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New Gambling Laws in the UK

  • By Partner Editorials Sep 30, 2020, 1:55 pm3.9k pts

    Gambling is a lucrative business and therefore it is unsurprising that everyone wants a piece of it. However, if unregulated, it could result in several negative impacts on society. I will not go in-depth into it since one can easily refer to the news to sieve out some negative consequence as a result of gambling. Rather, I would like to focus on the laws in Great Britain that governs gambling. There are different regulatory jurisdictions that apply to different parts of the world.

    In the UK, the main body governing the laws related to gambling falls under the purview of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC is responsible for the issuance of licenses to online casinos who wish to operate in the UK. It is renowned for having a strict criteria and therefore casinos possessing a UK license are highly regarded and viewed as extremely credible.


    The UKGC has one of the strictest laws governing gambling amongst all the regulatory bodies out there such as the Curacao Gaming Commission. However, because of its reputation as a strict regulatory body, many non uk online casinos out there are dying to get the operating license in the UKGC because that would mean that the online casino gets a bit of that credibility. Of course, getting the license is extremely difficult, and not to say that it is costly.

    On top of that, online casinos licensed by the UKGC do not have that much of a freedom to navigate within the UK especially when the government is actively trying to stamp out problem gambling. Therefore, from a business point of view, getting a UK license may not be that ideal for business for an online operator.

    New Gambling Laws

    The minimum age to gamble in the UK is 18. However, there has been several issues with teenagers finding ways of bypassing the age verification processes. For example, some of these teenagers could either use a fake ID to circumvent the verification process or even worse, using their parents ID to register an account for themselves.

    Therefore, the UKGC has been tightening their verification processes. For example, there is a live video verification process now where applicants are required to hold up their ID beside their faces. This helps the online casino to match the face to the ID and to also know that the applicant is an actual person rather than a bot.

    The UKGC is also coming down hard on irresponsible advertising on these gambling sites with the establishment of the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, which spells out the dos and dont's for gambling related advertisement.

    This measure helps in tackling against bogus sites trying to phish for players' information online who may be attracted to such unethical advertisement. For example, prior to this ruling, there have been ads out there promising players that they can make multiple times of their existing salaries if they were to sign up an account with them. In the online gambling world, both you and I know that a lot of it depends on your luck.

    Therefore, there is no way that an online casino can make such a statement.

    Finally, the UKGC has mandate that all UK casinos be part of the self-exclusion program, Gamstop, which is targeted at minimising gambling related risks. This means that players who registers themselves with Gamstop will automatically be banned from accessing all UK licensed online casinos. Previously, online casinos have the prerogative to decide whether or not they should be included in this program. Of course, maximum casinos, when given the choice, do not want to be in it, as it can potentially affect their businesses!


    In conclusion, I hope I have given you a brief coverage of the new laws governing gambling in the UK. Most of it is merely improvements from the existing laws because there have been too many loopholes in the previous ones.

    However, this also means that the laws will continue to evolve with time, and one can only expect an increase in regulations governing online casinos. Ultimately, it is obvious that it is the players' interest that the government is trying to protect. Therefore, online casinos planning to get a license from the UKGC, you will need to tread carefully.