Is online gambling legal in the United Kingdom? Most forms of gambling, including online gaming, are actually perfectly legal in the UK. The laws related to online gambling in this region are very straightforward and quite easy to understand. Conversely, this is not the case with most other countries.
This is because other countries’ laws can be incredibly complex and perplexing. Without a doubt, the United Kingdom is one of the best places for people with a genuine interest in online gambling. In fact, you could say it’s the best.
This is not to say that the legislation in place is too simplified in the United Kingdom. There are a number complexities to do with gambling service providers.
However, in general, the UK gambling industry is well regulated with simple laws that make online gambling convenient for UK residents.
The UK Gambling Commission
The United Kingdom has its own Gambling Commission which operates under the authority of the government’s Department of Media, Culture and Sports. This commission is in charge of the following: regulating laws, maintaining the quality of gambling services and creating opportunities for gambling to thrive in the UK.
Because of this, gambling and betting have become a huge industry in this region. There is a high number of UK-based gambling sites in addition to the many land-based casinos and poker rooms.
Furthermore, foreign-based online gambling sites can also enter the market by legally providing their services to UK gamers.
The Gambling Act of 2005
You can say the Gambling Act of 2005 is the foundation of all gambling laws in the UK. It is because of this act that gambling has done so well in this region as a legal sport.
The Gambling Commission itself was established as a product of this act after taking over the region’s gambling responsibilities from the Gaming Board for Great Britain.
The Gambling Act of 2005 grants the Gambling Commission the authority to issue a license to gambling operators. This is how online gambling activities can become legal in the UK.
Moreover, the Gambling Commission is responsible for imposing fines and revoking licenses when necessary. It does these things in order to maintain the high standards of UK gambling. According to the act, the Gambling Commission must ensure the following:
- Prevent gambling from falling into the hands of crime. No gambling activity can be associated with crime or support it any form
- Protect the integrity of UK gambling. Ensure operators conduct their business in a fair and open manner
- Safeguard underage citizens (children below the age of 18) and other vulnerable people from being exploited by gambling
Whitelist of approved gambling jurisdictions
As it stands, only companies currently operating within the UK’s boundaries can provide online gambling services. The Gambling Commission issues licenses to these companies to have their online gaming activities legalised.
It is important to note that the commission also has a whitelist of approved gambling jurisdictions. Consequently, a company belonging to one of these can legally advertise their online gambling services to UK residents.
These online gambling operators must first be licensed by their respective jurisdictions.
The following are gambling jurisdictions that are currently a part of the Gambling Commission’s whitelist:
- EEA (European Economic Area) Countries
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Isle of Man
How online gambling laws benefit residents
Since the UK has a well-regulated gambling industry, online gambling is remarkably safe for UK residents. For this reason, UK residents have the luxury of selecting their preferred gambling site from a wide range of options.
In comparison to that, people from other countries often have fewer choices. They may also feel unsure about the legal status of their online gambling sites. As a result, they live in fear of getting into trouble with the government for unknowingly breaking the law when gambling online.
As a matter of fact, the most difficult thing that a UK resident has to do is find a site that suits their needs. If people feel an operator is treating them unfairly, they can contact a legal authority to help them out.
This is one of the major benefits of online gambling being so well regulated in the UK. Consequently, this also compels online gambling sites to maintain their integrity when dealing with customers.
There are some games that do not enable people to win anything in money or money’s worth. People have a zero possibility of increasing your earnings.
According to the rules the Gambling Commission enforces, these games are outside the regulation of the gambling industry. Online gambling sites in the UK will therefore not market such games to you.
Moreover, the UK does not consider gambling winnings to be taxable income. As a result of this, people get to keep the full sum of the money they earn through online gambling or betting.