Your Guide To Legal Online Gambling In The UK
The first concern for most UK gambling fans is whether it’s legal to play at an online casino. After all, the last thing you want is to win big at the real money virtual poker tables only to find out you were breaking the law doing so.
The good news is that, in 2018, the United Kingdom gambling laws allow residents and visitors to freely access real cash gambling sites. Providing you’re 18 or over, you are permitted to participate in real cash games like online poker, baccarat and slots.
We’re going to address some of the key themes around UK legal online gambling on this page, highlighting the following areas:
- Website licenses and what they mean
- How to stay within the law
- Top legal sites for UK gamblers
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Gambling in UK is legal at licensed sites
The Gambling Act 2005 was the first piece of UK legislation to fully address the world of online gambling. Written into that law was the stipulation that all real money online gambling legal sites must have a license to offer games to people in the UK.
In 2018, licensing laws were expanded to include overseas online casinos that serve gambling to UK players. So, in 2018, to gamble legally online in the UK you need to stick to sites licensed by the Gambling Commission, a body funded by the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Why finding legal online gambling sites is important
Playing at licensed online casinos is the only smart decision for a number of key reasons. Firstly, you’re staying within the law and protecting yourself from any potential penalty.
Secondly, UK licensed sites are guaranteed to be secure and provide a good experience. If you’re gambling online, legal casinos offer a service that has been fully vetted by the authorities, and have proved themselves to meet a number of key criteria in order to achieve their license. This serves as an assurance of quality when making bets online.
We found the top legal sites for gambling online
Our team of experts trawled licensed UK casinos to pick out the very best in classy, legal gambling online. They were looking for real cash sites that offer generous bonuses, impressive gameplay and locked-tight security to protect you when you’re playing online.
Stick to these destinations and you’ll experience the very best in online poker, roulette, craps or whatever your game of choice happens to be. Take a punt on an unlicensed site and you’re taking some big unnecessary risks in your online betting.
Legal gambling online: Licenses and regulation
The Gambling Commission regulates all licensed online casinos serving the United Kingdom market. Slip below the required standard and a real cash gambling site faces a penalty. It might even be stripped of its license.
The licensing process is a great way for UK authorities to monitor online casinos and ensure the highest standards are constantly being met for online gambling on sports, and all betting online.
Online gambling: Legal FAQ
If you still have some gaps in your knowledge, here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you fill them.
Are online gambling sites legal?
Yes, providing they have a license issued by the Gambling Commission to operate, you won't have any gambling online legal issues.
How can I be sure sites are not rigged?
UK authorities rigorously vet all licensed casinos and online betting sites, to ensure they are serving completely fair games at all times. All software running on UK casinos must meet certain criteria also.
What should I look for in a trusted site?
First and foremost, you’re looking for a license number that you cross check against the Gambling Commission’s record. If it checks out, you can feel confident the site in question has met the highest standards and can be trusted.
Trusted online real money casinos deliver transparently fair gaming. They also have great customer service in place and all the security measures you’d expect when it comes to banking processes.
Can I guarantee my winnings will be paid on time?
Withdrawing funds can take time at an online casino. Typically the site will need to validate your identity before auctioning a cashout, and there may also be an approval period
Don’t be alarmed though. These practices are designed to safeguard your funds and you should expect payment in 3-7 days on most withdrawals.
What should I do if I have problems with an online casino?
The first port of call would be their customer service department. If that avenue fails, try contacting the UK Gambling Commission to report your grievance.