UK Gambling Laws

Law BookThe United Kingdom hosts a variety of gambling platforms including casinos, poker and sports betting. UK residents can find both physical and online venues for their favorite gambling entertainment. From a legal standpoint, the country is one of the most pro-gambling in the world. That being said, there are still laws to adhere to when participating in legal online gambling in the UK. This page was created specifically to inform players on how they can legally gamble in Great Britain. There is also information about the governing body on gambling and how they affect the industry. Informing yourself on the present laws in the United Kingdom will keep you within your legal confines as responsible punters.

Laws For Land-Based Gambling In Great Britain

Per the Gambling Act of 2005, any gambling facility is allowed to operate if they have the necessary licensing and regulation from the UK Gambling Commission. UK residents have a wide range of options when it comes to land-based gambling. You can find land-based casinos, poker rooms and sports betting facilities. There are strict conditions that these gambling venues must abide by, but these are more a concern of the gambling providers and not the individual players/bettors who use them.

UK Online Gambling Laws And Regulations

The next section provides insight regarding the laws covering the online side of UK gambling. There are two major laws to consider—the Gambling Act of 2005 and the 2014 Gambling Bill. Together these laws make up the online gambling jurisdiction in Great Britain.

Gambling Act of 2005

The Gambling Act of 2005 has been the standing law on gambling in the UK for some time now. The law aimed to clean up the industry from being a criminal enterprise to a more regulated and legitimate one. The law also calls for gambling to be conducted with fair play and requires compliance certifications. Persons under the legal gambling age are not permitted to do so under the Gambling Act of 2005. The UK Gambling Commission spawned out of this law and is still the governing body within the industry. The law includes all forms of gambling including casinos, poker and sports betting. There are both land-based and online casinos that service British players throughout the country. Residents are permitted to use offshore gambling providers so long as they have the proper legal licensing and regulatory oversight deemed mandatory by the UK Gambling Commission. Any online site with a license from the gambling commission is free to advertise and provide gambling services to UK residents.

2014 Gambling Bill

In 2014, a bill was circulated that essentially acted as an expansion on the Gambling Act of 2005. This law raised the standards that online gambling providers have to abide by in order to conduct business in the United Kingdom. The revision calls for any online gambling provider to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission if they want to advertise to British players. The law also establishes a 15% flat tax rate on any gross revenue accrued from online gambling providers in addition to the licensing fees already in place. This revision is aimed more at the big-name online gambling providers than individual bettors. If anything, the revision is an improvement for UK online gambling because it weeded out providers that can’t keep up with the stringent conditions laid out by the law, leaving room for only legitimate gambling services.

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014

UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating any and all gambling businesses providing services to the Great Britain area. In providing licenses, the UK Gambling Commission aims to prevent any criminal activity from taking place within the gambling industry, ensure fair play and protect those who under the legal age of 18 from gambling practices. They are also responsible for regulating the National Lottery.

The UK Gambling Commission is sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and they are funded by the companies they license (through licensing fees). They license gambling operations that provide options for arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, lotteries, remote gambling (online/mobile) and other gambling software. In mediating compliance amongst licensees, the UK Gambling Commission conducts reviews and visits. They advise license holders on the proper ways of maintaining their business and will take preventative actions in light of any illicit activities. Reviewing financial information is another significant part of their regulatory oversight and keeps licensees in check. Lastly, the UK Gambling Commission works closely with the DCMS and Responsible Gambling Strategy Board to combat problem gambling.

FAQ's

Do Online Gambling Sites Accept GBP As Currency?

Yes. Sites offering their gambling services to UK residents accept the British pound as a viable form of currency without any conversion fees.

Does The Gambling Act of 2005 Account For All Forms Of Gambling?

Yes—at least the mainstream ones. This law includes casinos, poker and sports betting. UK residents are fortunate enough to have access to both land-based and online options for gambling entertainment.

How Do I Know If The Site I’m Using Is Licensed?

Reputable online gambling brands will have their licensing information readily available for bettors to find. Our team of industry professionals have compiled a list of online gambling providers that meet the requirements set out by the UK Gambling Commission. These sites also have strong security profiles that keep your information safe, banking suites that accept GBP, additional features like live/mobile betting (for sports), bonus incentives and more. You can also search the UK Gambling Commission's website to find out whether or not a site is legally licensed in the United Kingdom.