Gambling in The United Kingdom

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Gambling is something that it rooted deeply in the UK culture. For decades and perhaps even centuries gambling in the UK has taken different shapes and grown quite well. Whether it is sports betting or gambling in the form of lotteries, bingo, poker, wheel-games and others, there is no doubt that it has always been popular across the United Kingdom. It has been so for some part of 19th century and also for the entire part of 20th Century.

The growth story has picked up pace during the 21st Century and the internet and mobile telephony have been big drivers of various online casino sites as far as the United Kingdom is concerned. It would be pertinent to mention here that online gambling accounts for 35% of the entire betting activity. This enables gamblers to use the local facilities available in the UK and also various other countries in Europe, USA, Asia, and other places.

New Changes Have Made Gambling More Pragmatic

The setting up of the UK Gambling Commission and the various rules that it has brought about have made gambling in the UK transparent and more pragmatic. It is now possible for online and offline gambling companies to advertise and bring in new customers. This was not the case before the setting up and functioning of the UK Gambling Commission. Before this commission was give more teeth and power, gambling was regulated by some pieces of legislatures. These were loosely drafted and had several provisions that were outdated and not in tune with changing times.

The Journey

The first national lottery in England came into being by an Act of Parliament way back in 1694. The act went through many changes, some for the good and others for the bad. The big change perhaps came when The Betting and Gambling Act 1960 came into force. This permitted bingo halls to start operations in the UK legally. Betting shops also became legal entities on May 1, 1961. Within the first six months, 10,000 outlets were opened.

However, the conditions were tough and many outlets shut shop and went out of business. Things changed only during the 1980s when betting houses were permitted to improve their outlets and make the environments more comfortable for the customers.

Gambling Act Of 2005 And 2014

The Gambling Act 2005 followed by the more recent Gambling Act 2014 certainly was important milestones in the history of gambling in the UK. These changes took into account the growing importance of online gambling followed by gambling using the mobile phone. The changes were made keeping in mind the overall pro-gambling stance of European Union. The main objective was to make gambling laws in tune with changing times and technologies. Further, the changes were an honest attempt to regulate gambling and ensure that it doesn’t become a source of disorder or crime. It also aimed at stopping gambling by persons who were underage. In fine, the entire changes to gambling laws were made with the intention of providing a transparent, open and safe gambling environment in the United Kingdom

How Could UK Gambling Laws Impact You?

Compared to the situations as it were a couple of decades ago, there is no doubt that, as a resident of the United Kingdom, you can have complete peace of mind when you are into online or offline gambling. This is because you are in one of the best regulated gambling markets in the world. Regulation does not necessarily mean stifling the gambling customers and service providers. It is about having well-defined law and provisions and also making the entire gambling experience pleasant, comfortable, transparent and honest for the customers.

To ensure the best of practices, the UK Gambling Commission has some of the best evaluation and appraisal practice. Each and every application for gambling license is carefully evaluated. Nothing is left to chance and there is also complete transparency in the evaluation process.

The operators and promoters are made to follow all the regulations and rules. The Commission also ensures that signup casino bonuses & offers, Slot Sites in the UK and other promotions for the customers are presented clearly and without any ambiguity. The objective is to be sure that there are no misleading offers that could be subject to wrong interpretation by the punters and customers.

Age Restrictions

Any person who has completed 18 years can take part in online gambling in the UK. They can safely get into gambling without the fear of harassment by the legal or law-enforcing authorities. However, if you are a young gambler it would be prudent on your part to check on certain things before signing up and putting your money, especially in an online environment. You must be doubly sure that the online casino is licensed by UKGC (UK Gambling Commission).

There are also other authorities outside the UK whose licenses are also valid. You must make sure that you are aware of the same. If, at any point in time, you feel that you are being wrongly treated as a customer or punter, you have eleven ADRs or Alternative Dispute Resolution provider to approach. Each of them is approved by the UK Gambling Commission.

Help For Gambling Addicted People

It would also be pertinent to mention here that there are many organizations in the UK that can assist people who are addicted to gambling or have become compulsive gamblers. They offer useful counseling services and there are help centers where you could get assistance should you deem it necessary.

Gambling Income Is Tax Free

Another big takeaway in UK is that gambling incomes and winnings are not considered to be taxable. Therefore, you are exempted from paying tax on any income or winning that you make from gaming or gambling. Though the operators are taxed, the burden cannot be passed on to the customers by gambling operators in UK.

The Final Word

To sum up, there is no doubt that the United Kingdom is one of the safest places for gambling fans and customers. This is because gambling has been a part of the culture of ethos of this group of countries and it has grown, evolved and matured over the past many centuries. It has one of the oldest gambling track records in the world. Therefore, you can not only gamble in a wide variety of games but you also have the best of rules and regulations to safeguard your interest. Gambling certainly has come a long way here and it has been trendsetters for other countries and regions.

Author: Tim Weiß