Different nations across the world have their own laws regarding gambling, and in particular, online gambling. While the former has been around for centuries, the latter is a relatively new area, and as such, you’ll find a lot of grey areas (legally speaking) in many countries, including the UK. A lot of people are confused when it comes to the question of the legality of online gambling. Is it legal? Is it illegal? In this section, we are going to attempt to clear things up a bit in that regard.
Is Online Gambling Legal in the UK?
So, is online betting legal in the UK? That’s a resounding yes. Online gambling is 100 percent legal in the United Kingdom. In general, betting in the UK is generally legal thanks to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1963. Before then, any betting outside of the racecourse was illegal for many years. By legalising all betting outside the racecourse, this legislation paved way for the current gambling situation in the country. It was the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1963 that would end up regulating gambling industry for many decades that followed.
The Gambling Act of 2005
It wasn’t until four decades down the line (2005) after the passage of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act that the lawmakers saw the need to review and update betting laws in the UK. The Gambling Act of 2005 sought to modernize the betting laws in the country and simplify the betting process for people who wish to gamble. The passage of this critical piece of legislation meant that anyone who wishes to gamble can simply walk into a casino or sign up online and start betting.
What the New Law Says About Online Gambling
Since its inception, online gambling has always been legal in the in the UK. However, the previous legislation — sort of — barred online casinos from being based in the United Kingdom. The Gambling Act of 2005 reversed that and now online casinos are free to set up shop in the country. However, only a few of them have relocated back to the country owing to the tax advantages in countries such as Gibraltar.
The Regulation of Commercial Gambling in the UK
Under the sponsorship of the DCMS (The Department for Culture, Media & Sport), the Gambling Commission is typically a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) put in place to oversee the regulation of commercial gambling in the country. The commission is charged with licensing, compliance, and enforcement of gambling laws in the UK. The body is also charged with the responsibility of publishing guidance and advice materials on matters betting as well as research.
The Gambling Commission requires online gambling and other remote gambling operators to obtain licensure. Separate licenses will be required for different activities, meaning that as an operator, you will need a standalone betting, lottery games, gambling software, casino games, bingo, etc. If a gambling website isn’t based in the UK, they don’t need to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission.