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UK Gambling Laws & Regulations

UK Gambling Laws and regulations are a rigorous and intensive process. All the important points to be kept in mind before choosing an online casino is as under:

UK Gambling Laws & Regulations

Authorities and legislation

The Gambling Commission of Great Britain regulates all digital and land-based casinos as well. It regulates all types of casino games, social/skill games, betting games and lotteries. Gambling Act 2005 in English law is the main legislation regulating betting, gaming and lottery. The Gambling Act 2014 known as the “point of consumption” criminalises any entity or person that operates a land-based casino without a license. This act introduced regulation to the European market as per the UK Gambling Laws, that need a license to operate outside the jurisdiction.

LCCP is an acronym for an extensive code of practice. Following conditions are bonded with the license. Anti-money laundering, social responsibility, anti-terrorism financing, responsible advertisement, client fairness, and transparency. Gambling companies also have to adhere to regulations set by British advertising standards authority, a British industry group of responsible gambling, British consumer protection authority and British finance acts. There is extensive literature provided by the regulators about technical standards, policies, guidance and more.

License application and restrictions

The Gambling Act of 2005 gives all types of licenses to all land-based or remote gambling companies. As per the UK gambling laws, UK remote gambling companies mandatory need three British licenses – a software operation license, an operating licence and a personal license for the main individual or owner. Remote licenses are a necessity to acquire even for companies based outside the UK and who wish to provide gambling sites to Britishers as per the UK Gambling Laws. 

The Gambling Commission decides the gambling company’s license eligibility that depends on various factors such as applicant integrity, abiding all the UK Gambling Laws, disclosure of business plans, management, experience and a few more. There are also application fees and the processing duration is 16 weeks approximately. 

Licenses on commercial lotteries are not available whereas other lotteries need to have a charity dimension. National lottery betting is also not allowed. 

The operating license does not have a definite duration whereas the personal license needs to be renewed every 5 years. There is also a formal review to check the code of conduct that can result in a penalty of any kind. If the license contracts or laws are breached by the applicant at any given point of time, the license can be revoked or a huge formal fine has to be paid. 

There are no advertising restrictions on providing gambling services to customers in the UK but there is a strict age limit for residents. Only adults 18 or above have the freedom to play. There are several social responsibility regulations mentioned in the code of conduct like money laundering or providing help for players addicted to gambling.

Digital/Online/ Mobile/ Electronic media

All electronic media, digital, mobile or online gambling hosts has to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, in accordance with the UK Gambling Laws. There is no restriction on this form of gambling resulting in the availability of all types of casino games online. There are strict standard rules and regulations on the payouts and stakes and the number of machines is also limited depending on the game category. The uploading of the game functionality is regulated very carefully for the best results for the customer.

Liability and enforcement

Players are mostly liable when they are underage to access gambling sites. Casino companies are mostly liable if there are any criminal offences, license breach, unlicensed property, failing to pay taxes regularly, false promotions or inappropriate advertisement and so on. Software providers, sports books, game providers, B2B providers all need a license to operate legally in the UK. There are several enforcement actions laid out for establishments. On the basis of the strictures mentioned in the UK gambling laws, the required actions are taken as a consequence of the license’s status quo. 

Future reforms

The UK Gambling Laws include the Gambling Act 2005. This was passed to remove the stigma of gambling and establish it as a contributor to technological advancements. In the future, a few reforms might be; an increasing rate of regulatory compliance, removal of tax exemptions from free wagers, gambling advertising rules, rates of duty, and more.


Name: UK Gambling Laws & Regulations
Author: Cosmic Casino
Published Date: 24/06/2019

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