British Pound Casinos

British Pound

The British Pound is the official currency of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and various British territories. It is the fourth most traded currency in the world, behind the US dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen. It has the ISO code GBP and the currency symbol ‘£’. The name of the currency is actually ‘pound sterling’, although the sterling suffix is typically dropped.

The ‘£’ symbol is actually a stylised capital ‘L’ with a line through it to denote currency. The ‘L’ was originally the abbreviation for a pound weight (now ‘lb’) which derived from the latin ‘libra’ which was a unit of weight around the time of the Roman Empire. The pound because an English unit of weight, and the currency pound was named after this unit of weight as it was originally worth one tower pound of silver.

Since decimalisation in the early 1970s, one pound has been sub-divided into one hundred pennies. Prior to that, the British had a complicated system of monetary values, where one pound was sub-divided into twenty shillings, and one shilling further subdivided into twelve pennies.

British Pound history

The pound has existed in Britain since Anglo-Saxon times. A system was adopted where four farthings made one penny, twelve pennies made one shilling, and twenty shillings made one pound. This system continued when the Bank of England and the Bank of Scotland were founded in the late 17th century. Both banks began to issue paper money, and continued to do so as Great Britain was formed in 1707, and the United Kingdom in 1801.

The UK continued using “pounds, shillings and pence” (written as “£ s/d” where d was the abbreviation for pence, from the Latin ‘denarius’) until the late 1960s. Other coins that were circulated were the halfpenny, the “tuppence” (2p), the “thrupp’ny bit” (3p), the “tanner” (6p), the “bob” (1/-), the “florin” (2/-), the half crown (2/6), the crown (5/-), the half sovereign (10/-) and the sovereign (£1).

Despite a great amount of public disapproval, the existing monetary system was replaced by a decimalised system in the UK in the early 1970s. The pound was to be divided into one hundred pennies, with 50p, 10p, 5p, 2p, 1p and 1/2p coins. The old money was phased out over the next decade, although it could still be used, with a shilling being worth 5 ‘new pence’, and a sixpence 2 1/2p. In the UK, 15 February 1971 became known as ‘decimal day’ as it this was the day that the currency was switched. The main reason for decimalisation was that advances in computers meant they could be used for financial transactions, and a decimalised currency system was much less complicated to program than the current one.

The old halfpenny was withdrawn in 1969, and the half-crown at the end of the year. Shillings and florins remained in circulation until the early 1990s, and when new smaller versions of the 10p and the 5p were introduced. The new halfpenny only lasted 13 years before being withdrawn. A 20p coin was introduced in 1982, a £1 coin in 1983 and a £2 coin in 1997.

In 2008 the designs on all coins were changed. When the six coins worth less than £1 are now positioned in a certain way, they together make the shield design found on the £1 coin.

British Pound today

Today one British pound is worth around $1.60, and one US dollar is worth around 60p.

The British pound is the second most popular currency used at online casinos, after the US dollar. Players who use financial accounts in GBP will have no problem in funding their gambling accounts, or playing casino games using pound sterling.

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