Online Gambling Regulations in the UK


Online Gambling Regulations in the UK

Since becoming fully regulated after the enactment of the Gambling Act of 2005, online gambling in the UK has steadily grown, learn more here. Sports betting, bingo, and online casinos have all become widely available. The number of gambling operators in the UK market is increasing, with most offering iGaming services.

Online Gambling in the UK is legal for residents and visitors. It is regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), which oversees all forms of gambling in the country.

What is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission?

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) came after passing the Gambling Act of 2005. The commission serves as a regulatory board for all types of lottery, commercial gambling, or bingo operations within the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, all forms of gambling, both online and land-based casinos, fall under the jurisdiction of the UK Gambling Commission. The commission has three specific functions, as stated in the Gambling Act of 2005:

  • Prevent gambling from becoming a source of crime or disorder
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly
  • Protecting underage persons and other vulnerable persons from being affected or exploited by gambling.

The Role of the UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission is the critical regulator of gambling in the UK, both in land-based and online casinos. The commission was created when the Gambling Act of 2005 was passed. It has updated gambling laws and regulations to keep up with technology, especially Online Gambling.

Some of the areas that the commission oversees include focus points like:

  • fraud prevention
  • customer requirements
  • anti-underage gambling
  • operator advertisement limitations
  • Anti-money laundering checks, and many more.

One of the most noticeable regulations is the customer identity verification process. The commission ensures a thorough onboarding process checks for customers before allowing them to start betting. It includes verification of names, age, address, and date of birth.

Other vital regulations can be found on the Gambling Commission’s website for other fundamental principles.

Primary Forms of Gambling Allowed by the UK Gambling Act

The UK Gambling Act of 2005 allows six significant forms of gambling. Each type has its set of rules and laws.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is the most popular form of gambling in the UK. Operators are required to possess a license from the UKGC. Also, businesses offering fixed-odds betting, betting intermediaries, and poll betting must also have a permit.

Lotteries and Bingo

While a license is required to run a bingo and lottery site, the UKGC allows some lotteries to operate without a license.

Casinos and Gaming Machines

Both land-based and online casinos operate under the UKGC. The gaming machines fall under several categories: B1, B2, B3, B3A, B4, C, and D. All these categories require the gambler to be 18 and older, except for the D category.


Esports betting is legal in the UK and falls under the same category as conventional sports betting. The principles, as well as the rules and license requirements, are the same.

Gambling in the UK is legal. However, gambling site operators are required to hold licenses from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The commission ensures that all rules passed by the UK Gambling Act of 2005 are met.

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