Online Gaming in the United Kingdom

Online Gaming in the United Kingdom

The huge (and continually growing) online gaming industry in Britain today follows a long history of the pursuit in the United Kingdom. Games and betting have been around a long time, as evidenced by the discovery of archaeological artefacts from prehistoric times — we were playing before we began writing!

Thousands of years later, gambling has been subjected to the marvels of technological advancements and moved into the virtual realm. As a result, the UK has developed its own regulatory and licensing body to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed.


The classic game of Bingo was perhaps the earliest example of organized, regular gambling in the UK, which became popular after the Second World War. The Betting and Gambling Act of 1960 regulated the industry, requiring bingo halls to be set up as members-only clubs among other demands.

Off-course bookmakers, who would take bets on greyhound and horse racing events and other sports, were also legalized at this time, by this Act.

The first legal casino is thought to have been opened in 1961 in Port Talbot, in Wales, and the Gaming Board of Great Britain restricted these casinos to only 10 gaming machines. In 1968, the Gaming Act loosened restrictions, paving the way for more commercial outfits.

In 2005, the Gambling Act allowed the construction of larger, resort-style casinos in the UK. This Act is also particularly relevant to our discussion because it replaces legislation as far back as 1845 and governs nearly all forms of gambling.


This bit of legislation has put the regulation of a variety of different gaming sectors into one bill. The Act covers gaming in arcades and adult gaming centres, betting, bingo, casinos, gambling in clubs and pubs, lotteries (except the National Lottery) and remote gambling.

It has three overarching objectives, which is applies when considering all these types of gambling:

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime,
  •  ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The UK Gambling Commission is the authority in charge of implementing this Act. Players can use the UKGC website to learn more about the Gambling Act, preventative measures in place to combat money laundering and fraud, and file complaints against operators that are not abiding by the rules.

The site is also home to resources addressing problem gambling and responsible gambling, information that is useful to both players and operators.

The UKGC also issues gaming licenses to operators across the range of operations they regulate and carry out frequent compliance checks throughout the year. It is because of his strict regulation and enforcement that a UKGC license is so well regarded in the online gaming industry — only quality casinos, by operators who have met rigorous standards, will retain their license to operate.


There are plenty of UKGC-licensed online casinos to choose from but we’ve gone and done the hard work for you. Check out this selection of sites where you can be sure to get a quality experience every time.

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