Online Gambling Regulations in the UK

The United Kingdom is an inclusive country when it comes to online and land-based gambling. UK citizens can access local and offshore entities for casino gambling, sports betting and poker. This article provides information about the legal framework of gambling in the United Kingdom, so keep reading to discover more.

Gambling laws in the UK 

The Gambling Act 2005

The GA 2005 is the standard benchmark for legal gambling in Great Britain. The law dictates the protocols for online and land-based casinos, sports betting, poker, etc. It’s also responsible for the establishment of licensing and regulatory frameworks. The gaming authority, UKGC, was born out of this law. 

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The Act was written to reform the primary legislation that divided regulatory responsibility among several governmental bodies. In this case, the law echoes the standard set by multiple other countries in that there’s one preceding decree. Also, the Act includes provisions for skill and social games. 

The National Lottery Act

This Act was passed in 1993, but minor changes have been made since. In the UK, lotteries are held to help society and not for personal gain. The UKGC regulates the National Lottery. Other lotteries must follow the rules the authority set, but it’s optional for them to have a license.

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014

The UK government passed this law to cut down licensing loopholes being taken advantage of by offshore operators. Before being implemented, remote/offshore operators were only required to obtain an English license if they had one or more pieces of remote gambling equipment in the UK. They were exempt from applying for a license if they had their equipment offshore. 

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At the end of the year 2014 in November, all remote gambling operators were to possess a license from the UKGC if they were serving residents in the UK and whether they had equipment in the UK or not. The Act also ordered operators to pay 15% of their profits as part of their licensing agreement. It’s illegal for an operator to advertise if they do not have proper licenses. 


The UK Gambling Commission is a professional gaming body established in 2005 regulating all commercial gambling enterprises in Great Britain. It’s also responsible for the regulation of the National Lottery.

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The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport sponsors the UKGC. 

Legal Forms of Gambling in the UK

There are many different legal gambling forms for players to engage in. The Gambling Act 2005 defines gambling as “gaming, betting or engaging in a lottery.” The UK Gambling Commission has divided gambling into multiple sectors to simplify its licensing procedure. The sectors include lotteries, arcades, bingo, and gaming machines. 

To sum up, the current state of gambling in the United Kingdom is quite unpredictable. Different agencies are now responsible for different aspects of the industry. Soon, there will be some reforms in terms of gambling regulations in the country. To play legally in the UK, ensure the UKGC licenses the casino.

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