Gambling is well known as betting, gaming, or taking part in lottery. This has been one of the recreational activities of centuries now, out of which Horse race is the most favorite theme. But this was highly regulated and opposed by Protestants and social reformers. The definition shows the difference between the activities which need to be licensed and for the activities which do not.

Gambling in the UK on sites such as sa gaming, unlike in the US as reported in Gambling Times reports, is regulated by the Gambling Commission on behalf of the government’s department of digital, culture, media and sports under the Gambling Act 2005. The act of Parliament on a high priority updated the UK’s Gambling laws, including the introduction of a new structure of safety for children, vulnerable adults along with the internet games sector.

Listed here are few gambling activities that are categorized based on the sectors as what we call –

  • Casino (this can be online or a physical presence in casino)
  • Betting ( this can be an event, online, or bookmakers)
  • Arcades ( for families / adults)
  • Bingo (this can be online or at Bingo hall)
  • Lotteries
  • Machine for games
  • Arcades – In Arcades, there are three types –
  1. Adult gaming centers (AGCs)
  2. Licensed family entertainment centers (FECs)
  3. Unlicensed family entertainment centers (UFECs)

For AGCs and FECs require a license from the Gambling Commission and UFECs requires permission from the local licensing authority.

  • Betting – betting can be offered in different ways like –
  1. Fixed odds betting – This is a common form of betting where people bet a stake to win a fixed amount calculated by the odds available.
  2. Pool Betting – The winnings are determined by the sum of stakes paid into the pool. The total amount you win is calculated by dividing the total pool by the number of winning tickets.
  3. Betting Intermediaries – This facilitates the betting between two or more parties. Intermediaries do not have liability for the bets, but they often take a commission fee from the winner.

Bingo – The Betting and Gaming Act 1960 has allowed commercial Bingo halls to setup, provided they were established as members only clubs and were supposed to get their take from membership fees and not as percentage of the entry fees. Bingo requires license from the Gambling Commission to offer Bingo. Bingo can be runned as a prize game without the need for a bingo operating license in adult gaming centers etc.

Casino – These games are available at Casino premises and at online as well. They also had a similar consequence of members only clubs. Most of the casinos are offering varieties of games and only a small number of casinos will offer electronic games or any equivalent to that. The number of gaming machines in casinos is limited to only 10. Here is a nice infographic from Casinomir.

Lotteries – In lotteries there are 3 types – Raffles , tombolas, and sweepstakes. But lotteries can run only for good cause and cannot run for commercial purpose. Large society lotteries and Lotteries that are promoted by local authorities require license from the Gambling Commission.  But small society lotteries can operate under a registration with their local authority.

The Economy and Taxation:

A percent of 6.75% was applied on “Betting duty” to sports bets until 2001, when it was replaced by a 15% tax on gross profits. But from 1st December 2014, the Gambling(Licensing and Advertising Bill) will change the taxation of remote gambling from a ‘place of supply’ basis point to a ‘point of consumption basis’.

Health Implications:

According to the National Health Service(NHS) long term plan, more than 4,00,000 people in England are of problem gamblers and two million people are at health risk. Health provision for problem gamblers is very limited.

Restrictions on Advertising

The UK government limited the television ads to only National Lottery, Bingo and football pools. But when a new Gambling Act came into force in 2007, they relaxed all those restrictions.