Legal UK Gambling sites & Guide To Gambling Laws

One of the most influential periods of the law in the U.K for both online and offline gaming establishments was in 1994. The initial form of online gambling was introduced by Microgaming even though the first casino was only launched around 2 years later. Furthermore, the UK National Lottery was introduced which is believed to have familiarised one of the biggest mainstream social activities in the UK. These new additions to the gambling industry sparked the first of many regulations and laws, of which Barbuda and Antigua announced the foremost laws followed by the better acknowledged formations such as Alderney and Gibraltar a few years later.

Therefore, the gambling laws and licenses remain far younger than the extensive majority of professionals involved with the development of the licenses and legal framework, effortlessly explaining the vast changes and developments within the industry.

You will find a large number of gambling sites can be accessed from within Great Britain, and whilst there is a legal framework within Great Britain which is always being reviewed and updated when necessary, to take into account new technical advancements such as mobile gambling there are both UK licensed and unlicensed sites available.

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To legally advertise a gambling sites whether a bingo, poker, betting or online casino in the UK the operating or own of that sites needs to have applied for and have been granted a UK Gambling Commission issued Remote Gaming Permit.

Recent UK Gambling Law Adjustments

Prior to 2005, many of the gambling laws and regulations were held by the Gambling Board of Great Britain, but in 2005 the UK Gambling Commission was established, taking full control just 2 years later. The Gambling Board’s responsibilities were reserved by the Gambling Commission who also took full obligation for online gaming within England.

Preceding November 2014, online gambling establishments were only allowed to market in the UK if a license that meets UK Gambling Commission regulations was obtained. Therefore, to provide online gambling to the UK, casinos required licenses from the UK Gambling Commission itself, the EU (Malta included), Alderney, Isle of Man, Barbuda, Antigua, or Gibraltar.

In November 2014, the UK Gambling Commission brought all the regulations onshore, thus requiring gambling establishments to obtain a license from the UK to operate within the country. The Spring of 2016 demonstrated the robust effects set out by the UK Gambling Commission’s rules and regulations set out for gambling sites operational in the UK. Furthermore, in December 2015, the UK also included tax law to all forms of gambling, applied to the point of consumption for all players within the UK. Therefore, establishments in the UK pay tax on earning from UK players and even gambling sites located elsewhere around the world who accept UK players are obligated to adhere to these tax laws of 15%.

Since the new law was established, the UK gambling market saw many establishments limit their marketing or withdrawal from the market all together while other off-shore formations strived to remain part of the lucrative market, but went through various pains to reach requirements.

How New Laws Affect Players

Many of the changes made to UK gambling law was established to provide a safer and better controlled gambling environment for players. The limitations applied to casino establishments have ensured secure and responsible gambling that’s regulated onshore by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission). Below, are the key affects these changes will have on your gaming experience as a player.

Licensing

Gambling establishments licensed by the UKGC providers the end users with a safer gaming environment that’s agreed to the rules and regulations set out by the commission. Therefore, these casinos have agreed to random testing that ensures responsible gambling and fairness on all games. In addition, members of the UK can report any issues to the UKGC regarding any sites that have been licensed by them.

Any site that does not hold such a permit is not permitted to advertise to UK residents and citizens, and should you play at such a site then you will not have the added protection offered by the UK Gambling Commission, nor will you have anywhere to turn if you run into any kind of problems with such a site.

Regulation

All sites with a license agreement from the UKGC are regulated for fair gaming and tested at random as mentioned above. Establishments that have tampered with payout rates or any other forms of software to increase gains for the casinos are subject to fines, complete revocation of their license, and further legal action. Testing of regulation is carried out at complete random by third party auditors who report back to the UKGC.

Safety

In aggregation with law changes, the UKGC have increased required security measures on all gambling sites operational within the UK. Therefore, higher levels of security are required on firewalls, payment methods, player security, and other measures set out by the commission.

What the New UK Gambling Laws Mean To You

With the 2014 bill, the UK government intended to provide a safer and more secure gambling environment by ensuring licensed companies that are tested and regulated. While limiting the amount of disreputable casino sites, the law also ensured off-shore establishments comply with the level of security and fair gaming.

On the other hand, dissenters claimed the new act is unfairly aimed towards the gambling segment due to the added tax. The concern of black market casinos was also raised, but with few methods available for gambling companies to force customers to accept the added tax burden, players obviously prefer to join a regulated online casino instead of risking unfair gaming at black market casinos. Therefore, online casinos operating in the UK carry the additional tax for all UK-based players.

With the initial involvement of the new law, the future of the biggest gambling market was questioned as gambling establishments feared for their ability to provide gaming to the UK. However, in 2015, the effects of the new bill have shown mercy compared to what gambling companies expected. The majority of major and minor gambling establishments simply applied for the license, adjusted their services, security, and responsible gambling as needed and received their license. In addition, all these companies were required to adjust their financial forecast due to the added tax requirement. Casino establishments that didn’t meet the regulations haven’t received a license and are consequently removed.

Today, the UK market is rated as one of the most respected and trusted gambling regions worldwide while remaining one of the most lucrative and desired for gambling companies. For players, much safer online and land-based gambling institutions are presented and the UK Gambling Commission has much greater control on the level of fairness and security.

As for revenue, a total of £4.5 billion has been recorded per annum, which was posted in November 2016. Compared to revenue prior to the new laws, the UK experienced more than double the amount of revenue. Many believe it’s due to the promise of fair and secure gambling opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

To give you as much additional information as we possibly can, below you will find a range of questions often asked by UK based gamblers who are looking to or who have already started gambling online. Below each question is the most relevant answer and further down this guide we have links to additional information packed guide on the more specific type of gambling laws surrounding certain types of gambling sites should you be looking for additional information.

What is the UK minimum legal age to gamble?

Are gambling winnings taxable in the UK?

What does KYC mean?

What happens if I wish to complain about a gambling site?

Can I play casino games for free?

Do gambling sites get taxed in the UK?

Why are lots of TV shows sponsored by bingo sites?

How do I know gambling sites are fair?

Can I really win big gambling online?

Where should I turn if I have a gambling problem

Gambling Site Specific UK Laws and Regulations

If you are interested in learning about the more specific and individual laws and regulations that apply to certain type of gambling sites, then below is an overview of some additional sections of this website that will give you lots of information on those types of gambling sites and the strict set of rules, laws and regulations they must adhere to if they are promoted to UK based players and gamblers.

Legal UK Online Poker Sites – This section of this website takes a look at poker sites and how they are licensed and regulated from within the UK, we will also give you the answers to a wide range of questions that you may have about playing poker legally online.

Legal UK Online Casino Sites – You will find you may have a lot of questions reading online casino sites that are available to UK players, and if so do checkout this section of the website, as it will enlighten you on where to access completely fair and legal casino games from anywhere within Great Britain and also has lots of answers to questions you may have about playing any type of casino games online.

Legal UK Online Bingo Sites – There are lots of UK facing online Bingo sites available, however each of them have to comply with UK law if they wish to legally operate in the UK, with this in mind do take a look at this gambling site specific guide as by doing so you will find the answers to a lot of online bingo related questions.

Legal UK Online Betting Sites – Betting sites are as strictly regulated as all other gambling sites in the UK, and we have a section dedicated to this category and type of gambling sites.