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Online Gambling and Its Legality in the UK

Online gambling in the UK is an established endeavour. From online sport betting, online casino gaming, online gambling has firmly consolidated itself as a favourite past time of many why still affording others a chance to win something.

A brief History of Gambling in the UK

Prior to the advent of internet which ushered in popular online gambling and specifically online casino in the UK, gambling in the UK dates back to 430AD. This is more than 2000 years ago when the Romans invaded London.

The ancient Romans introduced gambling to the Britons by gambling on dice games, sports and board game known as tabula. The latter interestingly metamorphosed to the game known as backgammon. It is this historic game that gave birth to other popular table games played in online casino games today.

Gambling in the 20th Century

Prior to the 1960s, gambling activities were not regulated, no legal framework on licensing and no penalties whatsoever were placed on gambling activities.

The 1960s saw the opening of betting shops in major streets where punters walk in easily to place bet without having to be at the racing grounds to place bets on races and other games. The boom in gambling in this era enforced the need for a regulatory ground work for online gambling in the UK.

UK, Home of Casino Gambling

UK is home to some of the most popular lottery systems featuring both regional and national games. It is now home to several large online casinos which are the envy of the whole planet.

UK has one of the largest numbers of online casino where players can gamble remotely and play casino games of their choice from the convenience of their desktop and mobile devices.

Era of Casinos in the UK

In 1960, the first casino was opened at the Casino Club Port Talbot in Wales. Another casino shop was opened at the Metropole Hotel in Brighton in 1961. More and more casinos were opened as laws on gambling were relaxed by the government.

old photo of first casino in the uk. People playing roullette

This led to the Gambling Act of 1968 and this laid the ground work for online casinos to spring up in the UK. The first UK online casino was launched in 1998 by William Hill through Sportsbook.

The Beginning of Online gambling in the UK

The internet era brought in possibilities of digital gambling and playing for money at online gambling and casino sites in the UK.

The gambling act of 2005 was enacted to regulate online gambling in the UK which requires that all gambling sites hosted in the UK must obtain license from UK Gambling Commission before they can operate. This has opened up a whole new world of gambling in the UK as punters can play for real money in many categories of games with endless lists.

Is online gambling legal in the UK?

All gambling has been legalised in the UK since 1960. There are restrictions however on the legal age for online gambling. All citizens below 18years are banned from most gambling including online casinos in the UK.

Scratch cards, lotteries and football pools require gamblers must not be less than 16years (to protect children and other vulnerable populations of the UK). For online casinos in the UK gaming, all bets must be placed at casino sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.  

The UK Gambling Commission formally regulates all online gambling in the UK. The Gambling Acts 2005 and 2014 govern almost all online gambling activities in the UK which includes online casino games.

Is Income from Gambling Taxed in the UK?

Income from gambling in the UK is not taxed. This has a huge positive effect on the thriving online gambling environment in the UK.

How can you enjoy online gambling in the UK?

Online gambling in the UK is known as ‘remote gambling’ as the name covers all forms of mobile and social betting apps and desktop gaming sites.

Below are some of the popular online games punters can enjoy on in the UK:

The Slot Machines: this is a very popular game dominating online gambling in the UK. This is popularly seen as fruit machines outside of the UK. There are varieties of slot machines which include Jackpot slots, Video slots, old-school slots, themed slots and lots more.

Bingo: this game was launched in 1996 and was the first game to be legalised in the 1960 legislative changes. The game is sometimes known as Housie and it is a modernised version of an old game called ‘beano’ which dates back to the 1500s. Bingo is a game played in patterns. Here are a few examples of bingo game patterns: Bell, block of 6, block of 9, etc.

Sports betting: sports betting dates back to more than 2000 years ago when the Greeks introduced Olympics games which are still observed till date. It spread to ancient Rome where it was accepted and legalised.

In sports betting, stake can be placed on horse racing, gladiator fighting, jousting, soccer, athletics and numerous field events. Today sports betting is a very popular online form of betting as wagers can be placed online on so many games one of which is football betting which has grown so much in popularity.

What is the Future of Online gambling in the UK?

Currently there are more than 18 million online gambling accounts in the UK. This is a tremendous increase that has not witnessed any decline since 2008. Online gambling payouts are also on the increase, research has shown that punters won more than GBP366 million in 2014.

Online gambling has witnessed tremendous revolution as a result of combination of several sofftware technologies and gaming methodologies which has changed the gambling industry. There’s tremendous innovations especially in online casino games as there’s unlimited access to storage space available online which a luxury land-based casinos may not sufficienty afford at the moment.