All about Illegal UK Gambling

Teenage boy with a credit card and mobile phone

Gambling is loved by millions of Brits but there are stipulations and regulations. Even though gambling has been going on for hundreds of years in the UK the first legal casino was only opened in 1961. The 1968 Gaming Act made it easier for many more casinos to open, but the rules then remained unchanged until the Gambling Act of 2005.

Online Gambling

The Gambling Act of 2005 aimed to overhaul casinos which had become somewhat dens of inequity and to make them more punter friendly. It has been a success but since 2005, the world of gambling has changed significantly. The world of gambling is now prevalently online rather than in bricks and mortar casinos, which brings with it new challenges.

When gambling happens in the UK it is predominantly a person tapping away or pressing a few buttons on a mobile. The major form of illegal gambling that happens is underage gambling, and it’s very easy for an underage person to gamble now.

The Legal Age For Gambling

Before it would be fairly obvious if a 5 foot tall, 14-year-old walked into a bookies, but now it’s easy for underage gambling to take place. Of course, gamblers need a bank account to get started gambling, but most kids have a bank account.

Illegal Gambling Penalties

The gambling act sets out the different penalties for breaking rules and, therefore, gambling illegally, A young person is not allowed to gamble and could be fined £1,000. Employing a person under 18 in a gambling facility is subject to a 51 weeks prison sentence and/or £5,000 fine. Providing gambling facilities without the required licence or permit carries a 51 weeks prison sentence and a fine of up to £5,000. Breaking the advertising regulations set out may also result in a 51 weeks prison sentence and/or a £5,000 fine. And if you allow punters to use a machine without the necessary permit that also carries a £5,000 fine or a 51 weeks sentence in jail.

Gambling Regulations in the UK

All casinos operating in the UK must be licensed and regulated. There are rules for B&M casinos that the gambling commission sets out so gambling is fair and safe. There are different licenses that allow some gambling facilities to serve alcohol. Gambling machines that are coin-operated like you might see in a pub also requires a license. They must display the return to player rate for the user to see. Online casino sites must also display the RTP and these must be correct. You may not display a 99% RTP if the machine is set to take 90%. If operators flout these regulations, they are operating illegally and are subject to penalties. Gambling in the UK is safe due to the gambling commission. All you need to do is make sure you play at a gambling facility that has a license.

Underage Gambling

There is now a huge problem with underage gambling with over 55,000 problem gamblers aged 11-16 years old. The review of the 2005 Gambling Act will attempt to tackle this problem. It will aim to put forward strategies and regulations to prevent underage gambling and provide more help for those suffering from a gambling addiction.

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