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UK Gambling Commission

UK’s Gambling Commission and Gambling Compliance

The Gambling Act 2005, which created the Gambling Commission, overhauled legislation that had been put in place 162 years earlier: the Gaming Act 1845.


On 1 September 2007, the date that these regulations went into effect, one immediate change that Brits noticed was that gambling operators were now able to advertise on media outlets such as television and radio as the act replaced a ban that had been in place on such adverts. However, advertisers do have to observe the Watershed in that these adverts cannot be broadcast between 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

Another focus was phasing out thousands of fruit machines that had been easily accessible to children, in places like mini cab offices and takeaway food shops.

Bingo halls could also start using some of the money that had previously been required to be used as prize money to instead be utilized in rollover prizes.

Internet gambling was now regulated for the first time.

Information about responsible gambling now had to be displayed in a more prominent manner as well.

Immediate Concerns

Some voiced concerns that these changes, especially the allowance of advertisements for gambling offerings, would cause more people to become engaged in gambling and possibly become addicted. However, those initial ads did also promote responsible gambling, and no increase in gambling activities has been recorded since these regulations came into effect in 2007.

What Is It Responsible For?

The Commission issues and revokes licenses to gambling organizations located in the United Kingdom, levies fines when necessary, investigates and prosecutes illegal gambling and provides government officials and bodies with up-to-date information on gambling-related issues.

Its focuses are to ensure that all gambling activities are conducted fairly and openly, crime is kept out of them and that children and anybody else who is vulnerable to being negatively impacted by gambling are protected.

Companies located outside of the United Kingdom that want to get a license to advertise here have to meet the Commission’s requirements as well as work through a white-listed jurisdiction, which includes much of Europe as well as Antigua and Barbuda and Tasmania.

What Does the Commission Oversee?

From October 2014 to September 2015, the Committee oversaw 1,772 arcades, 8,819 betting shops, 615 bingo venues, 148 casinos, the National Lottery, 719 remote gambling organizations and 683 society lottery operators.

What’s Not Included?

The only type of betting not overseen by the Gambling Commission UK is spread betting, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The National Lottery had not been included either when the act became law, but that changed on 1 October 2013 when the Gambling and National Lottery Commissions merged.

What is the UK Gambling Compliance?

The UK Gambling Compliance provides information that organizations such as the Gambling Commission use to make important decisions. Its analysts and journalists work with gambling experts and policymakers around the world to provide independent analysis of developments in the field and how any changes have impacted it or will impact it.

What Role Does GamCare Play?

GamCare, which was founded in 1997, provides a wealth of services for problem gamblers who need assistance, providing advice and counseling over the phone, online and in person. In fact, it receives tens of thousands of calls to its help line every year. The organization also focuses on preventing problem gambling from developing and on educating the public as well as the gambling industry about it.