Many onlookers both within and looking outside of the UK are scratching their heads as to why there is a gambling boom in the UK despite of high unemployment at and money being tight all round.

Whether it is traditional gambling, mobile gambling or online gambling the overall picture in the UK is looking good despite the gloomy economic times. This brings up the age-old question as to why people gamble?

The UK high-streets are enjoying unprecedented growth in the last two years. This is largely due to the new advanced gambling machines which are nothing like the old fruit machines we all know. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminal enable the player to play a wide variety of advanced casino games with prizes running into the thousands of pounds. These betting shops have also gained a social aspect to them as supporters are quick to point out that unlike a pub where alcohol is served, these betting shops enable social mingling without alcohol. The leaders of the high-street market are Ladbrokes and William Hill which each own more than 2,000 betting shops.

Online gambling globally has increased drastically and there are estimates that the industry is worth at least £14 billion annually according to Epiphany Solutions. In the same report it was found that over 11% of internet users have also indulged in online gambling.

In research from GamblingData, the UK online gambling market is worth in the region of £1.7 billion of which 38% is from Sports betting, 32% from Casinos and bingo and poker each making up 15%.

However the largest growth sector both in the UK and globally is without a doubt the mobile gambling sector. The smartphone and tablet industry has never been so competitive which has resulted in advanced and affordable devices for consumers. The idea of smartphones and tablets only being for the high-end income market has long being negated. Today the default choice for millions globally is the smartphone.

Probability is an excellent example of a UK based mobile only online casino site. Their exclusive mobile casino lets you lay roulette, slots,bingo and blackjack with the touch of a button.

For Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, mobile betting made up over 38% of total sports book stakes in the first 19 weeks of 2012. William Hill reported that over 19% of sports bets were through mobile betting. Ladbrokes performed even better with an impressive 37% on sports bets taking place via mobiles.

Getting back to our original question as to why people gamble even in hard times is one which will continue to keep us speculating. Many believe it is as simple as people looking for hope to get them through difficult times. It is this basic concept that continues to enable people to get through difficult times throughout history. With daily stories of lottery jackpot winners it comes as no surprise that many believe that they could be the next average Joe who changes their destiny with just a couple of pounds.