Are Online Casinos Legal in the UK?

Though there is a significant range of mistakes and legislation about online gambling in the UK still the answer to the above-said question is undoubtedly affirmative. Like retail, services, and banking today online gambling has become an important and major part of the economy of Britain. For most of the British people, online casinos have become most liked pastime due to the availability of online gambling in various forms.

The industry of online casinos UK is wonderfully controlled by the British government for the protection of its players. You can also find some of the largest and oldest bookmakers in the UK. The UK online gambling industry offers a number of advantages for the gamblers and punters. The gambling is legal in the UK for every adult over 18 years of age whereas on betting operators the government imposes some of the hardest regulations very strictly to ensure to provide a fair and safe environment to the players. Moreover, no tax is imposed on the amount of money won in online gambling.

The information provided in this write-up will help you to know the real legal position of online casinos in the UK on the basis of which punters in the UK can play games on online casinos freely and legally.

Summary of online gambling laws in the UK

  • All forms of gambling were made legal in the UK through the legislation of the 1960s
  • For playing most types of gambling the legal age is 18 years
  • Nearly all types of gambling activities are controlled by the Gambling Act of 2005 & the Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act of 2014.
  • All the gambling providers including online casinos and others will have to be licensed by the Gambling Commission of the UK.
  • In 2016, £4.5 billion was the total gross income from the online gambling sector in the UK

Periodic review of Gambling Legislation

Since many hundreds of years gambling have been the part of the life of British people, in one form or the other. For this reason, you can find legislation about gambling whenever you want but the present legal position of the gambling in the UK can be identified to have started by the mid of 19th century.

The Gaming Act of 1845

In 1845, all the commercial gambling activities, except played in the venues of horse racing, were made legal by making a Gaming act, 1845, keeping all the moral ethics of the era strictly in mind. But actually, this act was not able to discourage popular gambling activities including street gambling, etc. that were extensively popular in the UK. So to control such gambling activities various other small legislations with limited approach were passed in the following years but none of them could control those gambling activities effectively.

The Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Act of 1963

Despite passing legislation to ban gambling in the UK, it became nearly unavoidable to pass the laws to regulate and legalize gambling industry in Britain, because of the consistent popularity of gambling in this country.

For this reason, the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Act was passed in 1963 to legalize gambling in the UK. Thus, the gambling, except the games played at racecourses, was again legalized in the UK. This act was based on the reports submitted by the 2nd Royal Commission of 1849 on Lotteries and Betting.

After the passing of this law, a number of public casinos and bingo halls opened in the UK. But soon it was proved that this act was not enough to regulate the gambling industry of the UK as it was growing at a very fast speed. However, it took a very long time to replace this act.

The Gambling Act of 2005

The gambling act of 1963 was completely revised in 2005 when a Gambling Act 2005 was passed by the British legislation. The main aim of this new Gambling Act was to create a system to regulate the gambling industry of the UK adequately. It included three aims stated here under:

  • Stopping the gambling to be the source of disorder or crime, used to support disorder or crime or be linked with disorder or crime
  • To be sure that gambling is managed in an open and fair manner
  • Protecting vulnerable people as well as children from being exploited or harmed by gambling activities

The creation of the Gambling Commission of the UK was perhaps the most important effect of the act passed in 2005. Today the entire gambling industry of the UK is regulated by this Gambling Commission. For casinos and other types of gambling operations, the commission has designed new rules and implemented a framework to ensure that the rules are followed by operators of all the casinos and other gambling activities. However, according to the gambling act of 2005, it was not necessary for the casinos located overseas but allowing British punters to play to take a license from the Gambling Commission of the UK.

The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act of 2014

The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act was passed in 2014 to close the exemption of not being licensed for overseas gambling casinos. According to this act, the providers of overseas casinos not only have to take a license from the Gambling Commission of the UK but also pay the tax at the rate of 15% as paid by the casino providers based in the UK.

The Consumer Rights Act of 2015

In 2015, the Consumer Act 2015 was passed. The provisions of this act were directly focused on the online casinos serving the punter of the UK or operating in the UK. These rules were designed to be sure that fair game practices are used to operate these online casinos UK. In case they failed to comply with these rules, they can be prosecuted.

In this way, the operation of online casinos, based in the UK or overseas, have been legalized by passing various acts from time to time. In fact, gambling in any form is a very popular pastime for the British people for many centuries. So, online casinos UK could not be made illegal, in any case, for the UK punters.