History of UK Gambling: Legalization, Government Regulation, and Taxes

Horse racing was first held in England in the 16th century long before casinos not blocked by gamestop, and the lottery began to be held in the Elizabethan era as a fundraising tool for public needs. Card games and other forms of gambling have gained a controversial reputation.

Some groups of people admitted that they could be a possible pastime and way to train their intellect, while others tried to ban them for ethical and religious reasons. Maneuvering between supporters and opponents, gambling was periodically banned and strictly regulated in England.

A list of lavs related to gambling appeared in the form of the “Illegal Gambling Law” in 1541, but was never applied. Laws that banned horse betting in the mid to late 19h century led resourceful bookmakers to be cautious when working in pubs and bribing police officers.

Other laws from the same period banned most forms of gambling, linking them to various forms of crime, which caused the gambling business to go underground. In the early 20th century, two royal lottery and betting commissions were established to reform the world of gambling to reduce crime and increase government revenue.

These actions led to the fact that in 1960 it was decided that gambling can be carried out in licensed government bookmakers. This was followed by a series of other laws aimed at regulating casino construction, the convenience of gambling establishments, and advertising.

To establish clear rules for the gambling business, as well as to monitor and control its turnover, the Gambling Act of 2005 established the “UK Gambling Council”, which was replaced in 2007 by the “Gambling Business Commission”. Also to regulation and licensing, the GC also researches the UK gambling market. Compared to other countries, the UK gambling regulation model is perhaps the most beneficial for all players: operators, players, and government.

Legalization, Government Regulation, and Taxes

In the UK, gambling is governed by the 2005 Gambling Act, which replaces the previous series of codified laws. Gambling is controlled by the “Gambling Commission”, which issues licenses to land-based and sportsbooks not on gamstop.

Requirements applicable to licensees

The regulator places high demands on operators’ activities to protect the interests of players, therefore gambling sites are checked on an ongoing basis. According to the standards of the Gambling Business Commission, licensees are obliged to independently and regularly organize and conduct audits of their activities, as well as comply with all technical requirements put forward by the commission.

To control access to gambling sites by users at risk, operators should work to raise awareness. Every online casino should warn about the risk of acquiring a gambling addiction. The regulator insists on informing users about the dangers of gambling and the possibility of refusing services.

In case of non-compliance with the rules, the UK Gambling Commission applies fines to operators, up to and including revocation of the license. However, the strict rules applied to gambling are increasing the trust of players around the world.

The licensee is required to provide the regulatory body with the following information:

  • Reports of suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency regarding possible money laundering;
  • Information for conducting alternative dispute resolution;
  • Information about events in the management of the company: change of managers, change of managers, renewal of the composition of managers, etc;
  • Information about the key events of the company;
  • Risk assessment at the local level;
  • Information on the protection of users’ funds;
  • Regulations;
  • Information about the suspicious behavior of players.

Overall gambling revenues continue to grow, even as revenue has shifted from the land-based to the online sector, which is growing faster.


Operators must also make sure that any elements of fraud are excluded, the gameplay is objective and transparent, and children and people from risk groups are not allowed to gamble.

Tax hikes are sometimes interpreted as the government’s awareness that profits have already increased by a significant amount and continue to grow.

Strong revenue growth projected in the online sector will strengthen the UK’s status as the largest regulated market in the world. With some established industry leaders creating an enabling environment for startups, the UK online gambling market has great potential for sustainable growth.

Leave a Comment