History of Gambling in UK
Frankly speaking, the history of gambling and betting in the United Kingdom is as old as this world. No kidding. For lots of centuries, gambling has been among the most popular British recreational activities. In fact, gambling was quite popular long before 1541 when it was first illegalized by the Unlawful Games Act to prevent its pernicious effect on the military training.
Nevertheless, gambling was quite flourishing in the Tudor and Stuart eras. For instance, during the rule of Queen Elizabeth, specifically in 1566–1569, there was launched basically the first national public lottery in England. It served as a means to raise money aimed at repairing the harbors. Besides, at that time, there were also popular private lotteries that were aimed at raising money for The Virginia Company of London so that it could settle in America at Jamestown. In 1710–1714, there were also extremely popular lotteries during the reign of Queen Anne. At that time, lotteries managed to contribute as much as £9,000,000 to the state’s budget out of which £2,734,000 was paid to the winners. Nevertheless, that was quite a profitable source of income for the Crown. In addition, lotteries served to finance the American war of 1775–1783. Technically, The English State Lottery had been operating for over 250 years before the government declared a final lottery in 1826 as a concession to the British parliament opposition’s constant pressure. That was a fair decision from the economical point of view since there came the peaceful century after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, so there was no further need for finances collected as lottery taxes.
Horse racing has also become extremely popular in England since Tudor days. Their first records date back to 1539 when they were held in Chester. In 1671, even King Charles II was so interested in horse races that he was a jockey. He also made a palace close to where the races were held. The immense popularity of horse races didn’t fade in the 18th century. Quite the reverse, it started flourishing even more as it started involving not only the royalty and rich, but also became affordable for people from the lower classes. In such a way, many poor young men viewed it as the way to escape poverty. Technically, work in the horse races betting sphere was quite popular among the working-class rural men, who were crazily dreaming about making it big. In fact, it was really the best chance to rise from the drags to riches, and many a British people rushed to take this chance. Besides, all the betting standards were clearly set by the main horse race betting clubs, which were the Jockey Club and Newmarket.
The further legal changes occurred in 1845 when The Gaming Act of that year legalized all games of skill, simplified gambling houses regulation, made cheating a crime, and made all the existing gambling contracts null and void. Probably, the most popular form of gambling during the Victoria era were different cards and dice gambling activities. These forms of betting were immensely loved by aristocracy who were what is nowadays known as high rollers.
In 1906, there was enacted The Street Betting Act that served to allow this extremely exciting betting activity with small bets for the moralistic middle-class.
In 1928, there was enacted the Racecourse Betting Act to regulate the horse races betting, while greyhound races betting was legalized in 1934 under the Betting and Lotteries Act. in 1947, owing to the increased popularity of football pools, there was adopted the Pool Betting Duty that serves to collect taxes from this gambling activity. In 1960, there was another substantial breakthrough in the British history of gambling as land based casinos were legalized according to the Betting and Gaming Act. It also legitimized bingo. In 1994, there was established the National Lottery.
Are Online Gambling Sites UK Legal?
To begin with, we are extremely happy to tell you that the United Kingdom is among those extremely rare countries in the world where online gambling for real money is absolutely legal. Evidently, that also means that all the online casino sites UK are open to the public, so any gambler, who has reached the legal gambling age of 18 years old, can choose whichever online casino United Kingdom that seems appealing and go in for the exciting legal gambling on the web. That’s definitely the dream come true, huh? Learn even more essential legal gambling info in the United Kingdom right in the corresponding subsections below.
Online Gambling UK Legal Regulations
The essential law that has laid the foundations of legal gambling regulations in the United Kingdom is The Gambling Act 2005. Basically, it serves to regulate all forms of gambling in England, Wales, and Scotland. Mind that Ireland online casinos aren’t subject to this law. Basically, the gambling act was meant to transfer the licensing authority from the magistrates' courts to the local authorities. Besides, it served to create the legal gambling regulatory body of the United Kingdom known as the UK Gambling Commission about which you can also read in the corresponding subsection below.
Another substantial advantage and benefit of the implementation of The Gambling Act 2005 is that it serves to regulate online gambling as well, which is not so common compared to gambling laws in many other countries across the world, where land based gambling is generally legal, yet there are no laws that would regulate specifically gaming on the web. So, the United Kingdom is quite an advanced country in this regard with extremely favourable conditions for gambling, especially if you opt for trusted online casinos which are not so numerous in fact. That’s why we highly recommend to look through our recommendations to avoid any kind of undesirable experience of dealing with scam sites or anything else of that kind.
In 2014, there were some crucial updates to The Gambling Act 2005 enacted as The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014. According to this act, all the offshore online casinos that accept gamblers from the United Kingdom and want to operate on the United Kingdom online gambling market must obtain the license issued by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Besides, all the gross profits by offshore online casinos are taxable, so they must submit to a 15% point of consumption tax. Knowing that, you can be absolutely sure that our recommended best online gambling sites UK as well as those that are allowed to operate on the United Kingdom online gambling market are absolutely safe and trusted since they are licensed by the UKGC, therefore, comply with all its regulations and requirements of really high standard.
United Kingdom Gambling Taxes
While gaming for UK players remains nontaxable, there evidently is a taxation system for the licensed best UK casino sites, both local and offshore. Formerly, gambling taxes were known as betting duty that was applicable exceptionally to sports betting sites that were obliged to pay 6.75% on all the placed sports bets. That taxation law had been in effect till 2001 when it was replaced by the 15% tax that has to be paid by all the licensed local and offshore betting sites on their gross profits. According to The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, the 15% tax on gross profits was replaced by 15% point of consumption tax. In fact, the gambling industry substantially contributes to British economy owing to the taxation system. For instance, in 2010, it has managed to contribute as much as £6 billion to the state budget, which is quite a fancy sum of money, huh?
Legal Gambling Age
According to the Gambling Act 2005, it’s allowed to play in licensed gambling venues and sites only provided that the age of 18 has been reached. The same gambling age is required for playing gaming machines of the following categories: A, B1, B2, B3, B3A, B4, C.
In contrast, the person of any age can play gaming machines of the category D as well as the following gambling activities: non-commercial or private betting and gaming, equal chance gaming (if the prize gaming permit allows), equal chance gaming at a licensed family entertainment centre, prize gaming at a non-licensed family entertainment centre as well as prize gaming at a travelling fair.
Besides, gamblers that have reached the age of 16 have the legal right to participate in the following gambling activities: National lottery, Scratchcards, and Football pool.
Regulatory Authorities Of UK Casino Sites
As you might have presumed, there’s a specially created Gambling Commission that serves to monitor and regulate all forms of gambling in the United Kingdom. That’s why there’s the United Kingdom Gambling Commission that serves as a gambling regulatory that operates under the Gambling Act 2005 on behalf of the governmental Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission(UKGC) was created in 2005 under the Gambling Act. In 2007, it replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain that used to regulate gambling before. In 2013, the UKGC started regulating the National Lottery as well. The UKGC is basically an executive non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom that is responsible for supervising gaming law and regulating all forms of gambling in Great Britain. In addition, the UK Gambling Commission serves to license all the land based and online casino operators, both local and offshore casinos that accept gamblers from the United Kingdom. Technically, the UKGC authority covers almost all forms of betting (e.g., casinos, arcades, lotteries, bingo, betting, slot machines, and remote gambling) except for spread betting. Basically, the main goal of the UKGC is to prevent any crimes in the gambling industry, ensure open and fair gambling, and protect the vulnerable and underaged. In addition, the UKGC is among the most recognized international gambling authorities responsible for licensing online casinos. That’s why it’s also fair to claim that the UKGC sets the online gambling standards in the world. The license issued by the UKGC is definitely to be trusted and you can’t legally play in a casino that doesn’t possess the UKGC license.
How To Choose A Reliable Casino Online UK?
As we have told you already, all the local and offshore casinos that accept gamblers from the United Kingdom must be licensed by the UKGC. That’s basically the main criterion for choosing the best online casino offers for UK players. We highly recommend to check the license info from the UK online casino reviews in the footer section on the gambling website of your choice. If there’s no official info and proof of its being licensed by the UKGC, there’s no good reason to stay on that website any longer. Even if the UKGC license is mentioned in the footer, make sure there’s indicated the license number so that you can check this info on the UKGC website as well to make sure it’s not a fake. We do understand that it might seem too annoying to check all this licensing info, yet that’s the key to choosing the best casino UK.
Another essential aspect to bear in mind while choosing a decent online casino UK to play for real money is the security and fairness. That’s why you should take your time checking whether the betting website of your potential choice has an SSL encryption that serves to protect your personal data and banking info. Besides, make sure that the website of your choice is regularly audited by eCOGRA, TST Labs or GLI and uses a certified random number generator so that the gaming outcomes are 100% random and can’t be influenced at the benefit of the casino you’re playing with.
In addition, since your main gambling focus is games, make sure that you check the available games collection and can find the type of games you want to play. While all casinos can offer you slots, blackjack, and roulette, you should spend some time looking for the ones where you can play keno, bingo or scratch cards. So, you’d better check it in advance so that you know what casinos can offer you the games you are looking for. In case you are in doubt what slot game to opt for, check specifically those casinos where you can try various free online slot games to decide which ones are the most appealing for you. The gaming software also substantially matters, of course. Among the best developers, we can surely mention Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Betsoft and so on.
Finally, since you want to play for real money, it’s essential to opt for exceptionally the best payout UK casino sites to have at least some betting advantage. Evidently, you need to look for such casinos that can offer you safe and reliable banking options that should be convenient for gamblers from the United Kingdom. Check out gambling sites that accept Paypal, Entropay, Skrill, Neteller etc. Other decent banking options include the most popular credit and debit cards such as Mastercard and Visa. It’s also worth checking out minimum deposit casinos so that you can make the first deposit of only a few dollars to test the real money gaming and check how it goes. You may also look for betting websites with no deposit bonuses, which is even better than the minimum deposit casino since it lets you test the real money gaming mode without paying any penny for that.
Since we really care about your gambling experience, you can simply check our expert’s selection of the best UK online casinos in the corresponding section below. No doubt, they all meet the essential criteria and guides specified in this section. Also, make sure to read your chosen best online casino UK review to objectively decide whether it’s truly the most appropriate of all the best UK casino offers specifically for you.
Best UK Online Casino Sites
Based on our guides and advice how to choose the best gambling sites UK, our experts have created our own list of the top 10 UK online casinos that are 100% safe, fair, and to be trusted. Carefully check out our exclusive UK online casinos list to end up playing with truly the best online casino you can even think of.
|Best Online Casinos UK||Welcome Bonus||Brief Casino Review||Available Games||Top Banking Options|
|888 Casino||€140||Very old and reputable casino with daily promotions and live dealer bonuses, high withdrawal limits, and eCOGRA seal of approval.||Keno, Roulette, Video poker, Slots, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps||Visa, MasterCard, Ecopayz, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill|
|Dunder Casino||€100||The casino has two licenses, live games, and a large number of game providers and payment options. Besides, there’s a tasty no deposit bonus!||Scratch Cards, Roulette, Video poker, Blackjack, Slots, Baccarat, Craps, Bingo||Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, Ecopayz, Paysafecard|
|Betway Casino||£250||The casino has two licenses, a truly impressive gaming selection including many live dealer games, numerous banking options, and currencies. Besides, it’s regularly audited by eCogra.||Keno, Roulette, Video poker, Slots, Blackjack, Craps||Visa, Ecopayz, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Paysafecard|
|Karamba Casino||$200||Karamba can boast of successful and lasting collaboration with reliable providers, user friendly interface, and the fair certificate by iTech Labs.||Blackjack, Scratch Cards, Roulette, Slots||Visa, MasterCard, Ecopayz, Neteller, Paysafecard, Skrill|
|Casimba Casino||€6500||The casino has three licenses, quite a large number of games and providers, live games, and fast support.||Scratch Cards, Roulette, Video poker, Blackjack||Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard|
|LeoVegas Casino||£400||There is a VIP club, numerous games and providers, and the mobile casino apps for both Android and iOS||Keno, Scratch Cards, Roulette, Blackjack||Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard|
|Fun Casino||£/$/€ 123||This casino has good reputation so far, a wide range of currencies, and quite a high withdrawal limit||Video Slots and Slots, Jackpots, Live Casino, Table Games, Video Poker, Other Games||Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Ecopayz, Paysafecard|
|Mr. Green Casino||$100||One of the most trust casinos with the authorized license, large list of game providers, and live games||Keno, Slots, Roulette, Blackjack||MasterCard, Neteller, PayPal, Paysafecard, Visa, Skrill|
|Ahti Casino||100 Free Spins||Licensed by the UK Gambling Commission; has top tier software providers, and huge selection of games||Slots, Jackpots, Roulette, Blackjack||Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Ecopayz, Paysafecard|
|777 casino||€1500||Here you can enjoy safe and fair no download gambling since the casino is secured with SSL encryption, and proven fair by eCOGRA||Slots & Jackpots, Roulette, Live Casino, Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat||Visa, MasterCard, Ecopayz, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill|
Popular Types Of Gambling Sites UK
Nowadays, the most popular online casinos for gamblers from the United Kingdom include mobile, live and new online casinos. In the following subsection you can check out the best mobile online casino options as well as the top live and new casinos 2020.
Top 10 Best Online Casinos By Category
|Category||Best Casino||Bonus||Top Banking Options|
|New||Casimba||€6500||Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard|
|Live||888 Casino||€140||Visa, MasterCard, Ecopayz, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill|
|Mobile||777 casino||€1500||Visa, MasterCard, Ecopayz, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill|
|Live||Dunder||€100||Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, Ecopayz, Paysafecard|
|Mobile||Ahti Casino||100FS||Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Ecopayz, Paysafecard|
|Live||Mr. Green||$100||MasterCard, Neteller, PayPal, Paysafecard, Visa, Skrill|
|Mobile||Fun Casino||£123||Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Ecopayz, Paysafecard|
|Live||Betway||£250||Visa, Ecopayz, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Paysafecard|
|Mobile||LeoVegas||£400||Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard|
|Live||Karamba||$200||Visa, MasterCard, Ecopayz, Neteller, Paysafecard, Skrill|
UK Problem Gambling
According to British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007 conducted by the UKGC, approximately 0.6% of all the British adult gamblers suffer from different issues related to problem gambling. Out of all the problem gambling sufferers, 14.7% participated in spread betting, 11.2% played in fixed odds betting terminals, and 9.8% were involved in betting exchanges.
In conclusion, since gambling is absolutely legal in the United Kingdom, you have basically nothing to worry about. Since casinos substantially enrich the British budget, there are quite favourable gambling conditions in the United Kingdom. The main issue to bear in mind while selecting a good online casino to play with is to make sure that the betting website is licensed by the UKGC, which is a must for any gambling website (no matter whether it’s local or offshore) to be able to legally operate in the state. So, simply opt for a UKGC licensed online casino that appeals to you most of all and go in for gambling right away!
Absolutely! The United Kingdom is among those extremely rare countries in the world where online gambling for real money is absolutely legal. Evidently, that also means that all the online casino sites UK are open to the public, so any gambler, who has reached the legal gambling age of 18 years old, can choose the best UK casino and go in for the exciting legal gambling on the web.
According to the Gambling Act 2005, it’s allowed to play in licensed casinos and gaming machines of categories A, B1, B2, B3, B3A, B4, C since the age of 18. Gamblers that have reached the age of 16 have the legal right to participate in the following gambling activities: National lottery, Scratchcards , and Football pool. There are also gambling activities for gamblers of any age: gaming machines of the category D, non-commercial or private betting and gaming, equal chance gaming (if the prize gaming permit allows), equal chance gaming at a licensed family entertainment centre, prize gaming at a non-licensed family entertainment centre as well as prize gaming at a travelling fair.
Not at all. While gaming for UK players remains nontaxable, there evidently is a taxation system for the licensed best UK casino sites, both local and offshore. All the gross profits by offshore online casinos are taxable, so they must submit to a 15% point of consumption tax.
There’s the United Kingdom Gambling Commission that serves as a gambling regulatory that operates under the Gambling Act 2005 on behalf of the governmental Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Our exclusive selection includes the following top 10 options: 888 Casino, Dunder Casino, Betway Casino, Karamba Casino, Casimba Casino, LeoVegas Casino, Fun Casino, Mr Green Casino, Ahti Casino, 777 casino.
First of all, all the local and offshore casinos that accept gamblers from the United Kingdom must be licensed by the UKGC. That’s basically the main criterion. Another essential aspect to bear in mind is the SSL encryption that serves to protect your personal data and banking info. Besides, make sure that the website of your choice is regularly audited by eCOGRA, TST Labs or GLI and uses a certified random number generator so that the gaming outcomes are 100% random and can’t be influenced at the benefit of the casino you’re playing with. In addition, since your main gambling focus is games, make sure that you check the available games collection and can find the type of games you want to play. The gaming software also substantially matters, of course. Finally, since you want to play for real money, you need to look for such casinos that can offer you safe and reliable banking options that should be convenient for gamblers from the United Kingdom, such as Paypal, Entropay, Skrill, Neteller as well as Mastercard and Visa.