What is gambling?

The Gambling Act 2005 regulates gambling in Great Britain. If an activity falls within the definition of “gaming”, “betting” or “participating in a lottery”, it falls within the definition of “gambling” and requires an authorisation (a licence). Some activities may fall into several categories and the boundary between the activities can be blurred. In Great Britain, the Gambling Commission oversees gambling regulation.

What is remote gambling?

“Remote gambling” is gambling in which persons participate using remote communications, such as the Internet, telephone, television or other forms of electronic communication.

Are gambling debts enforceable in Great Britain?

Yes, ever since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force in 2007, gambling contracts have been enforceable in England, Wales and Scotland.

What happens if I provide gambling facilities but I don’t have a licence?

Providing facilities for gambling to residents of Great Britain without a licence is a criminal offence. The offence is subject to imprisonment or an unlimited fine.

How do I get a gambling licence?

An application is made to the Gambling Commission for an operating licence to authorise the gambling activity. Licences can be for non-remote (land-based) gambling or remote (online) gambling.

How much does a licence cost and what is the application process?

You can use the Gambling Commission fees calculator to work out the application fee and the annual fee here.

Bear in mind that the annual fee is payable 30 days after the grant of a licence. Fees are based on anticipated gambling revenue within fee bands. You may also incur legal fees if you require assistance to submit a licence application.

When making an application for an operating licence, a detailed business plan, three years’ profit and loss projections, and detailed company structure and management information are required. Those involved in the gambling business may be required to obtain Personal Management Licences (PMLs). In some cases, a start-up operator may be able to benefit from a small-scale operator (SSO) exemption, which will avoid the need to apply for PMLs. SSOs have three or less people in key management positions.

How do I find out more about applying for a licence?

The laws around gambling are complex with many pitfalls. You should always obtain detailed legal advice about your specific situation before proceeding. Please speak to Richard Williams via the contact details below for further advice.

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This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.