An Introduction To UK Gambling Laws

Online gambling has become an increasingly popular form of entertainment within the United Kingdom. As such, a number of rules and regulations have been put into place. This has been done as much for the protection of the players as it is meant to discourage instances of illegal portals entering into the market. So, let us take a look at some basic features of UK laws governing online gambling and the issues that they are meant to address.

Is Online Gambling Legal in the UK?

Thankfully, this form of entertainment is legal in the United Kingdom. The only stipulation for players is that individuals must be eighteen years of age or older. Should this not be the case, all winnings will be forfeited. All online gambling destinations providing services to UK players must be in full compliance with UK gambling laws in order to operate within the UK market.

The UK Gambling Commission

In general, UK gambling laws are overseen by the UK Gambling Commission. This commission has the responsibility to supervise various forms of gaming including:

• Gambling software.
• Lotteries.
• Online casinos.
• The determination of all current (and future) online gambling laws within the United Kingdom.

Should this legislative body determine an online platform violates any such laws, it will be prohibited to operate within the confines of the United Kingdom.

The Gambling Act of 2005

The aforementioned Gambling Commission was established under the Gambling Act of 2005. This act has three specific provisions:

• To prevent online gambling from contributing to (or being a part of) any form of criminal and illegal activity.
• To make certain that all forms of gambling are carried out with transparency and honesty.
• To guarantee that minors and anyone with vulnerabilities are not exploited by these platforms.

Several sections of this act are soon to be updated with the help of the Gambling Advertising and Licencing Act of 2014 (explained below).

The Gambling Advertising and Licensing Act of 2014

The Gambling And Advertising Act is seen as an addendum to the previous laws which were put into effect in 2005. One of the specific areas that is addressed revolves around the regulations that must be met by remote operators. These will include compliance with health, safety and consumer rights regulations. As of 1 December 2014, there are also tax issues which must be addressed in relation to the HMRC. These metrics are all quite strict and are intended to deter organizations which do not boast full transparency or that may be looking to avoid taxation via an offshore source.

In terms of advertising, UK gambling laws have likewise been modified. For example, all gambling advertisements need to obtain approval from a body known as Clearcast before they are approved for television broadcast. Likewise, the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) must approve any such publicity before it is made public. Messages need to be socially responsible while not targeting minors or children.

Both of these sections will have a profound impact upon the entire gambling industry within the United Kingdom. In fact, it should be noted that a number of prominent providers have already left this jurisdiction due to the stringent nature of these rules. In essence, the Gambling Advertising and Licensing Act of 2014 is meant to protect the consumer from the fraudulent or otherwise unscrupulous activities of companies that do not wish to adhere by such rules.

The ultimate aim of all UK online gambling laws is to provide a safe and fun environment for all players of legal age. Due to the fact that a greater number of providers are now entering into this truly massive market, it only makes sense that laws governing legal UK online betting continue to evolve while keeping the best interests of the player in mind.