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United Kingdom Flag

United Kingdom

Gambling as a sector has had its fair share of history, which will vary from country to country, even today. Some have embraced it along the way, while others have cast it out of their countries in more recent years. When it comes to the United Kingdom, the current day legislation permits gambling in various forms, both online and offline, although there have been turbulent times along the way to reaching such a stand point.

It’s always been a popular asset in British culture and history, although it’s safe to say that gambling on bingo games during World War II was highly popularised amongst the armed forces. At the finish of this war, the game became highly popular among the civilian population, and after several years of playing bingo and various other betting games, it wouldn’t be until the 1960 Betting and Gambling Act was introduced, that commercial bingo halls were set up to cater to such players. This initially came with certain restrictions, allowing the halls to be constructed, but only if they were provided to members only, and that the management and/or owners only took commission from membership fees, rather than any kind of percentage from entry fees.

Casinos have shared a similar kind of story, becoming vastly popular after the end of the Second World War. These could only be opened if they obtained a licence from the Game Board of Great Britain at the time, and they were only able to house a maximum of 10 different machines. While the law on bingo was upheld, it became difficult to enforce such a law on casinos, and therefore, the Gaming Act of 1968 allowed true commercial casinos to be constructed with a wider selection of games available. This allowed UK residents a long span of being able to play their favourite games, albeit still in small buildings. Once the Gambling Act of 2005 was introduced, super casinos (such as those found in Atlantic City or Las Vegas) were able to be built. However, they could only do this if they adhered to three major objectives, and this is still the case today for gaming establishments, both land-based and online.

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Legislation and Obtaining a Licence

The Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom is the only place that prospective casinos within the country can go to obtain a license to allow them to start offering gambling games to players, whether that be online or offline. The organisation seeks to ensure that those offering facilities for gambling, or working in the gambling industry, are suitable to do so. All casinos, sports books, lotteries and other games associated with the gambling sector must adhere to the three major objectives of the Gambling Act 2005. These are:

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

Further to this, anyone looking to obtain a licence to enable them the opportunity to offer games will be assessed on five separate items. These are:

  • Identity and ownership – the full identity of the person(s) wishing to receive the operating licence need to provide full details.
  • Finances – the financial history of the applicant(s) relevant to the application.
  • Integrity – the honesty and trustworthiness of the applicant(s)
  • Competence – the experience and expertise, as well as qualifications and history of the applicant(s)
  • Criminality – the criminal record of the person(s) applying for a licence.

The objectives of the Gambling Commission must be adhered to at all times, and so regular checks on the status of an online gaming platform are carried out to ensure this.

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The Online Story

Netent is active and available to be offered to UK-based casinos, and the online story of gambling has been growing in popularity in the country over the years. All forms of online gambling are licensed by the Gambling Commission and can be legally provided in the country under a licence from the organisation. In order to offer games online, there are two types of licence needed – an operating licence and a personal management licence. Depending upon which game(s) are offered, the platform will need separate licences for each of them, whether that be casino gaming, bingo, lotteries, or any other form. These guidelines apply to any service offering games via the internet, telephone, television, radio or any other kind of electronic technology for facilitating communication.

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