Gambling Laws and Regulations in United Kingdom

With some of the most liberal but highly robust gambling laws in the world, the gambling industry is big business in the UK, and below you will find a range of facts and figures that will show you just how big that industry is.

  • The entire gambling yield in the UK gambling industry from April 2016 to March 2017 was worth a whopping £13.9 billion!
  • The UK’s gambling industry does employ a huge number of people and in September 2017 that figure stood at 106,366!
  • Thanks to things such as FOBT’s and in-play betting the number of betting shop in the UK is huge, and in March 2017 that figure stood at 8,532 betting shops!
  • Bingo is another hugely popular gambling activity throughout the UK and plenty of bingo clubs are available, there was a 2% increase in 2017 resulting in there being 649 bingo clubs.
  •  As long as you are over the age of 21 you can enter a land based casino in the UK and gamble there are there are plenty of choose from with there being 152 of them!
  • UK Gambling Commission licensed and regulated online gambling sites do turnover a lot of cash, and from Oct 2016 to September 2017 the collective turnover was £4.9billion!
  • Online and mobile gambling is quickly catching up with land based gambling activities in the UK as the market share of remote gambling is 35% of the total marketplace!
  • You will find plenty of gaming machines located in Great Britain and as of September 2017 there were a total of 183,928 gaming machines!

Early Gambling Activities in the UK

Whilst there are now a plethora of different gambling activities and betting opportunities available in the UK, years ago there were just two main types. Lotteries were open to everybody and were used to mainly raise taxes. Horse racing was permitted but gambling restricted to the aristocracy.

History of UK Gambling Laws

  • 1509 : King Henry the VIII banned gambling
  • 1558 : Queen Elizabeth I authorized the first English National Lottery
  • 1567 : James I gave permission to the Virginia Company to run a lottery to fund their expeditions abroad.
  • 1625 : Charles 1st allowed courtiers to operate lotteries to raise funds for London’s water supply.
  • 1760 : During the industrial revolution the government turned a blind eye to the aristocracy betting on horses but it was still a criminal act amongst the lower classes!
  • 1845 : The first Gaming Act in the UK was passed by Parliament.

Modern Day UK Gambling Laws

  • 1960’s : It was during the 1960’s that betting shops were legalized in the UK
  • 2005 : The Gambling Act of 2005 saw the introduction of the modern day UK Gambling Commission that now oversees, licenses and regulates land based and remote gambling related venues and sites that are based or advertise in the UK.

Infographics Showing the UK Gambling Laws and Regulations :

UK Gambling Law infographic