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Overview of Online Gambling in the UK

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Since the institution of the Gambling Act 2005, the UK has become a major player in the international gambling community. The UK currently generates about 30% of Europe’s gaming revenue. No wonder there are currently over 2,500 gambling operators in the UK.

On the flip side, these high numbers have resulted in more gambling addictions and vices. As a result, the UK government has implemented measures to protect the industry, creating regulations and restrictions for operators and players.

In this piece, we delve into the intricacies of UK online gambling, its regulations, restrictions and safety measures. These are vital details every UK player would find helpful.

UK Gambling Regulations 

All gambling activities in the UK are subject to the Gambling Act 2005. The act was designed to prevent illegal gambling, dissociate gambling from criminal activities, maintain the integrity, fairness, and transparency of gambling, and protect vulnerable individuals. The act created the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in 2007 to oversee the activities of gambling operators in the region. 

In 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson initiated a review of the Gambling Act, and some changes were implemented in September 2022. These changes were designed to protect at-risk customers, and they require operators to monitor risk indicators, implement automated processes, prevent marketing to at-risk customers, evaluate interactions, and comply with the UKGC’s policies at all times. Even abide by these policies in order to protect players.

UK Gambling Restrictions 

Key restrictions outlined by the UKGC and the Gambling Act include the following:

Age

In the UK, the legal gambling age is 18. Although the legal age to play the National Lottery was previously 16, the legal age for all gambling activities was raised to 18 in April 2021. If a minor (anyone less than 18 years old) is caught gambling, they will be fined £1000. Those who permit or encourage minors to gamble may face imprisonment of up to 51 weeks and/or a £1,000 fine. 

License 

Every company, regardless of its location, must obtain an operating license to provide gambling services in the UK. This requirement also applies to companies that advertise their gambling services to UK gamers. According to the Gambling Act (Sections 33-36), “facilities for gambling” without a proper license face a criminal offense punishable by up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000, and potential license revocation.

Cheating

According to the Gambling Act 2005 Section 42, it is illegal to cheat at gambling or engage in activities that enable or assist others in cheating. Even if gamblers do not win or improve their chances of winning, they can still be considered guilty of cheating. The act defines cheating as actual or attempted deception or interference in connection with the gambling process or related events. Those convicted of cheating at gambling can face a prison sentence of up to two years and may also be subject to a fine.

Safety Measures for Gambling in the UK

With the increase in the number of casinos and UK online gambling activities, there has also been an increase in the reports of gambling addictions. Having recognized this challenge, the UK government and charitable organizations have provided support to help players with gambling addiction. 

A major response to the increasing problem of gambling addiction is the GamStop App. The app limits the activities of players across UKGC-licensed casinos. Many repentant gamers can not play their favorite games because of irreversible GamStop restrictions. Hence, non-GamStop casinos have become quite popular. If you are looking for non-GamStop casinos, you can read more here.

Whether you play on GamStop or non-GamStop casinos, there are tips that every player can imbibe to overcome gambling addiction. These tips include:

  • Create a gaming plan
  • Set financial and time limits on gaming activities
  • Take breaks during gambling sessions
  • Understand the rules of gambling and the odds of winning
  • Avoid chasing losses

Final Thoughts

Online gambling in the UK is a thriving industry with a significant impact on the region’s economy. Hence, players and operators must comply with all the policies established by the UKGC in their interest. Acting otherwise will put other players at risk and expose the erring party to harsh penalties. Players and operators will thrive in the industry by following the rules of the Act and the Gambling Authorities.

Balachandran B

Co-founder & Head of Operations @ SoccerSouls Sports Network. Nick Name: Jin. Favorite Sports team: Arsenal Follow me @Jin

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