Online Gambling Law
Written by Michael
Published date · June 20, 2019 | Last Updated · Dec. 14, 2022 | Read Time: 4 mins
Do you feel safe when gambling online? It’s reasonable for people not to feel safe. After all, when you gamble online, you’re essentially handing over your money to a company. This company may well be safe and trustworthy; but then again, it may be unreliable. Thankfully, the vast majority of online casinos can be trusted. This is thanks to internet gambling laws. While gambling laws vary greatly from country to country, their purpose is to protect players. With legislation in place, you can gamble knowing that your details and money are safe.
Online Gambling In The UK
British players have some of the most secure online gambling websites in the world. UK online gambling laws are somewhat straightforward, though they’re still very effective at keeping you protected when you gamble for real money online. The laws are quite relaxed in the UK. Players have access to loads of online casinos and sportsbooks.
If you’re lucky enough to win, your winnings won’t even be taxed. This is because gambling winnings aren’t considered income earned from working. So not only can UK players enjoy safe online gambling with access to all the best sites, they can also keep all their winnings for themselves.
So what is is that keeps gambling in the UK safe and secure? The UK Gambling Commission and the Gambling Act of 2005.
The UK Gambling Commission
The world’s first online casino was launched in 1997. It didn’t take long for loads more casinos to come online. However, it wasn’t until 2005 that the UK formally introduced legislation to regulate how gambling is conducted online. This was when the Gambling Act 2005 was passed in Parliament. The purpose of this act was to make sure that those offering online gambling services meet certain standards. If operators meet these standards, players should be able to gamble online without any problems.
As part of this act, the UK Gambling Commission, an executive department of the UK government, was formally established. It regulates pretty much every form of gambling, including playing casino games for real money and taking part in online sports betting. The National Lottery has also been covered by the UK Gambling Commission since 2013. The only area of gambling it doesn’t cover is spread betting. The department works to keep gambling fair, so that everyone has the same chances of winning.
The UK Gambling Commission also aims to tackle problem gambling, ensuring that gambling is always just an enjoyable hobby and not an addiction for anyone. Help is offered to those with gambling problems and guidelines are available so people know how not to become addiction to gambling. Gambling is often linked with illegal acts, including money laundering and fraud. Another key goal of the UK Gambling Commission is preventing gambling from becoming a source of crime.
UK Gambling Commission Licences
So are online casinos regulated and if so, how do you tell they are? You’ll be pleased to learn that pretty much every UK online casino is regulated. If a casino is regulated, then it has a licence. The UK Gambling Commission is one of many organisations around the world that provide gambling licences.
Casinos with licences by the Gambling Commission have been thoroughly reviewed. They’ve been checked over to make sure everything’s above board and there’s nothing untoward going on. They’ve also been given the go-ahead by the regulatory authority to offer online gambling services.
If a casino or sportsbook has a licence, you should be able to find it easily enough. At most online gambling sites, the licence is listed towards the bottom of the web page. If you happen across a gambling site and can’t find a licence anywhere, you shouldn’t sign up. A site without a licence may not be trustworthy.
Signing Up To UK Casinos
It goes without saying that you should only sign up to licensed sites. Most are fully licensed and in fact, you’ll probably struggle to find a site that isn’t licensed. When signing up to a gambling site, you’ll have to provide a range of personal details. You’ll also have to provide some form of ID and other official documents to confirm who are you. Most of the time, you can sign up just with your personal details. You’ll only have to provide ID and documentation when making your first withdrawal. This all to keep your account safe and to make sure nothing happens to your money.
The UK Gambling Commission isn’t the only regulatory authority. Other ones you may well come across include the Malta Gaming Authority and the Government of Curacao. So long as a gambling site is licensed by such an organisation, you shouldn’t have any major problems at that site.
Gambling Laws Elsewhere
As previously mentioned, online gambling laws are quite relaxed in the UK. You’re free to gamble online without punishment and have access to countless gambling sites. UK players are lucky because gambling laws elsewhere aren’t as liberal. In the United States, for example, the federal laws vary greatly from state to state. The laws regarding online gambling are fairly complex. Therefore, many US players don’t enjoy the same freedom and protection when gambling online as UK players do.
The online gambling industry benefits from plenty of regulation, especially in the UK. Laws are set up to protect players and to keep online gambling problem-free. Gambling is often associated with things like debt, addiction, crime or disorder. The UK Gambling Commission constantly works to prevent these problems from occurring and to help anyone negatively affected by online gambling. Thanks to the UK Gambling Commission, UK players enjoy some of the safest, most secure online gambling in the world.