Online gaming is a massive part of the national psyche and big business in the UK: In 2018, there were 36.6 million online (remote) gambling customer accounts and the online gambling industry yielded an incredible £14.4 billion in the year April 2018-March 2019. Yet many people still question whether online gaming is legal in the UK at all. The simple answer is that yes, it is! But here is everything you need to know about UK gambling laws and government regulation around the industry to ensure that you always stay on the right side of the law whilst playing your favourite online slots or poker games:
How UK Gambling Laws Will Affect You
The first thing you need to know is that you have to be aged 18 or over before you can legally gamble online in the UK: every online gambling website that you visit should ask you to confirm that you fulfill this requirement before you can enter the site. We would also recommend that you ensure that each website you visit is licenced by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Comission): this is the best way that you can avoid fraud and malpractice, and it is also a legal prerequisite under the gambling act of 2005.
Other gambling laws in the UK that you should be aware of that will impact on your individual gambling experience are that any winnings you make when gambling online in the UK are not considered to be a taxable income. That means that you will keep 100% of what you win. Online casino operators are taxed, in the same way as any other online business, but as an individual suit user, that will have no impact on you.
Understanding the Gambling Act of 2005
The Gambling Act of 2005 was introduced to regulate and license the whole gambling industry, with particular attention to online gambling. Because the EU had taken a pro-gambling stance, the act was introduced to regulate gambling within our own borders and ensure that the industry didn’t become a source of crime and disorder. Ultimately the aim was to ensure an open and safe gambling environment within the UK, and ensures that if you are a resident of the UK then you can participate at online casinos, poker rooms, bingo sites, sportsbooks and lottery sites legally and with very few restrictions.
The Act had a larger implication on the operators of online gambling websites themselves rather than on the site users. Firstly, all remote gambling operators providing services to customers in the UK are required to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission. The UK Gambling Commission now has a wider role, including help and support for gambling addiction or gambling compulsion. To borrow from a popular phrase: when the fun stops, stop.
Ultimately, aside from the rules and restrictions that are in place for your own protection and safety, there are very few limitations to online gambling in the UK. It is a fun and legal leisure activity that anyone over the age of 18 is free to take part in. As a customer, that is all you need to know!