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Are Online Casinos Legal in the UK?

The online gambling sector has benefited immensely from the high internet penetration in the country. With over 46.6 million people on the internet, it’s easy to see how online casinos continue to grow. More people can’t visit local casinos and instead register at online websites. One question that always comes up in a discussion on online gambling is whether it’s legal in the country.

For a country that has a long history of gambling culture, online casinos and betting sites are among the most visible digital businesses. However, for a gambling enthusiast, it’s important to confirm whether these sites are legal before you play.

Online casinos in the UK are legal and they operate under the supervision of the United Kingdom by the Gambling Commission (UKGC). The country was one of the first to regulate the booming industry, and it’s no wonder the biggest gambling operators come from here.

Before you play free slots on the first casino site you visit, take time to understand the laws guiding the industry. The information comes in handy if you have any complaints about services offered. What’s more, you can identify the safest casino website if you understand how the government regulates the industry.

This post explores the laws governing online casinos in the country and offers tips to choose the best operators.

The Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005 regularised online gambling and helped regulate the industry at its formative stages. The law legalised online casinos and sportsbooks and this was a smart move by the government as it saw many brands coming up.

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In many countries with no laws on digital casinos and betting, the industry continues to operate under the wraps which puts players at risk. Legalising the industry also helped the government collect taxes from the multi-billion dollar industry.  

If you wish to offer online gambling services, you need a license form the UKGC. This is one of the most trusted regulatory bodies in the online gaming industries. A casino website which meets all the requirements to qualify for this license is safe.

The law ensures a safe environment for players and protects the most vulnerable among them children and some categories of adults. The gambling laws in the UK make it easier for investors to inject money into the industry. In a regulated industry, any investor can start a company and operate under this law. The Act also guides advertising in the industry.

Gambling is a marketing-heavy industry and with increasing competition, it helps to have a regulatory authority watching over the industry to avoid illegal practices.

The Role of UKGC

The UKGC protects players from exploitation by gambling companies. If a player has an issue about payments, winnings or promotions, they can raise the same with the regulatory authority and get justice.

In countries where gamblers rely on offshore gambling sites, it becomes hard to monitor predatory practices among operators. Some will target the most vulnerable people among them children. Others fail to send payouts while some unscrupulous gambling sites can turn into money laundering platforms.

The UKGC plays a crucial role in ensuring sanity in the gambling industry. The commission closely monitors all industry players with financial records closely watched to avoid any association with crime. In case of advertising techniques that seem to target children or vulnerable people, the authority steps in.

With a safe gambling environment, the gambling industry in the country has continued to grow. People can easily find licensed operators and even confirm such licensing from UKGC. With more trust from players, there’s increased activity, and this is one reason the industry continues to thrive.  

Want to have some online gambling fun? Look for a licensed gambling operator with a license from UKGC. This guarantees your safety when playing and you get professional services from such operators.


This article has been authored by Awisee.