Gambling Industry News & Legal Updates
Welcome to the Betting.co.uk UK Legal and Compliance page. In this section, we provide easy-to-understand answers to everyday legal and compliance questions about UK gambling laws. Don’t get caught out by online gambling companies ever again!
Our casino and sports experts will attempt to demystify some of the complex issues surrounding UK gambling laws and those pesky Terms & Conditions that we are all expected to sign up to. They can also help to explain the reasons why, online casinos and bookmakers, do some of the things they do, that some players find incomprehensible.
In this section, you will find up-to-date gambling industry news and educated opinion articles on the UK gambling industry. You will also find useful legal tips about how to get the most from your interactions with gambling operators within the UK gambling industry.
Here at Betting.co.uk, we don’t only report on the gambling industry news topics of the day, we give insightful views on how they may affect you and the way you choose to gamble online.
Today’s Gambling Industry News
Every day things happen within the UK gambling industry that has an effect on the way you are allowed to gamble online and where. It is important to know that the UK gambling industry is a £14 billion a year industry, employing nearly 100,000 people. It goes without saying that in an industry this size there is always something going on.
The legal landscape alone, within the UK gambling industry, generates massive amounts of gambling industry news that is of relevance to anyone who gambles online.
Betting.co.uk also brings you news from across the online gambling sphere whether that be a casino, sports betting, lottery, or even esports. Our team is made up of expert-level UK gambling industry insiders, each with their respective finger on the pulse of their chosen topic.
Major Topics Affecting the UK Gambling Industry
Some of the topics that you can expect to read about here in the gambling industry news section are…
UK Gambling Legislation
It seems as though the UK gambling industry is never out of the gambling industry news these days. Hardly a day goes by where some self-interested group or another isn’t telling the man in the street how to live his life. How you will be allowed to gamble today, and in the future, is of utmost importance to online casino players and sports bettors alike.
Nobody really knows what new legislation will be forthcoming or how that legislation will affect you and me. What we do know is that Betting.co.uk will bring the latest gambling industry news as it happens, together with our opinion on whether it is a good thing or not.
We are big into social responsibility here at Betting.co.uk and so should you be. We want you to enjoy your time gambling online and not get yourself into difficulty. There are many ongoing initiatives that can help you, and we think it is important that we make you aware of them and give you advice on how to use them.
Penalties and Fines
No matter how carefully the UK gambling industry adheres to the rules and legislation laid out by the UK Gambling Commission, mistakes will be made. From time to time an ‘i’ will not be dotted or a ‘t’ will not be crossed and this will lead to a financial penalty.
It is in your best interest to be aware of major online gambling operator’s transgressions and how this may affect you. It could, at the end of the day, help you to decide whether or not this operator is someone you wish to be associated with.
If you love your sports then for sure you appreciate sports sponsorship. Let’s be honest here, in this day and age sport simply cannot exist without major sponsors. This is true for the Premier League, Horse racing, or any other sport that you care to mention.
Sponsorship is the glue that binds sports clubs and fans together. The money that sports sponsors bring in allows your team to operate at the level it does and increases your enjoyment of the sport.
What is happening on the high street is every bit as important as what happens online. All of the major online sports betting companies that you are likely to interact with are represented in your local high street or shopping mall.
If you are the type of person that frequents your local bookmaker, then Betting.co.uk can be relied upon to bring you the latest gambling industry news that is important to you.
New Companies or Platform Releases
For sure, every time a new company or major platform release comes to the market you want to know about it. The UK gambling industry is changing all the time and any new development is going to be of interest. Sometimes this gambling industry news may add to your enjoyment when gambling online.
A Brief Overview of UK Gambling Industry Legislation
The UK Gambling Industry is extensive and complex. It is not possible to summarise all the many complexities relevant to the UK gambling industry in a few paragraphs. However, in this overview we will attempt to explain the basic principles of UK gambling industry legislation and why it is important for you to understand them.
The Gambling Act 2005 (amended 2014)
Gambling laws in the UK are set out in the gambling Act 2005. The core principles of gambling legislation in the UK are….
- Preventing gambling from becoming a source of crime or disorder or being associated with crime and disorder in the UK.
- To ensure that gambling in the UK is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
- To protect children and young adults and other vulnerable groups from harm or exploitation due to gambling.
Essentially, UK gambling laws were set up to protect you, the consumer, from harm associated with gambling.
It should be borne in mind that the current Gambling Act is an update of the original Betting and Gaming Act 1960 which saw the introduction of widespread gambling legislation in the UK. The 1960 act was introduced specifically to combat organised crime and criminal enterprises that were at the time heavily involved with UK gambling operations.
**As it stands today, there is zero recognised involvement by any criminal gang or organisation within land-based or online gambling in the UK.**
With that thought implanted in our minds let’s take a look at each of these principles in more detail.
Crime and Gambling in the UK
Back in the early to late 50s, criminal activity in gambling was seen to be a problem in the UK. So much so that it was deemed necessary to update existing UK gambling laws. In those days, the idea of screening casino owners to ensure that they were ‘fit and proper’ to run a casino was anathema. This led to some gambling houses (nightclubs with gambling tables as opposed to today’s high street casinos) in London and the provinces being operated by criminal organisations such as the Kray twins. This simply cannot happen today.
Fair and Transparent UK Gambling Laws
The thing about gambling laws in the UK today is that they are clearly set out in statute and as such is clear and transparent. Everyone has access to UK gambling laws and can read and understand them. This was not always the case.
Protection of the Vulnerable
Probably the most fundamental of UK gambling laws is that you have to be 18+ to gamble in the UK. Anyone under this age is not considered to be mature enough or financially stable enough to take on debts that could be incurred through gambling*.
[Note: Nowadays it is not possible to run up gambling debts at the casino or bookmakers as it was when the original UK gambling laws were set out.]
UK Gambling Commission
The gambling commission is an independent body set up by Parliament to oversee the implementation of gambling laws in the UK. From its head office in Birmingham, it ensures that the core principles of the Gambling Act 2005 are upheld.
The gambling commission is also responsible for the issuance of UK gambling licenses. Anyone running gambling operations in the UK must be in possession of a valid UK gambling license. Furthermore, key personnel within the organisation should also be issued with a UK gambling license.
UK Gambling Licenses
Gambling licenses in the UK, as issued by the UK gambling commission, fall into two distinct types. A non-remote gambling license that requires physical premises from where the customer can place bets, and a remote gambling license for the provision of online gambling services.
This is the same for bookmakers, casinos, bingo halls, and slots arcades. Furthermore, suppliers to the gambling industry such as slot machine manufacturers and providers of online gambling games also require a license issued by the UK gambling commission.
In order for any company to obtain a gambling license from the UK gambling commission, they must first prove that they are fit and proper to hold such a license. In this way, the consumer (that is you and me) can be satisfied that when we gamble we do so with someone that operates within the law. We can also be sure that the gambling games we play are conducted honestly and fairly.
Individual Gambling License
As well as the gambling operator itself, key individuals are also required to hold a UK gambling license. For physical high street gambling operators, there are two basic license types….
- Personal Management License
- Personal Function License
As the name suggests the PML is for managers and supervisors and the PFL is for all other grades of personnel who perform non-management functions. Anyone who is not directly involved with gambling operations such as cleaners, bar and waiting staff, or receptionists does not require a license.
For online gambling operators, only key personnel are required to be licensed. This will generally be the operations manager and heads of key departments such as gaming etc. All other personnel at online gambling operations including customer service, do not require a UK gambling license.
Gambling in the UK is a Contract
Essentially, when you Gamble at an online casino or a high street bookmaker you are entering into a contract with that operator. It is important to remember that the operator agrees to provide gambling services within the confines of UK law, whilst you agree to play according to the terms and conditions laid down by your chosen gambling provider.
As with any other contract, it is important for you to understand the terms and conditions that are in this contract. By reading the terms and conditions of your chosen gambling operator carefully, you can save yourself from a lot of problems, and potential heartache, in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the gambling laws in the UK?
UK gambling laws are defined in the Gambling Act of 2005 (amended 2014) and are predominantly aimed at protecting the consumer. The most significant of all the gambling laws UK is that to be able to take part in any form of betting & wagering in the UK you must be at a minimum of 18 years of age.[/faq-item]
When did gambling become legal in the UK?
Prior to 1960 UK gambling laws were somewhat outdated. What laws there were, mostly referred to lottery games which had been illegal in the UK since 1698, during the reign of George I. This changed in 1934 with the Lotteries Act which legalised small lotteries.
Up until 1960 and the introduction of the Betting & Gaming Act, gambling was still considered to be a private affair between ‘gentlemen’ and as such was not regulated. It was, however, still possible to pursue gambling debts in the courts.
How much is a UK gambling license?
UK gambling license fees come in two parts. There is an initial application fee and then there is an annual fee which is payable 30 days from the day you receive your license. These fees are further graded into different tiers. Since 2007 these tiers have been decided according to a company’s real or calculated Gross Gaming Yield. GGY is a fancy way of saying gross profits before costs have been deducted.
For a remote casino license (online casino) there are nine tiers. The lowest tier is for online casinos with a GGY of less than £550,000 per annum. The highest tier is reserved for online casinos with a GGY of more than £1 billion.
It may surprise you to learn that the application fee for the lowest tier is a mere £2,640 and the annual fee just £2,709. Whereas if an online casino generates revenues in excess of £1 billion per annum the application fee would be £57,304 and the annual fee would be £512,083, although this equates to a mere 0.05% of the casino’s GGY.
How old do you have to be to gamble in the UK?
Gambling laws in the UK allow anyone over the age of 18 to gamble online or in licensed gambling premises.
How big of a social problem is gambling in the UK?
Despite what some sections of the press, and indeed the government, would have you believe the UK is not in the midst of some form of mass socio-economic collapse due to gambling.
Lonely housewives up and down the UK are not defrauding their employers en-masse. Similarly, tens of thousands of middle-aged men are not throwing themselves off rooftops due to running up massive gambling debts. It is true that many people do have problems controlling their online gambling habits. It is also true that this may ultimately cause problems both with an individual’s physical and mental wellbeing.
However, a recent study by the National Centre for Social Research, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool, found that (from a representative sample of active online gambling accounts in the UK) a whopping 85% of gamblers spent less than £200 per year on gambling. That is £3.84 per week. To put that in perspective two regular Americanos at Costa Coffee would set you back £3.90.