UK Gambling Laws Explained

Gambling Laws across the world are very crucial and important to follow if you want a successful casino both land based and online.  The Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in the UK. As from October 1, 2013 they also took over the responsibilities of the National Lottery Commission to regulate the National Lottery under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993.

Image of gavel and gambling chips

The Gambling Commission permits gambling and ensures:

  • It is crime Free
  • It is fair and open
  • Children and vulnerable le people are protected

The Gambling Commission licence operators and individuals in Great Britain that provide the following:

  • Arcades – 
    • Arcades are divided into three types:
      • adult gaming centres
      • unlicensed FEC’s (Family entertainment centres)
      • licensed FEC’s
  • Betting – 
    • betting shops
    • tracks
    • racecourse pool betting
    • football and other sports betting
    • fantasy football
  • Bingo – 
    • remote or non-remote (online and land-based)
  • Casinos – 
    • online and online poker
  • Gambling software –
    • virtual event control
    • gambling records
    • settlement
    • random number generator
    • virtual event web pages
    • bet capture and matching
  • Gaming machines – 
    • lottery terminals
    • domestic or dual use computers
    • telephones or other machines for facilitating communication
    • on a bingo premises, machines designed or adapted for the playing of bingo (including by way of prize gaming)
    • machines designed or adapted to bet on future real eventssemi-automated casino games
    • fully-automated casino games.machines designed or adapted for the playing of bingo, by way of prize gaming, where a family entertainment centre gaming machine permit or a prize gaming permit is held

An image of a a lottery ticket with ticked numbers

  • Lotteries – 
    • private lotteries (private society, work, or residents lotteries)
    •  society lotteries (which can be large or small)
    • local authority lotteries
    • customer lotteries
    • incidental non-commercial lotteries
    • the National Lottery
  • Remote gambling (online gambling, electronic communication device) –

Remote Gambling:

Remote gambling is defined by the Gambling Act 2005 as gambling in which persons participate by the use of remote communication including:

  • The internet
  • Telephone
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication.

The new bill explained:

2005 Gambling Act 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising Bill)
According to gambling legislation in the UK, If a gambling company provides physical gambling services or products on British soil, they must obtain a license from the Gambling Commission.
All gambling companies providing custom to British players must obtain a UK gaming license. If they do not, it will be an offence for ANY unlicensed companies to offer any gambling services to players whom they suspect are based in the UK.
One must apply for licenses via the Gambling Commission.Licenses are available for betting, bingo, casino games, lotteries, gambling software and gaming machines. Every type requires its own license.
Only if off-shore gambling operators hold a license from a whitelisted territory (Antigua, Barbuda, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar), they can advertise their products in Britain.
Any unlicensed operators will be prohibited from promoting their products in Britain, either on television, via sponsorship or through physical installations.
Online gambling sites in the UK are regulated by the territory from which they obtained their license. In the case of whitelisted authorities, this is done at the discretion of the Gambling Commission.
All gambling operators hoping to access the UK market must obtain a license from the Gambling Commission. They must also indicate how they are policing against players from the UK signing up.
Currently whitelisted gambling companies can apply for ‘transitional’ licenses while the process of obtaining a new, UK gaming license is underway. Companies must also pay a nominal fee to receive their transitional license.
Off-shore gambling brands are taxed at the ‘point of supply’ by the territory in which their operations are based. In Gibraltar, for instance, this is 1% on gross profits with an annual £400,000 cap.
All UK-licensed gambling companies are taxed a flat 15% on gross profits at the point of consumption.


Image of gavel and technology