Guide to Online Gambling in the UK: The Best Gambling Sites for British Players

Gambling in the UK
Sports Legal since: 1963
Daily Fantasy Legal since: 2005
Casino Legal since: 1968
Poker Legal since: 2005
Lottery Legal since: 1993

Best UK Gambling Sites for Real Money 2021

Since the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005, the United Kingdom has become even more of an important market in the gambling industry. Nowadays, Britain is home to hundreds of gambling sites, offering excellent game variety and generous bonuses.

It is important to point out that, unfortunately, not every operator offers high levels of safety and fairness. Thus, to make sure you play at the best gambling sites, we have selected the best and safest operators that ranked strongly in all our criteria and passed all security checks. Here are the top online gambling sites in the UK for 2021:

  • Secure
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Last updated: August 16, 2021
Welcome Bonus Pros and Cons Test Score Trusted Link Terms
£1500 Top Casino Software Excellent Live Casino No Betting Platform 4.9/5 Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit £20, max bonus bet is £5, bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days otherwise any unused bonus shall be removed. Bonus funds are 100% match up to £300 on your 1st deposit, 25% match up to £800 on your 2nd deposit, and 50% match up to £400 on your 3rd deposit. Bonus funds are separate to cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus, cash & bonus spins.
£998 Many Classic Games Evolution Live Platform No Loyalty Scheme 4.6/5 Full T&Cs apply. New players only. Max bet £5. 11 Fun Spins for registration (max withdrawal is £100). 50% up to £499 bonus + 100 Fun Spins on 1st deposit. 50% up to £499 bonus on 2nd deposit. No max cashout on deposit offers.
50 Rich Game Catalogue No Wagering Bonus Only One Bonus Offer 4.5/5 Full T&Cs apply. For Every £1 you deposit, 1 Free Spin will be credited. Up to 50 Free Spins on Spina Colada. Min deposit is £10. This offer is only available for first time depositors. Game: Spina Colada | Spin Value: £0.10.
£100 Casino, Lotto, Live Excellent Bonus Less Mobile Games 4.5/5 Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. Min deposit £20. Wagering requirements are 35x bonus. When playing with bonus funds max best is £5. Welcome bonus excluded for deposits with Skrill/Neteller.
£50 Casino, Sports, Live Excellent Game Portfolio Rather Low Bonuses 4.4/5 Full T&Cs apply.*New Customers only. Deposit and wager £10 within 7 days of opening a new account. £70 bonus = 1x £10 Free Sports Bet, 2x £20 + 2x £10 Casino Bonuses for selected games with up to 60x wagering applicable. 3-day expiry. Credit and Debit cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.
£250 Casino, Sports & Live Generous Bonus High Wagering 4.2/5 Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. Opt-in required. 100% Match Bonus up to £250 on 1st deposit of £20+. 50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Irregular gameplay may invalidate your bonus.
£500 Casino, Sports Betting Wide Game Variety Few Mobile App Games 4.2/5 Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. Min Deposit £10. Deposit & bonus amount must be wagered 6 times (min odds 4/5) prior to withdrawing bonus funds and any winnings. Wins from real money bets withdrawable at any time. Bonus on sports betting only. T&Cs apply
£500 Excellent Games Lucrative Bonus PayPal Not Accepted 4.2/5 Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New players only. 1 bonus offer per player. Min. deposit £20. Max. bonus bet is £5. Bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds expire in 30 days, unused bonus funds will be removed. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution.
£20 Casino, Sports, Poker Top Mobile Platform Low Bonus Amount 4.2/5 Full T&Cs apply. First deposit only. Min £20 deposit. 5X wagering. See the operator's promotions page for full details. Always gamble responsibly.
£100 Casino & Sports Betting Excellent Mobile App No Loyalty Programme 3.9/5 Full T&Cs apply. New players only. 35x wagering on Deposit Bonus and Free Spins. Starburst Free Spins credited after deposit & wager of £20+ on slot games. 18+.
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  • We have a deep understanding of the UK gambling laws and follow the changes in legislation and the activity of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
  • We hold expertise on the legal issues related to online gambling in the UK. We stay up to date by following the biggest British local media such as The Independent, The Telegraph and BBC.
  • We have extensive experience in creating free gambling guides and operator reviews. Some of our most popular articles are our Real Money Roulette and Online Video Poker guides.

Types of Gambling in the United Kingdom

Great Britain has one of the most successful and developed entertainment industries for a reason. With the implementation of the Gambling Act of 2005, the country has legalised practically all forms of gambling. Nowadays, players in the UK can play at top online casinos, sports betting sites, daily fantasy sports, online poker and lottery.

The best UK gambling sites have become leading international brands, while foreign platforms are eager to enter the market. Do you want to know more? Check out the following paragraphs as we explore each gambling product in more detail and recommend you the best operator to play at.

Online Casino Gaming in Great Britain

The UK has one of the safest and best-regulated gambling markets and is home to many online casinos. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is responsible for the evaluation and licensing of all operators interested in offering their services to the residents of the country.

Luckily, players in the UK have the option to choose among many excellent online casinos available. Due to the sheer number of sites available, some operators offer better a better product than others. Wondering where to play? We have selected the best casino offer in the UK for you:

Top Casino Offer By

The Grand Ivy
100% Up to £1500 + 100 Free Spins
Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit £20, max bonus bet is £5, bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days otherwise any unused bonus shall be removed. Bonus funds are 100% match up to £300 on your 1st deposit, 25% match up to £800 on your 2nd deposit, and 50% match up to £400 on your 3rd deposit. Bonus funds are separate to cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus, cash & bonus spins.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is completely legal and has been for many years. It is widely considered one of the most popular forms of online gambling in the UK. Many of the brands that operate the largest online betting sites in the country started off as High Street bookies. Thus, it comes as no surprise that some of the leading sports betting sites belong to popular and well-known names in the UK gambling industry.

Many operators allow punters to bet on a wide variety of sports as well as entertainment and politics. Even though many sites offer similar betting markets, some offer better bonuses and gambling conditions than others. To help you choose the most convenient licensed betting site for you, we have selected the top sports betting offer available on the UK gambling market:

Top Sports Betting Offer By

Up to £30 Matched 100%
Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New customers only. Minimum deposit £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of minimum 1.75 to unlock Free Bet. Debit card and PayPal deposits only. Full Terms and Conditions apply.

Daily Fantasy

Daily Fantasy Sports might not be as popular in the UK as they are in the United States, but DFS is fully legal. Even though Daily Fantasy is not strictly classified as gambling, all providers that wish to offer their products in the United Kingdom must obtain a licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

Thanks to this legal condition, players can be certain that they would be playing at safe and fair sites only. Wondering where to play? Luckily for you, one of the world’s leading daily fantasy providers, DraftKings, has been available in the UK since 2016. Below you can find out more about its welcome bonus and where to claim it:

Top Daily Fantasy Offer By:

$3 Free Ticket on Your First Deposit
Full T&Cs apply. New players only, 18+. On your first deposit of $5 or more, you will receive a FREE $3 ticket to play in any $3 paid contest. You must use this ticket within 1 year of depositing. Not redeemable for cash.

Online Poker

As with other forms of gambling in the United Kingdom, online poker is completely legal and operates under the established conditions of the Gambling Act of 2005. Nowadays, players can choose among various poker rooms, licenced and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Naturally, some poker sites offer better playing conditions than others.

While you may have the option to choose among many operators, we strongly advise you to engage in the necessary research, in order to make sure that you choose the best poker site for you. To help you with this, we have selected the best poker offer that you can currently find on the UK gambling market:

Top Poker Offer By

£20 Free No Deposit Bonus
Full T&Cs apply. New players only, 18+ • £20 free bonus: includes $1 immediate bonus & $31 in tournament tickets • Bonus will be granted gradually throughout 7 days after claiming • Each part of the bonus expires after 24 hrs • Immediate bonus may be withdrawn after a player has accumulated 2.5 bonus points for every $1 of the received bonus amount •This offer may not be combined with any other offer • Wagering requirements vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions & T&Cs apply


The lottery in the United Kingdom has a long history. For centuries, it went through the repetitive pattern of being banned and allowed again until it finally got its official licence in 1993. Nowadays, the National Lottery is operated by the Camelot Group and has been for more than 20 years.

The lottery went through a major rebranding in the last few years and currently, players have the option to buy their tickets online. Bear in mind, however, you can only purchase tickets from the National Lottery’s official website if you have a UK bank account. If this is not your case, or you do not want to limit yourself to the British lottery only, you may want to try your luck at an alternative lottery website. For your convenience, we have selected the best lottery offer for you:

Top Lottery Offer By

The Lotter
Every 10th Ticket Free if You Subscribe
Full T&Cs apply. 18+ only. You acknowledge that the frequency of Lottery Draws each week depends on the specific Lottery that you are choosing to subscribe to. You agree that your subscription, and related payment obligations, will remain active until such time as you use the Site Tools to suspend or deactivate your participation in the Subscription Service. For such time as you are participating in the Subscription Service, you will be debited the Order Price for each Lottery Draw that you play.

Online Gambling Guide for British Players

The rather liberal gambling laws in the United Kingdom have led to the launch of many gambling sites. While gamblers are spoilt for choice, it might be difficult to find the best place to gamble.

In order to make the best decision, you must keep in mind certain details when looking for the best website to play at. We strongly advise you to keep reading our guide and pay special attention to the following topics that we have prepared for you:

Gambling Licence & Safety in the United Kingdom

Your safety should undoubtedly be your top priority when choosing a gambling site to play at. Nevertheless, if you are unaware of the gambling laws, it might be difficult for you to distinguish the safe operators from the fraudulent ones. However, you may do so by following a few simple steps.

To begin with, there are certain logos and symbols that you should look out for. They would usually be located at the footer of the online casino’s homepage, and their presence would guarantee that your private and banking details shall be safely handled.

If you are playing in Britain, it is essential to make sure that your chosen gambling site holds a licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. All of the best online gambling sites in the UK hold one. You can do so by seeking its logo and the operator’s licence number on the homepage.

The presence of eCogra’s logo is another guarantee that you are playing at a safe and fair operator. For your convenience, we have listed the most important gambling safety symbols that you should look out for in order to make sure that you would enjoy a safe gambling experience.

Gambling Safety Symbols:
eCOGRA eCogra is a British internationally approved testing agency, specialised in the certification of online gaming software. The presence of its logo on a gambling site guarantees that you will receive fair gaming, protection and responsible operator conduct.
UKGC The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in the UK. The UKGC also issues licences to all gambling operators in the country.
IBAS The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) is an Alternative Dispute Resolution service, approved by the UKGC. Its main function is to provide impartial judgement on disputes that arise between licensed gambling operators and their customers.
ESSA The European Gaming and Betting Association represents the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the borders of the European Union.
GamStop GamStop is a free, independent self-exclusion scheme for people with online gambling problems. They control their users’ gambling habits by restricting players from gambling sites for a certain period of time. It is available for UK residents only.
BeGambleAware is a website administered and funded by the charity organisation GambleAware. It provides information to help people control their gambling habits and prevent gambling addiction.

How to Spot a Great Product: Games and Bets

Once you have made sure that your chosen operator is safe and licenced, you must check whether it offers a rich game variety. Remember that even if your selected gambling site offers a generous bonus, it will not mean much if you cannot find a game you like. Thus, you must always check whether an operator offers enough games, bets or poker tables prior to signing up to it.

We realise that finding the website that offers the widest variety of games and bets might be challenging. That is why we have researched the British gambling market and have selected the operators that offer the best gaming conditions and products to choose from. You can find our full list below as well as information on why each of our recommended operators is trustworthy:

Gambling Type Min Product Requirements Best Gambling Operator Why It’s the Best?
Sports Betting Software and Mobile Platform Competitive Odds Fast Payouts MansionBet Renowned Operator Generous Bonus Excellent Mobile App
Online Casino Rich Game Selection Excellent Live Casino VIP Programme The Grand Ivy Games from Various Developers Generous Bonus Impeccable Mobile Platform
Daily Fantasy Mobile-Friendly Platform Many Tournaments Easy Navigation DraftKings Regular Promotions A Leading Operator Various Types of Games
Online Poker Daily Poker Tournaments Mobile-Friendly Platform Many Payment Methods 888poker Wide Choice of Poker Cash Games Speed Poker Games Excellent Bonus
Online Lotto Mobile-Friendly Responsible Operator Easy Navigation The Lotter 60+ Lotteries Excellent Mobile App Regular Promotions

Best Gambling Bonuses in the UK

Once you have found an operator with a rich game catalogue, you must also make sure that it offers good value promotions. Nowadays almost every gambling site offers some form of welcome bonus. Nevertheless, not every operator can afford to offer generous promotions that would be truly beneficial to the players.

Remember that an impressive bonus amount does not always mean that the offer would actually be useful to the player. Often bonuses might be tied to high wagering conditions, which are almost impossible to fulfil. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to read the corresponding terms and conditions prior to claiming a bonus. Meanwhile, if you need advice on which operator offers the best bonus in the UK, please consult the table below:

Gambling Type Best Bonus Offer Bonus Terms Offered By:
Sports Betting 50% up to £50 Matched 50% Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. Min deposit £20 max bonus amount £500. First deposit: 100% up to £200. Second deposit: 50% up to £300. Wagering 40x for each bonus. Game weighting applies. Cashback: 5% cashback on first and all other deposits during week 1, 10% cashback on all additional deposits taking place in week 2 only. Bonus betting limits: slots - £5 all other games - 10% of bonus amount. MansionBet
Online Casino 100% up to £1500 + 100 Bonus Spins Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit £20, max bonus bet is £5, bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days otherwise any unused bonus shall be removed. Bonus funds are 100% match up to £300 on your 1st deposit, 25% match up to £800 on your 2nd deposit, and 50% match up to £400 on your 3rd deposit. Bonus funds are separate to cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus, cash & bonus spins. The Grand Ivy
Daily Fantasy Free Entry to a DFS Contest Full T&Cs apply. New players only, 18+. On your first deposit of $5 or more, you will receive a FREE $3 ticket to play in any $3 paid contest. You must use this ticket within 1 year of depositing. Not redeemable for cash. DraftKings
Online Poker 200% up to £1200 First Deposit Bonus Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New Customers Only. Min £20 deposit. Payment method restrictions apply. 50x (deposit and bonus) wagering reqs apply. Contributions to wagering reqs vary by game. Max bonus bet 30% of bonus. Bonus valid for 28 days (bonus+winnings removed). Restrictions apply, Ladbrokes
Online Lotto £10 in Free Bets When You Stake £5 Full T&Cs apply. Free Bets credited within 24 hours and is not included in any returns. Free Bets will expire after 7 days. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. BetFred Lotto

Gambling Sites with the Best Payouts

If you want to gain profit from your gambling journey, you should make sure your chosen operator has a relatively high payout. You might find such information stated under the operator’s terms and conditions. Alternatively, it might be published by testing agencies such as eCogra.

What would be considered a good payout depends on the gambling product. For example, for online casinos, an average payout rate between 95% and 98% would be considered satisfactory. Meanwhile, if you are playing at an online lottery website, you would be looking at much lower figures such as anything between 50% and 70%. In the table below, you can check out the best UK gambling sites in terms of payouts for 2021

Gambling Type Site with Best Payouts Payout Payout Verified by: Best Payout Game:
Casino Casimba 97.2% eCogra Blackjack Classic
Sports Betting 888sport 94.95% ESSA Football Betting
Daily Fantasy DraftKings 91%-96% UKGC Fantasy Soccer
Poker 888poker 95.65% eCogra Texas Hold’em
Lotto The Lotter 50%-70% N/A Australia Powerball

Accepted Payment Methods

Making deposits and withdrawals is an essential part of every gambling experience. Most operators nowadays provide their customers with a wide variety of payment methods to choose from. Making any sort of transaction at a licenced gambling site should be safe. Nevertheless, some payment methods offer better data privacy and efficiency than others. That is why it is crucial always to make sure that your selected operator offers a payment method that you are comfortable with.

According to our investigation, most players prefer to make their deposits with PayPal due to the high-security standards offered by the e-wallet. However, many alternative options can provide fast and secure payments. For your convenience, we have listed all payment methods accepted by the best online gambling sites in the UK:

  1. e-Wallets:
    1. PayPal
    2. Skrill
    3. Neteller
    4. EcoPayz
    5. EntroPay
  2. Credit/Debit Cards:
    1. Visa
    2. MasterCard
    3. Maestro
  3. Bank Transfers:
    1. Bank Transfer
    2. Instant Banking
    3. Wire Transfer
    4. Trustly
    5. iDebit
  4. Other:
    1. Apple Pay
    2. PaySafeCard
    3. Boku
    4. Payforit
    5. Zimpler

Mobile Gambling Apps

Due to their busy lifestyles, many people nowadays seek options to play and gamble on the go. Aware of their needs, many operators have developed their own mobile apps, aiming to provide their customers with the best gambling experience.

Some gambling sites have managed to launch more successful mobile platforms than others. This includes, of course, technical stability and a wide game variety. With so many options, however, we realise that it might be difficult to select the most convenient mobile app for you. That is why we have selected the best gambling apps in the UK, suitable for both iOS and Android. Check out the table below to find out more:

Gambling Type Best Gambling App iOS Version Required Android Version Required
Sports Betting MansionBet iOS 10.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Casino Betway Casino iOS 10.0 or later Marshmallow or later
Daily Fantasy DraftKings iOS 10.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Poker 888poker iOS 9.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Lotto The Lotter iOS 10.0 or later Marshmallow or later

Safe & Fair Gambling Software

Even if an operator offers a generous bonus and rich game collection, its website will not be able to run efficiently without good gambling software. There are various leading software developers that support some of the most successful gambling sites. Of course, considering the popularity of online gambling in the UK, it would come as no surprise that most of the industry leaders offer their services on this market.

Some of the brands you will most frequently encounter are OpenBet, Playtech and Microgaming. You will usually find explicit information about an operator’s software at the footer of its homepage. Meanwhile, if you are unsure what to look for, below we have listed the best gambling software in the UK:

Gambling Type Best Gambling Software Other Popular Software
Sports Betting OpenBet Playtech
Online Casino Microgaming Playtech
Daily Fantasy NetSet GanSoftware
Online Poker iPoker Network Playtech
Online Lotto Kootac Playtech

UK Gambling Laws & Regulations

Gambling laws in the United Kingdom are straightforward and easy to understand. All forms of gambling are legal and regulated under the Gambling Act of 2005. The act reflects the British government’s efforts to regulate gambling and to prevent any illegal activities that could be related to it. Under the Gambling Act of 2005, all companies or individuals who wish to provide gambling services or to advertise such need to hold a licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

According to the act, it is also completely legal for British residents to participate in online gambling activities such as sports betting, online casino, poker rooms, bingo sites, lottery sites and daily fantasy. Thus, as a UK resident, you can be certain that you would be playing at one of the safest gambling markets in the world. Need to learn more about British gambling laws? Stay with us and keep reading our guide as we explore the following topics:

Is Online Gambling Legal in the UK?

Yes, all types of online gambling are perfectly legal in the United Kingdom. They are licenced and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, responsible for the players’ safety and security. Currently, all UK residents can legally participate in online casinos, sports betting, daily fantasy, online bingo and lottery. It is advisable, however, to always make sure that your chosen operator holds a licence by the UKGC.

Land-Based Gambling in Great Britain

As we have established, all forms of gambling are legal in the United Kingdom and this includes land-based gambling such as casino resorts. The Gambling Act of 1968 liberalised the rather strict law, allowing the establishment of small, commercial casinos. However, the land-based gambling industry began its serious development after the Gambling Act of 2005 allowed the construction of larger resort-style casinos.

The United Kingdom is home to some of the biggest and most successful casinos in Europe. The country has also registered a notably high interest in sports betting, and there are hundreds of bookmakers legally functioning in Britain. Wondering which are the most popular gambling brands? We have listed them below:

Biggest gambling brands in the United Kingdom:
  • Grosvenor Casinos – The largest brand of land-based casinos in the UK. The company also runs a successful online casino.
  • Genting Group – the company actually comes from Malaysia and currently owns more than 50 casinos in Great Britain, as well as a popular casino site.
  • Hippodrome Casino – The London-based Hippodrome Casino is one of the biggest casinos in Britain. It features more than 45 tables including blackjack, baccarat, roulette and poker. The company has also launched a popular online casino.
  • William Hill – A London-based bookmaker founded in 1934. It currently has more than 100 betting shops in the UK and runs a successful gambling site.

Regional Gambling Laws & Differences

Even though technically the United Kingdom is split into four regions – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, they all follow the same gambling laws. Thus, all online casinos and gambling sites are licenced and regulated by the UKGC and must follow the officially established rules. All players in the country have the same rights, regardless of the region they are located in.

Official Regulatory Body

The gambling industry in Great Britain is currently regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The UKGC was established in 2007 has since then been responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in the country. It issues licences to operators and advises the government on gambling-related issues. The Commission’s remit currently covers casinos, bingo, sports betting, poker, arcades, slot machines, lotteries and remote gambling.

United Kingdom Gambling Commission Overview
Address Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP, UK
Phone 0121 230 6666
Active Since 2007
Key Persons Oliver Dowden, Andrew Rhodes, Bill Moyes

Gambling Taxation: Do I Have to Pay Taxes?

Betting duty was officially abolished in 2001 meaning that currently all winnings from gambling in the UK are entirely tax-free and do not need to be declared as a part of any tax return. Professional gamblers are also not required to pay tax on their winnings even if they are their main source of income.

However, this is not the case for the gambling operators, which since 2014 have been legally obliged to pay a “point of consumption” tax. In 2018, their initial 15% duty on bets placed by British customers was raised to 21% for all games of chance – except for sports betting, which remained at 15%.

Legal Gambling Age

Gambling Type Legal Gambling Age
Sports Betting 18 +
Casino 18 +
Daily Fantasy 18 +
Poker 18 +
Lotto 18 +

As a general rule, the minimum legal gambling age in the United Kingdom is 18. This applies to land-based and online casinos, sports betting, bingo, poker, adult gaming centres and racetracks. For many years, the legal age to play the National Lottery was 16, but this was increased to 18 in April 2021.

Advertising Laws

The advertising of gambling products in the United Kingdom is allowed as long the campaigns are taken in a socially responsible manner and comply with the UK Advertising Codes, which are issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

All gambling commercials must not appeal to children or minors and their content is constantly reviewed by ASA. Young people or anyone who is or appears to be under 25 must not be featured in any gambling advertisements, especially in a role, in which they participate in gambling activity.

All marketing communications must also be transparent and not misleading to customers. Digital adverts must also be placed responsibly and not on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content. For more information on the advertising laws, please read the UKGC’s advertising rules and regulations.

Penalties for Illegal Gambling

A penalty for playing illegal gambling games does not exist in the UK due to the fact that all forms are gambling are legal. Meanwhile, if a minor is caught gambling, he or she will be required to pay a £1000 fine. Anyone who permits or encourages a minor to gamble will also be penalised with imprisonment of up to 51 weeks and/or a £1,000 fine. This is why the best gambling sites in the UK are subject to extensive but necessary administrative procedures for ID verification.

The Gambling Commission will also prosecute anyone providing gambling facilities without a licence. The penalty for such crime would be 51 weeks’ imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine. A similar penalty will follow up for anyone cheating, attempting to cheat or assisting another person in cheating at gambling. Such offence may also lead to 2 years on indictment.

These, however, are not the only legal offences that may be prosecuted by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. You can find some of the most serious gambling crimes listed below. For additional information, please consult the – Summary of offences under the Gambling Act 2005, available on the UKGC’s official website.

Penalties for gambling related crime:
  • Manufacturing, supplying or installing gambling software without licence – 51 weeks’ imprisonment and/or £5,000 fine
  • Minors entering any gambling facilities – £1,000 fine
  • Making a machine available for use without permit – 51 weeks’ imprisonment and/or £5,000 fine

Upcoming Regulation Changes

In 2018, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission introduced a three-year plan, aiming to provide better protection for players. The UKGC established several objectives that it wanted to accomplish. These included addressing unfair terms and practices, practicing better regulation of promotions and advertisements, improving the dispute and complaint handling process and reviewing the current codes of practice.

Moreover, the UKGC wants gambling operators to address better the issue of problem gambling. According to statistics, it has already affected a considerable percentage of people, including minors. Gambling operators will also not be allowed to use manipulative advertisements or to attract children and problem gamblers purposely. The usage of the terms “free” spins and “free” cash will also be prohibited, as such promotions usually include various stipulations, which does certainly not make them free for the players.

Responsible Gambling & Addiction Prevention

The number of problem gamblers in the United Kingdom has risen significantly throughout the last few years. According to the UKGC’s reports the percentage of minors, suffering from gambling addiction has also increased notably. Aware of the serious harm that compulsive gambling can cause, the British government and a number of charitable organisations offer treatment and advice for people who want to stop gambling.

GamCare is a leading provider of information and support for anyone suffering from gambling addiction. The organisation also runs the National Gambling Helpline – 0800 8020 133, where people can receive immediate information on how to battle their gambling addiction. The NHS National Problem Gambling Clinic also offers professional help for anyone affected by compulsive gambling. For your convenience, below we have listed some of the leading British organisations, specialised in treating gambling problems:

Online Gambling in UK Trivia – Curious Facts

The United Kingdom has one of the most liberal and developed gambling markets in Europe. The online gambling market is constantly growing and making millions of profit each year. According to statistics, a large part of gambling revenue comes from slots as they have proven to be Brits’ favourite casino game.

Online slot sites are on the rise and bring large revenues from taxes. It is also an interesting fact that approximately 25 million adults or 45% of Britain’s population gamble or has gambled in the last four years. According to statistics, more than 9 million Brits have gambled online in the last four weeks. The high numbers, however, also indicate an increased risk of developing a gambling addiction. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the government is constantly taking measures to prevent compulsive gambling.

History of Gambling in the UK

The United Kingdom might have one of the most liberal and developed iGaming industries in Europe, but this has not always been the case. Have you ever wondered how it all started? Great Britain is a country with a long, interesting history, and its gambling industry is an important part of it.

To help you understand how the United Kingdom’s successful iGaming market was formed, we have gathered the most important information about it. In the timetable below, you can trace the whole process of the development of Britain’s gambling industry. We have included every important legal change and meaningful gambling events.

United Kingdom Gambling History
1569 Queen Elizabeth I authorises the first lottery in England to raise tax revenue. The event was uncessful as only 10% of the 400,000 tickets were sold.
1698 All lotteries are declared illegal unless otherwise is specified by the state. The act was rather surprising since previous lotteries created the basis for the establishment of Bank of England.
1845 – 1853 The Government passes two Gaming Acts, which effectively prohibit all forms of commercialised gambling. It is an interesting fact that the 1845 Act outlawed gambling mostly for the working classes.
1906 The Street Betting Act criminalises gambling in public. The legislation was ineffective as it was not well implemented and the betting numbers remained almost the same.
1934 The Betting and Lotteries Act legalises small lotteries. Bigger lotteries, however, were outlawed. Horse racing courses and greyhound tracks were forced to limit their activities to 104 days per year.
1956 The Small Lotteries and Gamiing Act further liberalises the lotteries. The act and the proposed changes that came with it were well accepted.
1961 The Casino Club in Port Talbot, Wales is believed to be the UK’s first legal casino. The gaming venue offers entertainment such as legal gambling, cabaret, dance and fine dining establishment.
1968 The Gaming Act 1968 liberalises the law, allowing the establishment of more commercial casinos. After the law was passed, the newly established Gaming Board considered banning roulette games with a zero, but eventually reconsidered.
1976 A new law further liberalises the lotteries. The Lotteries and Amusements Act (1976) was eventually repealed by the Gambling Act 2005.
1993 The National Lottery is set up under government licence and its first tickets went on sale a year later, on 14 November 1994.
2004 The pan-European lottery EuroMillions is launched. Initially, only UK, France and Spain participated in the draw. Now the EuroMillions is currently available in nine European countries.
2005 The Gambling Act 2005 is officially implemented. All forms of online gambling are regulated. The act mainly applies to England, Wales and Scotland.
2007 The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is founded and replaces the Gaming Board for Great Britain. In 2013, the UKGC assumes responsibility for the National Lottery.
2014 The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill changes taxation of remote gambling. Overseas operators are required to inform the UKGC about any suspicious gambling patterns.

Famous Land-Based Casino and Gambling Resorts

The United Kingdom is home to some of the biggest land-based casino resorts in Europe. As we have discussed, the Gambling Act of 2005 allowed the establishment of big Vegas-like casinos in the country. An opportunity that many successful companies such as Genting Group and Hippodrome Group took advantage of.

Currently, there are more than 100 casino venues in Great Britain, many of which contribute to the surprisingly high revenue of more than £900 million. Some of them were quick to catch on to the internet boom, and launched platforms that are among the best gambling sites in the UK. Wondering which are the biggest casinos and the most famous gambling resorts in the United Kingdom? Find out in our list below:

List of the biggest casinos in the UK:
  1. Aspers Stratford – The casino with the largest gaming floor in the UK, offering over 150 slot machines and classic live table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat.
  2. Hippodrome Casino London – One of the biggest casinos in the country. Features three floors and twenty different tables.
  3. Rainbow Casino – An excellent casino in Birmingham, which also offers special lessons for the gambling newbies.
  4. Genting International Casino – Located in Birmingham. Gained popularity for being Europe’s first resort casino.
  5. Grosvenor Casino Southend – Located at the 137-room Park Inn by Radisson, in the resort town Southend-on-Sea. The casino features over 50 gaming machines and table games.

Famous Gamblers and Poker Players from Great Britain

Gambling in Britain has a long and interesting history. While horse racing is pretty much a national institution, games such as poker, slots and blackjack have also left their traces on the British gambling history. However, the United Kingdom is also well-known for certain famous gamblers that have managed to receive high recognition at big tournaments and to prove their superiority against fellow players. Some of them have made and lost millions of pounds throughout their careers. Wondering who are the most famous British gamblers? Check out the list below to find out:

List of famous British poker players:
  1. Tony Bloom – A football club chairman and a professional poker player. As of 2008, his total live poker tournament winnings exceeded $1,500,000. Bloom has also appeared in the Late Night Poker television series and on the World Poker Tour.
  2. Liv Boeree – A professional poker player, writer and television presenter from Kent. Boeree is known as one of most successful female poker players of all time with with over $3,500,000 in live tournament earnings.
  3. Chris Moorman – One of the best British poker players with over 400 online victories. So far, Moorman has a collected a total of $5,511,699 from poker winnings and his personal fortune is constantly growing.
  4. Patrick Leonard – Another popular British poker player, famous for taking first place in the 2014 online poker rankings. Leonard has over $5.3 million in winnings from online poker tournaments and $2.2 million from live tournaments.

British Gambling Books and Movies

The United Kingdom’s gambling industry has become an essential part of the country’s economy and culture. Thus, it comes as no surprise that British cinema has been interested in the topic of gambling for years. A number of films have cleverly shown the potential consequences that gambling can bring and how it can change a person’s life.

Many British writers have also embraced and discussed the gambling topic in their books. In the list below, we have selected some of the best British gambling films and books that we hope you will enjoy:

List of British Gambling Movies:
  1. Casino Royale (1967) – A classic James Bond spy film starring David Niven, Orson Welles and Woody Allen. Features an exciting game of baccarat.
  2. Croupier (1998) – Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) is an aspiring writer that takes a job as a croupier. The casino world slowly takes over his life and changes him completely.
  3. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) – Four friends participate in a high stakes poker game against a crime boss.
  4. Casino Royale (2006) – A new version of the 1967 classic featuring Daniel Craig in his first James Bond movie.
List of British Gambling Books:
  1. The Easy Way to Stop Gambling: Take Control of Your Life – Author: Allen Carr
  2. The Perfect Bet: Taking the Luck out of Gambling – Author: Adam Kucharski
  3. The Sure Thing: The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing History – Author: Nick Townsend

Online Gambling vs Land-Based Gambling in the UK

As we have explained, both online and offline gambling are legal, regulated and well developed in the United Kingdom. British players can enjoy the elegant brick-and-mortar casinos as well as convenient gambling sites. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages.

While it is true that there is nothing compared to the thrill of playing at a real casino, not everyone can find the time to actually go to one. In such cases, players often find online casinos especially convenient as they provide them with a wide variety of games and excellent welcome bonuses. Ready to try your luck? We have selected the best online and land-based casinos in the United Kingdom:

Best Online Casino in Great Britain
The Grand Ivy
100% up to £1500 + 100 Bonus Spins New Player Bonus
Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit £20, max bonus bet is £5, bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days otherwise any unused bonus shall be removed. Bonus funds are 100% match up to £300 on your 1st deposit, 25% match up to £800 on your 2nd deposit, and 50% match up to £400 on your 3rd deposit. Bonus funds are separate to cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus, cash & bonus spins.
Best Real Casino in Great Britain
The Hippodrome Casino

Was our UK gambling guide useful for you? If so, we would like to recommend you to read more of our informative guides, reviews and articles. We constantly follow the gambling news and add new information to our site to make sure that you stay up to date with the latest changes in the gambling industry. Ready to read some of our most popular guides and articles? You can find some of them below.

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