Gambling legislation in the UK has not seen any considerable changes since the Gambling Act of 2005 was passed. The gambling industry, however, has been constantly changing, and the rising popularity of online gambling campaigners have been claiming that the UK gambling laws need changing.
The beginning of the 21st century has been marked with many online gambling operators, who flooded the market, offering an inexhaustible source of gambling options to their customers. On the other hand, this made it much easier for gamblers to play a variety of casino games and place bets online.
Along with the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005, the major gambling regulator in the country – the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) – was created, as the Government recognised that the rapid increase in gambling services’ popularity both off- and online also presented a vast range of potential legal and regulatory issues. Currently, the watchdog takes care of the regulation of both the retail and the digital gambling operations in the country, with all gambling companies that offer their services in the UK are required to stick to the rules and regulations set out in the Gambling Act.
Although no major changes in the gambling laws of the UK have been brought since 2005, the Government and the UK Gambling Commission have unveiled many recent changes in the regulation, especially in regard to local bookmakers and online gambling operators.
UK Government Urged to Review UK Gambling Act of 2005 as Soon as Possible
So far, this year has been marked with the UKGC’s efforts to more efficiently combat underage gambling in the country. The regulatory body has been aware that more has to be done to tackle the rising number of British children who have found ways to circumvent the rules and place bets online.
Bookmakers operating in the UK have been instructed by the UKGC to make sure they always verify their customers’ age before allowing them to gamble not only with real money and transfer funds to their accounts but also to place free bets. The gambling regulator has also taken measures to reduce the amount of time bookmakers are given to verify a customer’s age as part of its efforts to minimise the number of complaints received by customers whose winnings have been held.
Another change that has been brought as part of the online gambling sector’s regulation has been the ban imposed on the use of credit cards in gambling transactions. It was at the beginning of the year when the UKGC revealed that the regulation of the matter would be changed so that UK residents are no longer allowed to place bets with gambling operators by using a credit card. The decision of the watchdog followed research initiated and conducted by the UKGC, which found that 22% of British punters who use their credit cards to place bets online are classified as problem gamblers.
According to some experts, further regulatory changes are not likely to be made in the upcoming months, and even years. The authorities, however, have already revealed that the country’s gambling laws are set to be revised in the autumn, with much of the changes expected to be focused on tackling problem gambling by implementing further restrictions to gambling operators.