UK gambling laws

The UK gambling business has been legalized. The total revenue (gross gambling yield, GGY) is more than 13 billion GBP (15.7 billion EUR) annually. The total revenue of the online market is 4.5 billion GBP (4.9 billion EUR), 32% of which comes from the online market.

In the UK (as of 2016) there are 147 casinos, 583 bingo halls, 8 788 betting points, 176 410 slot machines. The number of employees in the gambling industry as of 2016 was 106,678 people.

The UK gambling business is regulated by the Gambling Commission and Licensing Committees. The main law is the Gambling Act 2005.

UK gambling legislation

Until 2005, there was no single law regulating the UK gambling business. In the late nineties, the government created the Gambling Review Body. This commission investigated the market, the impact of gambling on society and how this area of ​​activity is developing.

According to research results, the government published the first Gambling Bill in 2003. The king signed it on April 7, 2005.

The project offered four types of casinos:

  • regional, resort casinos;
  • large casinos;
  • small casinos;
  • not falling under the category of a licensed casino. This definition was introduced to cover the establishments that existed at that time.

Small casinos are 500 – 1,500 square meters. The minimum space for board games is 500 square meters. The norm of slot machines is 80 machines. It is also allowed to accept bets.

Large casinos – premises ranging from 1,500 to 3,500 square meters. The minimum space for board games is 1,000 square meters. The norm for the number of slot machines is 150 machines. Bingo is also allowed.

The government has limited the number of licenses for small, large and regional casinos to eight. Then, when the bill came into force, the licenses for regional casinos were cut to one.

It was planned to introduce 17 locations in order to research the social impact of new casinos. The list was proposed by an organization called the Casino Advisory Panel. This council was created by the Secretary for State for Culture Media and Sport. He dealt with the issue of where to place new casinos – one regional, eight large and eight small. The council considered proposals from local authorities.

In 2014, amendments to the law came into force, caused by the rapid development of online gambling. From November-December 2014, all operators who advertise gambling services and are based in the United Kingdom are required to obtain a license from the Commission. All operators must pay online gambling tax, which is calculated based on the amount of transactions from UK resident consumers.

The current Gambling Act 2005 regulates the following issues:

  • key concepts and definitions;
  • determination of the duties and powers of the Gaming Commission;
  • penalties for violation;
  • protection of minors;
  • types of licenses.

Gaming Regulators

Gambling business in the UK is handled by:

  • Gambling Commission;
  • Licensing Committees (Licensing Authorities).

The Gambling Commission is responsible for all issues of the gambling business, except for betting on spreads (financial betting). This belongs to the powers of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Licensing committees are organized locally and include representatives from local authorities.

The main functions of the Gaming Commission:

  • the procedure for issuing licenses;
  • definition of conditions for each type of license;
  • regulation of license holders;
  • investigation of illegal gambling and implementation of punishments;
  • assistance to local authorities on gambling issues;
  • advice to the Secretary of State on gambling issues, reports on its status, influence and regulation.

The UK Gambling Commission is the world’s leading licensing authority. An online casino licensed from her is considered to be a surely reliable resource.

Another high quality license is the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. It is an island in the possession of the British crown, not far from the French Normandy.

Conditions for obtaining a license in a gambling jurisdiction

The issuance of licenses is governed by the Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) Ordinance. This provision, included in the 2005 Act, governs the order in which gambling premises are provided. If the premises are arranged with violations, this is a reason for the withdrawal of the license.

There are two types of licenses: for land-based platforms (then you also need a license for the premises) and for online gambling. Licenses are issued separately for the areas of gambling and products:

  • casino;
  • bingo;
  • general license for all types of bets;
  • licenses for certain types of bets – pools and intermediary (Pool betting and Betting intermediary);
  • slot machines with different categories;
  • for software;
  • lottery.

Applications are submitted to the Gambling Commission. She publishes a list of all licenses on her website.

Any person or organization can apply for a license, however, the Commission must approve the location of the play equipment and the reliability of the organizer itself. The license term and fees vary depending on the license type and expected gross revenue.

Site licenses are divided into five types:

  • casino;
  • bingo hall;
  • play center for adults (with cars of category B);
  • family center (with cars of category C);
  • item rates.

Only one license is issued per room, which limits the range of games available on this site.

Licenses are also issued to personnel: for managers and for the main staff. Each prescribes responsibilities and authorities for its category.

Licensed varieties of gambling

UK law defines the following types of gambling:

  • casino games;
  • games for equal chances (bingo);
  • rates;
  • lottery.

Gambling itself includes games of chance for a prize, betting and participation in the lottery. Games of chance also include skills such as card games and dice.

The law regulates the following gambling products:

  • arcades;
  • betting;
  • bingo;
  • casino;
  • gambling programs;
  • gaming machines;
  • lotteries other than commercial lotteries;
  • online gambling.

Slots categories in the UK

Gaming machines in the UK are broad. This is a machine adapted for gambling. They are divided into 4 categories A – D, depending on the maximum bet and the available prize:

  • В1 are only available in casinos. The maximum bet is 5 GBP (5.5 EUR). The maximum prize is 10,000 GBP (10,994 EUR);
  • B2 or FOBT (fixed odds betting terminals) are available in casinos, betting points and on sweepstakes tracks. The maximum bet is 100 GBP (109 EUR), the largest prize is 500 GBP (549 EUR);
  • B3 are available at betting points, tracks, bingo halls and adult gaming centers. The maximum bet is 2 GBP (2.2 EUR), the maximum prize is 500 GBP (549 EUR);
  • B3A are lottery-style slot machines, though not lottery games. Only available in member clubs. The maximum bet is 2 GBP (2.2 EUR), the maximum prize is 500 GBP (549 EUR);
  • В4 – gaming machines, allowed in almost all venues except pubs. The maximum bet is 2 GBP (2.2 EUR), the largest prize is 400 GBP (439 EUR);
  • C – also allowed in pubs. The maximum bet is 1 GBP (1.1 EUR), the maximum prize is 100 GBP (109 EUR);
  • D – Available at all sites, including family centers without a license (with permission). Bets range from 10p to 20p and prizes range from 5 to 20 GBP (5.5 – 21 EUR).

There are also Skill with prizes (SWPs) cars. They are not considered playable and can be placed anywhere. They do not require a license.

Online gambling in the country

Online gambling occupies 33% of the entire UK gambling market. Total revenue for fiscal 2015-2016 was GBP 4.5 billion (EUR 4.95 billion). This is the largest sector of the market, the rest bring less profit. For example, the National Lottery is in second place – it has 3.4 billion GBP (3.7 billion EUR).

The structure of income from online gambling is as follows:

  • casino games – 2.6 billion GBP (2.8 billion EUR);
  • betting – 1.6 billion GBP (1.7 billion EUR);
  • betting exchange – 152 million GBP (167 million EUR);
  • bingo – 153 million GBP (168 million EUR);
  • interest pools – 26 million GBP (28.5 million EUR).

Popular slot machines in the UK

We offer a list of the most popular slot machines in the UK:

  • Multifruit 81;
  • Viking Runecraft;
  • Copy Cats;
  • Divine Fortune;
  • Esqueleto Explosive.

Gambling software developers

The UK is famous for its large number of quality casino software developers. In addition, many multinational companies are trying to open an office in London or the Isle of Man, which, like Alderney, belongs to the British crown.

Among British developers, the following are worth mentioning:

  • Blueprint Gaming Ltd .;
  • Realistic Games;
  • Ash Gaming;
  • Core Gaming;
  • Microgaming (Isle of Man);
  • Playtech (Isle of Man).

Blueprint Gaming Ltd. Is a subsidiary of the German Gauselmann Group. Her portfolio includes more than 50 slot machines. Founded in 2007.

Realistic Games is a studio founded in 2002. Her portfolio contains over 30 slots. The company has developed its own ReGaL platform.

Ash Gaming is a Playtech subsidiary founded in 2002. Her portfolio includes over 70 slot machines.

Core Gaming produces casino games and slot machines, mainly for mobile. Founded in 2007.

Microgaming (Isle of Man) is one of the leading casino games and software developers. Founded in 1994. He is considered one of the first creators of online casinos. Created my own Quickfire platform. The portfolio includes more than 500 items, of which more than 300 are slot machines.

Playtech (Isle of Man) is also one of the largest developers of slot machines. Founded in 1999, it offers a variety of casino games and software. There are almost 200 slot machines in his portfolio alone.


The UK gambling business has been a significant source of income, jobs and entertainment for many years. Online gambling will continue to develop actively.

The United Kingdom has two large licensing commissions. Here are the offices of gambling software studios, among them such giants as Microgaming and Playtech. The largest gambling conferences are held in London: ICE Totally Gaming, WrB London, SBC Awards. The UK gambling business has good prospects.

UK gambling laws

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