Are UK Online Casinos Legitimate?

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Online gambling is a form of gambling that requires an internet connection to take place. To play such games, you need a PC or any other device that is internet enabled. Online gambling entails slots and casino games like the ones here at goldrush plus slots, poker, and sports betting.

The first casino was launched online in the UK in 1994 after the enactment of the Free Trade and Processing Act, which provided licenses to companies interested in setting up online casinos in the UK. In 2003, the culture secretary, by then, Tessa Jowell, recommended for the review of the UK gambling laws. According to her, a review of gambling regulations would enable the gambling industries to adopt the ever-evolving technology. Following her recommendations, the UK government constituted what is known today as the UK Gambling Commission.

Tessa Jowell
Tessa Jowell

UK Online Casino Regulation

The UK Gambling Commission was formed in accordance with the 2005 Gambling Act to oversee gambling in place of the Department for Media and Culture Sports. The mandate of the commission was to:

  • Ensure gambling is ethical and not linked to crime in any way
  • Ensure there is transparency in gambling
  • Ensure children and vulnerable persons are not exposed to betting.

Furthermore, the Commission was constituted to regulate the ever-growing online gambling industry in the UK.

The Commission's prime responsibility is to come up with licensing procedures for gambling companies within the UK and to ensure they all comply with UK tax regulations. Any legitimate casino site intending to set up its operations in the UK must apply for a license from the UK Gambling Commission.

If the Commission declines your application, it will cite the reasons for doing so.

If you're not satisfied with the way the commission has handled your application for a license, you can file an appeal to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

There are different types of licenses issued based on the type of gambling. They include:

  • Operating license
  • Personal management license
  • Person function license

These forms of licenses are issued to any business intending to instigate any form of gambling online or offline. Furthermore, the Commission imposes an annual fee as a renewal for the licenses to every license holder. The Commission does so to meet its objectives.

The UK Gambling Commission also controls the betting industry via taxes. The UK gambling industry is an extremely feasible and lucrative one since players and winners are not subject to taxation; only casinos are taxed. Following the 2014 amendment to the previous Gambling Act, casinos are obliged to fork out 15% of their gross profit to tax. Besides, online casinos running their business outside the UK are subject to taxation provided they've players from the UK. Failure to comply with this leads to revocation of licenses or the inability to renew the existing one.

Player Safety

To safeguard players' interests, the UK Gambling Commission has come up with a vast number of safety measures and various regulations to ensure data protection and cybersecurity protocols are adhered to before issuing a license. All this ensures players in the UK are not exposed to any risk, including unauthorized access to their data.