Gambling Regulation - UK Laws

gambling regulation

The United Kingdom is a jurisdiction where the gambling industry is pretty developed. Great Britain strengthens its economy with the help of gambling which includes national lottery and raffles. Virtual casinos and software suppliers also thrive within the jurisdiction of the UK. At least it was so until the latest news concerning a ban on real money casino transactions. The state of gambling changes and we shall discover what is actually going on right now.

UK Banks to Cancel Casino Transactions

The initiative touched the UK banks, which had to cancel all the credit card operations related to gambling. The initiative was aimed to fight problem gambling. However, still, there have not been any steps made towards this decision. The banks continue operating transactions to gaming websites.

Legality of Gambling in the UK

UK gambling as recreational activity was legalized in the 1960s. Any person, who is 18 or older, can take part in gambling activities. At that time, the very first bingo halls and lotteries started to open. Online casinos and virtual gaming were officially legalized in 2005 with the Gambling Act of 2005.

This allowed even more space and opportunities for the gaming business for British and offshore casino operators.

The UK Gambling Commission

This well-known regulatory body was established in 2007 to monitor and regulate the gambling business within the UK. It is responsible for any kind of remote gaming, including online casino sites.

Its main objectives are to:

  • To keep the betting world safe and secure.
  • License gaming software providers and online betting websites.
  • Fine software suppliers or casino operators in the case they violate the law.
  • Monitor the social aspect of online gambling and problem gambling awareness.

In 2014, the UKGC powers were enlarged. Since 2014, all the offshore gambling establishments, offering products and services to British people, must obtain the license from the UKGC.

Casinos and Casino Software Regulations

Casino license is an obligatory condition for every software supplier or operator. It not only ensures lawful business activity but also public trust.

UKGC is considered one of the best licensees in the industry. This is due to the strict criteria and responsible approach. To be eligible for consideration, a gambling establishment has to provide the following information:

  • Clearly identify the casino owner and structure.
  • Reveal the detailed financial history of the casino and its owners.
  • Provide information related to any criminal record of the people ruling a casino. No person related to the casino company must have a criminal history.

The gambling establishment has to meet the following criteria:

  • Comply with the MLR of 2011. The business must meet anti-money laundering requirements and standards.
  • Ensure the customer registration process is within the UK laws. This means a casino operator must request a player to provide identity proof.
  • Own enough assets to conduct the gambling business.
  • Have relevant competence to run a casino company.

Casino License Types

The UKGC issues several types of licenses:

  • Casino license.
  • Lottery operating license.
  • General betting license.
  • Betting intermediary license.
  • Pool betting license.
  • Bingo operating license.

Therefore, each gaming room has to obtain at least 3 of 6 documents. There is a separate document for each game type. For instance, a casino certificate includes permission to serve casino games of chance and skill amusements. A company must obtain a new document for each new product added.

Certifying Agencies

Betting websites and software suppliers undergo testing procedures as a part of the UKGC certification process.

The testing agencies like eCOGRA, TST and GLI, examine:

  • Each game in particular. It must have a properly-working Random Number Generator. It must meet the gaming quality standards.
  • Examine a casino website’s services like payment procedures, user verification, and registration processes.

The certificate must be updated every 2-5 years.

Responsible Gambling


Testing agencies also examine casinos’ responsible gambling policies.

A gaming house has to implement the responsible gambling features as:

  • Limitations on financial operations in such a way that vulnerable players could not harm their finances.
  • Limitations on time and frequency of gaming sessions.
  • Warnings and clear instructions to raise problem gambling awareness.

Licensed and Regulated Providers in the UK

Online gaming is represented by dozens of software providers and hundreds of casino operators. Betting software suppliers in the UK and Great Britain in particular include:

  • Playtech.
  • Yggdrasil.
  • NextGen Gaming.
  • NetEnt.
  • BetSoft.
  • Microgaming.
  • IGT.
  • ELK Studios.

They support the majority of British casinos.

Virtual Gaming Rooms in the UK

The providers operating in the UK are regulated by the UKGC. The license annual expenditures are significant. Therefore, it serves as a barrier to gaming websites. It lowers the percentage of a potential scam. Only reputable providers with a long history can afford to license in the UK.

The websites, where customers can enjoy gambling content, are the following:

  • Betway.
  • Casino Dunder.
  • ComeOn.
  • Fun Casino.
  • Genesis casino.
  • Rizk Casino.