing people to bet against each other has now been heavily documented, and is a primary reason for the total gambling figures to rise to £18.9 billion in 2002, and this record high of £29.6 billion in 2003.