Personal Gambling License Uk

Posted on by admin

For those wishing to operate a business offering gambling, in addition to applying for an operating licence the operator may also require one or more personal licences. Personal licences are issued by the Gambling Commission.There are two types of personal licences that may need to be applied for: a personal management licence and a personal functional licence. Dashboard Gambling Commission: personal licence renewals This dashboard shows information about how the Gambling Commission: personal licence renewals service is currently performing. Indeed, the UK Gambling Commission is responsible for providing gambling licences only to companies that behave in a responsible manner. These licences are a legal requirement for any company that wishes to take money with the possibility of the entrant winning a prize. Any personal licence or Annex A applications any gambling licences you have which were not issued in the UK if your company is not based in Great Britain, we will need a UK contact address Disclosure and Barring Service form (if you live/work in England or Wales) or Disclosure Scotland form (if you live/work in.

The United Kingdom is an inclusive country when it comes to both brick-and-mortar and online gambling. Residents can access multiple domestic and offshore entities for casino gambling, poker and sports betting. Our team of legal gambling analysts developed this page as a hub for legitimate and up-to-date information regarding the legal framework of gambling in the United Kingdom. You will find coverage on the multiple laws and their effect on the market, the regulatory agencies working behind the scenes, a history of legal gambling in the UK, specifically England. While the United Kingdom encompasses Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, those countries and regions have their own individual laws and regulations pertaining to the gambling market and those can be found using our global gambling laws directory found on our global gaming laws homepage.

Gambling license in the UK Great Britain is one of the countries in Europe, where casinos and other gambling establishments and institutions are officially allowed. Legislation of the UK promotes and encourages entrepreneurs engaged in gambling activities.

Gambling Laws In Great Britain

The Gambling Act 2005 – The Gambling Act 2005 is the standard benchmark for legal gambling in the United Kingdom. As the premier gambling law, it dictates the protocols for casinos, poker, sports betting, pools, lottery betting, etc. The GA 2005 also established the frameworks for licensing and regulation. The UK Gambling Commission was born out of this law and continues to administer regulatory control to this day.

The GA 2005 was written to reform the prior legislation that divvied out regulatory responsibilities to several different governmental bodies. British gambling laws, or “law” in this case, echo the standard set by multiple other countries in that there is one presiding statute. The GA 2005 includes provisions for social games and skill games. One of the most important aspects of the legislation is that it clarified certain definitions to keep up with modern technology. The effects of this helped keep casinos and other gambling operators in check with new technologies. You can find more detailed information on our Gambling Act 2005 page.

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 – The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 was passed to curtail licensing loopholes being taken advantage of by offshore operators. Before this act, remote operators were only required to obtain an English licence if they had at least one piece of remote gambling equipment located within UK borders. Any remote gambling operators that kept all their equipment, facilities, etc. offshore were exempt from applying for a licence. This meant that they were outside the regulatory hold of the U.K. Gambling Commission.

From November 2014 onwards, all remote gambling operators must possess a licence from the UK Gambling Commission if they are servicing residents, regardless of whether they have physical equipment located in the country or not. The Act also mandated that operators must pay 15% of their profits obtained from UK customers back as part of their licensing agreement. As per the name of the act, a UKGC licence grants the operator advertising access to UK consumers. It is considered unlawful for any gambling operator to advertise if they are not in possession of a proper licence. You can find more information on our Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 page.

The National Lottery Act – The National Lottery Act was first passed in 1993 but has been amended since. In the United Kingdom, lotteries are primarily held to raise capital for causes beneficial to society, not for personal gain or commercialism. The National Lottery is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, but there are different legislative components applicable to licensing. It is also possible for smaller lotteries to be held without a licence, but these still require registration with the local authority in place. There are guidelines for rules that all lotteries must follow, regardless of their scale. Our National Lottery Act page has more information on how the legal lottery system works in Great Britain.

Is Gambling Legal In The UK?

Yes. It is legal for U.K. citizens to gamble in conjunction with British law. With both domestic and offshore options available, UK residents have more access than most. We break down the specifics of the gambling laws in the section below, but before getting into all of the individual legal components, the answer is yes—gambling is indeed legal in the United Kingdom.

Who Regulates Gambling In The UK?

All regulation is coordinated through the UK Gambling Commission. The regulatory body was established in 2005 following the passing of the Gambling Act. The UKGC’s purpose is to regulate all commercial gambling enterprises in the UK in conjunction with the proper licensing authorities. They also regulate the National Lottery per the National Lottery Act 1993. The agency is sponsored by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Our UK Gambling Commission page has lots of information regarding how the organisation works, what they don’t cover in their enforcement scope, consumer protections and much more.

The Financial Conduct Authority is tasked with regulating spread betting. It Is the only form of sports betting not regulated by the UKGC. The FCA’s main focus is creating a fair play environment within the UK financial markets. They work to vet spread betting brokers for proper and legitimate business ethics. A broker that is vouched for by the FCA carries more weight than one lacking any sort of support. Our Financial Conduct Authority page has more information.

What Is The Minimum Gambling Age In The U.K.?

Generally, the minimum gambling age in England is 18, however, the minimum age to purchase a National Lottery ticket is sixteen. To enter and gamble at a casino or horse racetrack participants must be at least eighteen. The same minimum age equates to arcade gambling as well.

Gambling License Iowa

Forms Of Legal Gambling In The UK

There are many different legal UK gambling options for residents to partake in. According to the Gambling Act 2005, gambling is defined as “betting, gaming or participating in a lottery.” The UKGC has broken down gaming into multiple sectors in order to expedite their licensing procedures. These sectors include arcades, betting (includes online), bingo (includes online), casino (includes online), lotteries, and gaming machines. Each sector can be broken down into terms of what each represents, the brick-and-mortar options therein, legal gambling ages, etc. You can find a detailed explanation of each sector below.

Arcades – Arcades can be broken down into 3 distinct categories—Adult Gaming Centres (AGCs), Licensed Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) and Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres (UFECs). The first 2 types require a licence from the UKGC. UFECs must possess a permit from the presiding local licensing authority. Arcades feature varied gaming machine types, each of which falls into a different category. As far as legal age requirements go, no one under the age of 18 is permitted inside an AGC or the section of an FEC specified for adults.

Betting – Betting in the UK comes in the forms of fixed odds betting, pool betting, acting as a betting intermediary and spread betting. Fixed odds betting is the most common type of betting on the market. For example, betting £10 at 2/1 odds would return £30. Pool betting is different in that there are more individual wagers in play. A winning payout is determined by dividing the total pool by the number of winning tickets (there may also be a commission fee from the host). Pool betting is most commonly associated with racecourses, football and other sports and fantasy football. Betting intermediaries are simply middlemen between multiple parties. These entities are not liable for bets placed, but do often take commission. No one under the age of 18 is allowed to place a bet with a licenced operator.

Bingo – Bingo exists in a grey area in the UK. In most instances, bingo requires a licence from the UKGC. It can also be run as a prize game (meaning there is no need for a licence). While bingo is considered more of a game of leisure and chance, it is still popular amongst online gamblers.

Casinos – There are multiple brick-and-mortar casino establishments in the United Kingdom offering varied games like baccarat, blackjack, poker and more. Licensing credentials are strict regarding small versus large venue distinctions, how many gaming machines can be present and more. Small casinos may only be run in the following local licensing authorities (and only one per area):

  • Bath and North East Somerset District Council
  • East Lindsey District Council
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Scarborough Borough Council
  • Swansea City and County Council
  • Torbay Borough Council
  • Wigtown Divisional Licensing Board in the area of Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • Wolverhampton City Council

The following local licensing authorities are permitted to have large brick-and-mortar casino locations. These areas may only have one casino.

  • Great Yarmouth Borough Council
  • Kingston upon Hull City Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Middlesbrough Borough Council
  • Milton Keynes Borough Council
  • Newham London Borough Council
  • Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Southampton City Council

No one under the age of 18 is allowed entry into a brick-and-mortar casino.

Lotteries – There are multiple lotteries in the United Kingdom. Lotteries are centered on good causes as opposed to commercial or personal gains. There is the National Lottery and smaller lotteries promoted within local authorities. The legal age for lottery is different than other gambling forms. The minimum age requirement for the National Lottery is 16 years old.

Gaming Machines – The GA 2005 defines gaming machines as a machine designed for use by individuals to gamble. In most cases, this definition applies to slots, otherwise known as fruit or jackpot machines. There are multiple categories for gaming machines based on the maximum prize available. These categories include A, B1, B2, B3, B3A, B4, C and D.

Forms Of Legal Online Gambling In The UK

Online gambling, also known as remote gambling, is considered legal in Great Britain if the operator possesses a licence from the UKGC. The legal U.K. gambling forms include but are not limited to the following venues online casinos with slots, table games, etc., online poker, online sports betting, lottery-style games, and online Bingo.

Online casinos often offer live dealer games and online sportsbooks that are UK friendly almost always provide in-play betting options, all of which is entirely legal in England. If there are online operators servicing British residents without a proper licence from the UKGC, they are considered to be engaging in illegal activity. The UKGC can take action against the operator and payments to and from the site may be withdrawn, suspended or completely shut down. The UKGC does not go after individuals who are participating in illegal online gambling.

A Brief History Of Gambling In The United Kingdom

The history of gambling in the UK can be broken down into class warfare. Its heyday was in the Industrial Revolution era and came through horse race betting and small-time games played in local pubs. The government seemed to tolerate betting amongst the upper echelon of citizens while enforcing the lower class. There were multiple betting fraud cases in the early 1800s that left a negative taste in people’s mouths. Not to mention lottery scams and propaganda on how gambling is an immoral act (this played on the religious community).

Parliament issued the Gaming Act of 1845 and Betting Act of 1853, both of which effectively ceased all commercial gambling. However, on-course betting was permitted at horse tracks, but only the upper class could partake. Poorer citizens conducted street gambling, and while this was illegal, enforcement was difficult to administer. Eventually, these laws were repealed and the country embraced legal gambling.

An Emphasis On Social Responsibility

One of the biggest concerns of the UKGC is gambling addiction. There are tons of advertisements for gambling addiction services and operators must have some sort of link or advert on getting help with gambling addiction on their sites as part of their licensing agreement.

A recent example of how much the UK takes this seriously can be seen with SkyBet, one of the largest online betting providers in the country. SkyBet was fined £1 million for failing to maintain their self-exclusion policy. Self-exclusion helps problem gamblers and allows them to request gambling operators to deny them service.

SkyBet failed these consumers on several fronts, including allowing those who asked for self-exclusion to access sites with duplicate accounts, sending marketing materials to those who asked to be removed from the site and failing to payout customers once they requested self-exclusion. £1 million is a hefty fine, but it is more of a statement to operators out there and showcases how serious the UKGC is about protecting consumers from problem gambling.

Help With Gambling Addiction In The UK

In the UK it is a criminal offence to commercially take bets or offer a betting exchange service if you do not have a Gambling Commission (GC) license.

In this article we list bookmakers license numbers from our own recommanded bookies, we explain why gambling licences are needed in the first place, what they mean for operators, how bookmakers get hold of these licences and what happened if they contravene the conditions of the commission. We also discuss gambling law, including the latest Gambling Act 2014 and what this means for both the betting industry and the punter.

Gambling law in the United Kingdom provides some of the most stringent legislation and protections in the world. Gambling licences are in place to protect not only punters from unlicensed operators but also to protect bookmakers and betting operators.

  • Gambling Law:

Gambling License Details For Major UK Bookmakers

18+ #ad. Play responsibly, BeGambleAware, for help quitting visit Gamstop.
NameLocationLicense NumberReviewVisit
Licence Malta, Location Curacao43173Read Review
Gibraltar39430 -
Europort, Gibraltar39028Read Review
St Julian's, Malta39091 -
Europort, Gibraltar39584Read Review
Atlantic Suites, Gibraltar54743 -
Santa Venera, Malta39426Read Review
Waterport Place, Gibraltar39544Read Review
World Trade Center, Gibraltar39576Read Review
Dundalk, Ireland39469Read Review
Licenced and Located in Gibraltar54743Read Review
Gzira, Malta39325 -
Birmingham, UK537 -
Maidenhead, UK38750 -
London, UK44448 -
Based & Licensed In Gibraltar54743Read Review
Sliema, Malta39198 -
Europort, Gibraltar39448 -
Silema, Malta39264 -
Silema, Malta39483 -
Pieta, Malta39170Read Review
Douglas, Isle Of Mann39440 -
St. Venera, Malta39426Read Review
World Trade Center, Gibraltar39576 -
London, UK22201 -
Zug, Switzerland45143 -
Licenced from Zug in Switzerland45143Read Review
Pieta, Malta54498Read Review
Vilnius, Lithuania39126Read Review
Registered Under Platinum Gaming Limited, Gibraltar 45322Read Review
St Julian's, Malta44662 -
Watersport place, Gibraltar39225Read Review

Is Gambling Online Legal in the UK?

The simple answer is yes but only under licence. It may surprise many that up until 2005 the industry was unregulated online and until 2014 operators based outside the UK didn't have to have a UK licence. If you gamble with an agent that does not possess a licence they are operating illegally and you risk losing your funds.

Clicking on the licence numbers in the table above and this will take you to that operator's specific gambling commission issued licence. You can also search for licences of operators not in the table. Never gamble with a betting website from within the UK that doesn't have a licence, if you do your funds will have no protection under the law.

What is a Gambling Licence

This is a licence that all gambling providers who are based in or operate in the UK are required to have. This came in to force under the Gambling Act of 2005 and stipulates that anyone wishing to commercially advertise to or transact with customers for the purposes of gambling must carry a licence.

To apply for a licence companies are required to demonstrate they have several protections in place for the prevention of crime and protection of customers.

The Gambling Commission was set up to issue and administer licences. You can check if an operator has a licence by visiting their site. Operators must also display their licence details properly on their website or premises. You will either see a reference for the licence or the full licence number, either can be searched on the commission's website. In the table at the top of this page we list all the licence numbers for bookmakers reviewed on our site. Clicking the number will take you to their individual licence.

Often licences are held by holding companies that then operate several branded gambling entities. Each bookmaker listed on this site have a full UK gambling licence, details of which can be found in the table or in our betting site reviews.

It is quite amazing in a way to think that internet gambling went unregulated until 2005 and in many countries it still is. This is why betting in the UK betting and gaming industry is now one of the safest in the world.

Who Are The Gambling Commission

The Gambling Commission was originally set up in 2005 under the previous gambling Act. The body is an independent non-departmental public body that receives funding and support from the UK governments department for culture, media and sport. The commission acts as regulator for all commercial gambling operators including bingo, bookmakers, casinos, gaming arcades, etc. The commission is also responsible for regulating lotteries in the UK including the National Lottery since taking over the responsibilities of the National Lottery Commission in 2013.

The commission employ over 250 people, are based in Birmingham and are largely funded by licence fees paid by bookmakers and other operators. The gambling commission do not cover spread betting and other forms of index betting, this falls under the jurisdiction of the financial conduct authority (FCA).

For more about the UK Gambling Commission read our dedicated guide.

What Do the Gambling Commission Do?

The GC have some principal objectives:

  • Crime Prevention – This is both in terms of preventing illegal bookmaking (protecting the punter) and betting fraud from punters (protecting the bookie).
  • Promote and Open Industry – This includes promoting honesty about betting operations and gambling including responsible gambling. For example offers, terms and bonuses need to clear and transparent without conflicting or false language.
  • Protect Venerable People – Possibly the most important aim of the commission ensure children under the age of 18 and vulnerable people are prevented from gambling. This includes age and identity checking and monitoring. See responsible gambling.

What Don't the Gambling Commission Do?

The commission is there is ensure a safe and responsible industry they will not:

  • Mediate Customer Complaints – Operators must have their own systems in place to properly handle complaints. If you want to escalate a complaint you can use the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) service. Read our complaints article for more.
  • Legal Advice – They will not give advice but they will give general information pertaining to the Gambling Act or any relevant legislation.
  • Check Every Gambling Website – Whilst it is the law that operators need to possess a licence to operate in the UK it is up to you to check there is a licence in place before you gamble.

How Do The Gambling Commission Regulate?

The commission is limited in its scope and resources so they will always attempt to mediate disputes and will only take legal action in cases that present the greatest risks to the licensing objectives.

Personal Gambling License Uk Application

If operators fail to comply with the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) then the commission will step in. If you feel you know of an operator who are not meeting the LCCP you can report them anonymously to the commission.

In rare events where illegal activity is serious enough the GC has the power to revoke licences and issue legal action against operators. All major legal action and information is published on their website.

In general the GC are seen as a body that are trying to work with bookmakers and other gambling agents to ensure a safe industry rather than being an enforcement agency.

Maryland Gambling License

Gambling Law and Legislation in the UK

There are specific laws on all aspects of commercial gambling from prizes and games run in public houses to gaming machines, remote operators and fees and duty charges.

For a full list of all gambling legislation see the commissions own gambling related legislation page.

Gambling Act 2005

The act of 2005 was brought in to give the UK government greater means of regulating a diverse gambling industry. This was the first major piece of legislation since the Betting and Gaming Act 1960. In fact it legislated the creation of the Gambling Commission itself as an independent body to enforce and regulate the contents of the Act.

The country had reached a point where gaming needed renewed legislation with the new millennium seeing a glut of new ways to gamble from fixed odds terminals in shops, new lottery games and more advanced gaming arcades. The act was also brought in to also regulate online betting for the first time.

Basically the 2005 gambling act is designed to enforce the principal objectives of the gambling commission described above with specific legislation such as fee limits, payout limits etc., for individual aspects (such as how much a fruit machine in a pub can pay out).


Gambling Bill 2014

The 2014 Gambling (Licencing and Advertising) Bill is effectively an add-on to the 2005 legislation. This is more encompassing and more focused towards online and remote betting to ensure all gambling companies that operate in the UK fall under the law and the GC, wherever they are actually bases. This makes it easier to define what gambling is and whether a company and its advertisers are permitted to operate in Great Britain.

One important aspect of the 2014 act is to ensure that off shore operators are also required to have a UK gambling licence to advertise in the UK. As most online bookmakers are based in the likes of Gibraltar or Malta this was a critical piece of legislation. It also entitled the government to a 15% tax on gross profits earned in the UK.

History of UK Gambling Law

Gambling and betting through history has courted much attention. It has been banned or restricted several times by various monarchs and the republican Oliver Cromwell, who banned most sports and betting with his puritan ways. In 1541 the Unlawful Games Act was enacted by the parliament of England and was designed to restrict several new games. The idea at the time was new games and sports were causing the death of archery as young adolescents became distracted by newer ventures.

The 1541 act didn't necessarily restrict gambling directly but did so by proxy in banning the sports and games occurring in the first place. It took however until 1845 for the British establishment to issue binding legislation on gambling in the Gaming Act of 1845.

The gaming act was actually designed to discourage betting. It made a bet unenforceable as a contract under law and therefore an illegal action. Basically meaning if you bet it is illegal under law and you do so at your own risk meaning someone could walk off with your cash. This wasn't actually rescinded until 2001 and needless to say it didn't really stop people gambling.

The 1892 Gaming Act created an exception for the Totalisator (tote) board. This allowed on track betting at race courses in Great Britain but betting and gambling off course was still illegal up until 1960 (with the exception of the football pools) The 1960 Act saw the final repeal of the 1845 gaming act.

Up until 1960 it was however legal to place bets by post or over the telephone. Many bookmakers got around this by employing 'runners' that would take bets from a public phone to the bookmaker. Mr William Hill is a famous early bookie who did what he could to circumvent these laws.

Online Gambling License

The Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 famously removed the restriction on offsite betting and led to the opening of the first betting shops in 1961. Many cite this as the beginning of the end for greyhound racing and some smaller horse racing meetings in particular.

This worked well enough until the end of the 20th Century, however new forms of betting such as gaming machines and critically the internet meant that new legislation was needed. This was seen in the form of the 2005 Act and 2014 Bill.

Customer Complaints & Protection

The objectives of the the UK government, the gambling commission and bookmakers is to generally protect customers by creating a safe, fair and open environment. The gambling commission will not however mediate individual customer complaints over disputed funds.

You can however report gambling operators (either online or physical) if you think they are contravening the gambling code and putting people at risk. If you think you have been mislead by advertising you are better off contacting the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

For information on IBAS, the body that mediates disputes between bookmakers and customers, read our IBAS page or for more general dispute advice read our how to make a complaint to a bookmaker article.

Personal Gambling License Uk Online

Responsible Gambling

A core objective of the GC is to ensure all operators actively promote responsible gambling. See our article for all features and information relating to responsible gambling.