Is The UK Gambling Market Fully Regulated?

More States In The US Are Legalizing Online Gambling whekevi / Pixabay

Land-based and online gambling is a popular pastime in the United Kingdom where casino games are enjoyed by people from all walks of life. The fact that gambling isn’t frowned upon in this country helps a lot, but equally important is the fact that the industry is fully regulated. The UK Gambling Commission is the authority responsible with licensing casino and it does so on behalf of the government. It is under the authority of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and licenses both land-based and online casinos.

The Gambling Act 2005 Milestone

The UK gambling market is fully regulated, but this was not always the case and before 2005, players had to get creative. The Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act 1960 represented an important milestone by making horse racing betting legal. This law also allowed commercial bingo halls to open shop and cater to people who have applied for membership. Further progress was made eight years later, when the Gaming Act 1968 made it possible for commercial casinos to operate legally.

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For nearly 4 decades nothing important happened in the United Kingdom, until the Gambling 2005. This remains one of the most important laws implemented nationwide and it paved the way to a fully regulated UK gambling market. Initially, the Act made it possible for super casinos to be founded, although there was no follow-up and the idea was eventually dismissed. Sports betting was already legal, but the new act clarified some of the debatable aspects, which encouraged players to bet more, knowing that they did so in complete accord with the law. Today, the sports betting market in the UK is estimated at £700 million.

Online gambling is legal in the UK

Millions of people gamble in the United Kingdom and a significant percentage of those who fancy games of chance play online casino UK games. The popularity of remote gambling is surging nationwide and once again it is the merit of the UK GC which keeps the market secure. The regulatory body offers licenses for all forms of online gambling to operators that meet certain standards. People can learn everything about the licensed operators, as well as applicants by simply visiting their official website. This is important to keep things transparent and increase the confidence that people have in the fairness of gambling in the UK.

Many bookmakers and online casinos also have offshore operations, as they wanted to cut down on the taxes paid in the UK. The authorities took certain measures to make sure that those who cater to British players pay their dues, in accord with the law. The UK gambling market is the biggest and most profitable in Europe, so there’s no shortage of casinos and bookmakers interested in opening shop. They have no option but to comply with the strict rules enforced by the UK GC, which ultimately benefits players.

About the Author

Ankur Shah
Ankur Shah is the founder of the Value Investing India Report, a leading independent, value oriented journal of the Indian financial markets. Ankur has more than eight years of equity research experience covering emerging markets, with a focus on India and South East Asia. He has worked as both a buy-side investment analyst for a global long/short equity hedge fund and a sell-side analyst for an emerging markets investment bank. Ankur is a graduate of Harvard Business School. You can learn more about his latest views on global markets at the Value Investing India Report. -- He can be emailed at