Who is affected by UK gambling legislation?

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Whether you’re running a casino or betting shop, operating a lottery or even conducting a prize draw or skill competition, if there’s gambling involved you will be affected by UK gambling legislation. It’s important for any operator to be completely in the know about UK gambling legislation, from the Gambling Act 2005 to every appeal, amendment and regulation since.


In UK legislation, gaming is defined in three ways; casino, games of chance, and equal chance gaming. For the purposes of the Act, a casino is considered to be an arrangement whereby people are given the opportunity to partake in one or more casino games; which are characterised by being ‘games of chance’ and specifically not equal chance gaming.

If your premises meets this criterion, it is subject to the UK Gambling Act, and you must, therefore, be aware of and adhere to legislation which affects you. It is important to note that games of chance do not include sport, but can relate to any game which combines an element of luck and skill.


Betting is comprised of a number of provisions; each is uniquely affected by UK gambling legislation. Betting is defined as making or accepting a bet on:

    • the outcome of an event or process, for example, a race,
    • the likelihood of something occurring or not occurring, or;
    • whether something is or is not true

A transaction is still considered a bet even if the event has already occurred, or one party know the outcome of the event. Therefore, it’s important to remember that even the smallest wager could still be affected by UK gambling legislation. Before partaking in a bet, it’s important to be educated about such legislation.


A lottery is another common form of gambling which is strictly regulated under UK gambling legislation. It’s important to note that for the most part, the National Lottery is not actually considered a lottery, but instead falls under the law to do with gaming. Still, due to its size and popularity, is strongly affected by UK gambling legislation.

There are in fact two types of lottery named in gambling legislation; complex and simple. Similar criteria characterise each; both rely on persons being required to pay in order to participate and prizes being allocated through a game which relies wholly or partly on chance. Anyone partaking in such activity will be affected by UK gambling legislation.

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