If you want to try gambling in the UK, it’s important to understand the local laws and how they affect your gaming activities. Understanding the rules can help you avoid breaking the law and enjoy your gambling experience.

Is Gambling Illegal in the UK?

Is gambling illegal for those in the UK? No, but just like anywhere else in the world, there are forms of illegal gambling.

The Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 allowed UK residents to legally gamble, although the rules were restrictive. In 2005, the law was amended to loosen the rules and allow players to bet on a wider range of games.

Gambling Laws UK

It’s important to understand UK gambling laws and how they affect you before you start gaming. Gambling laws will affect how and where you play.

A Brief History of Gambling Law in the UK

The Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 allowed commercial casinos for the first time and laid the foundation for present day gambling laws.
Since then, the Gambling Act has been updated and amended to include rules for online and remote gambling.

The Gambling Act 2005 updated laws to cover online casinos and gambling, which had become big business. New rules were established to ensure fairness, prevent criminal activity, and protect children and vulnerable adults from gambling addiction. The act also established the UK Gambling Commission.

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 imposed new rules to address remote gambling. Prior to this act, international gambling operators could advertise to and provide their gaming services to UK players if they were in one of the whitelisted jurisdictions or the European Economic Area (EEA). The 2014 amendment made it so that operators had to hold licenses from the UK Gambling Commission to operate or advertise to UK residents. A gambling duty of 15% would also be applied to gross gambling profits from residents.

Whitelisted jurisdictions include:

These jurisdictions have strict licensing requirements for gambling operators, so the UK Gambling Commission allows them to accept bets from UK customers.

Gambling Age UK

One of the first things to know is the legal gambling age in UK. The laws and regulations in the gaming industry are designed to protect young children and adults who are vulnerable to gambling addiction.

To protect these two groups of people, there is a legal minimum age for gambling and a self-exclusion option to help adults who are struggling with gambling addiction.

So, what is the casino age limit for UK residents? At present, the legal gambling age is 18 for both online and live gaming. The only exceptions to this rule are football pools and lotteries. In these cases, the minimum age for betting is 16 in the UK.

All gaming establishments are required to verify that players are the minimum gambling age. A copy of your ID should suffice as proof of your age, but in some cases, other supporting documents are required.

Who Regulates Gambling in the UK?

The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for gambling regulations. The commission was established in 2015 as part of the Gambling Act 2015. They act as an independent body and are funded by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The commission oversees all gambling regulation, including lotteries, casinos, remote gambling, betting, arcades, gaming machines, bingo, betting and gambling software.

Speed betting is the only form of betting that is not regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This form of betting is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The UK’s gambling industry is one of the most tightly regulated in the world, but it’s also quite open. Players have enormous freedom in where they play, with so many secure providers available.

Operators must obtain a license to legally operate the following:

Casinos

All casino operators must be licensed and regulated, whether they are online or have a physical location. Land-based casinos can only operate in certain areas and may only offer certain types of games to players.

Gaming Machines

Facilities must have a license to operate fruit machines, slot machines and betting terminals in the UK. In order to stay licensed, operators must meet certain conditions, including return to player percentage (RTP) and the odds of each game.

Arcades

Certain types of arcades must have a gambling license from the Gambling Commision in order to operate legally:

Betting

Most types of real betting services require a license in the UK, including:

Licenses from the UK Gambling Commission help ensure that these services are both safe and fair.

Difference Between Gambler and Operator Laws

Laws for gambling in the UK aren’t as complicated as they may seem. For gamblers and operators, there are a few basic rules:

Gamblers don’t:

Gambling operators must:

What are the Penalties for Breaking Gambling Laws?

The UK has stiff penalties for violating its gambling laws.

The following offences have penalties of 51 weeks imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine.

Underage gambling comes with a £1,000 fine.

Gambling in the UK is both legal and fun – as long as you follow the rules. Gamblers don’t have much to worry about, as you don’t pay taxes on your winnings. However, gambling operators must follow a list of regulations in order to operate legally in the country.

About author

Author
Harry Burth
Digital Marketing Manager, Blog editor
Experience:3 years

Harry is a long-time member of our team and has been working with CasinoHEX UK for a number of years.

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Author
Harry Burth
Digital Marketing Manager, Blog editor
Experience:3 years

Harry is a long-time member of our team and has been working with CasinoHEX UK for a number of years.

Reviewer
Harry Burth
Digital Marketing Manager, Blog editor
Experience:3 years

Harry is a long-time member of our team and has been working with CasinoHEX UK for a number of years.