Is Online Betting Legal in the UK?


With online betting being no exception, all nations around the globe have got their own rules and regulations governing all kinds of gambling. The legality of the various gambling games solely depends on the country’s set laws on such acts. The UK has a number of top gambling sites in the world with many having offshore operations in different countries and thus there is an all-inclusive legislation put in place in accordance with online betting and legitimacy.

Now let’s unravel the legislation for you to keenly understand every detail regarding the legality of online betting UK. Below are the key points regarding the lawfulness of online betting:

– All forms of gambling have been legitimate and lawful in the UK since 1960.
– The set legal age for betting on sports and other kinds of gambling is eighteen ( 18+).
– The set legal age for lotteries, scratch cards, and pool game is sixteen (16+).
– The Gambling Act 2014, and Gambling Act 2005 govern regulate most online betting activities.
– All forms of Gambling the country are controlled by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.


Since 1960, when betting was legalized in the UK, there have been a number lawful Acts that have been put in place by the government to regulate the industry. The content below will help you understand the events that have ensured the legality of online betting in the UK is on track.

The Betting, Gaming, and Lotteries Act of 1963

With betting away from the racetrack being illegal for several years, the 1963 Acts came to pave way for all other forms of betting by making off-racetrack betting legal. It’s the act that transitioned the betting industry to where it lies today. Since the signing of the Act and other legislation, it has greatly influenced and controlled the UK betting industry.

The Gambling Act of 2005

With 3 major aims, the 2005 Gambling Act was introduced to change the gambling industry with the changing times. The main aims of the Act included;

– Ensuring all forms of gambling were conducted in an open way and with a lot of fairness.
– Preventing forms of gambling from being purported to support criminal activities, being affiliated with criminal activities and disorder, or leading to disorder and crime.
– Protecting all children and other persons from being exploited or even harmed by gambling acts.

The Gambling Commission formed in 2005

The 2005 Gambling Act led to the formation of the Gambling Commission in the same year which was tasked with the main role of regulating all forms of gambling in the United Kingdom. Online betting was brought aboard as a land-based form of gambling and offshore companies were given remote operation licenses to govern their gambling activities. The Commissions was also tasked with setting up other new gaming licenses and laws to bring legality in the field.

The Gambling Act of 2014, also known as, The Licensing and Advertising Act of 2014.

The initial Gambling Act was not very clear on online betting for companies outside the UK border but rendering services to the UK customer base for several years since its enactment, these debatable laws were removed when the Act was passed in 2014. It made the licensing process and all other set rules and regulations favorable for all online betting companies across all borders. It moreover brought consistency in the industry by allowing companies outside the UK to pay a tax rate of 15%, that is, same as all other UK-based companies were paying. The Act was a great welcome to other betting sites as it introduced a flat rate tax on all companies irrespective of their location. The main aim was to create a point of consumption tax creating a greater revenue capacity.

The rules and regulations governing betting activities in the UK have greatly changed over the recent years. All these have been put in place to ensure a safe environment for both the company and the customers while ensuring consistency with the law. As a result of various money laundering activities in the sector, the 2005 Gambling Commission was tasked with the role of supervising on and combating money laundering attempts. To help flush out laundering, betting companies will need you to identify yourself. Here’s why;

Why Do I Have To Confirm My Identity?

The government introduced a set of regulations, The Money Laundering Regulation of 2007, an effort to wipe out laundering in the gambling sector. Thus, for new customers signing up in a betting company, they will have to undergo a screening process. This helps to identify, prove identity, and to get useful information from independent and credible sources. Well, that’s why you will have to provide relevant documentation in casinos and online betting sites before you’re served.