The United Kingdom is one of the best regions to live in if you like to gamble. For starters, there are several hundred land-based venues. That includes casinos, betting shops, and poker rooms.
Then there are no laws prohibiting you from gambling online. This means you get to enjoy the best software, banking options, promotions and thousands of games.
Your biggest challenge at this point will simply be choosing what to do and where to play first. The point of this page is to guide you through the basics in case you’re not 100% familiar with the laws or what you’re options are.
We hope you find it helpful.
UK Casino Banking Options
The following are the best options for funding your casino account in you live in the UK:
• Visa Electron
• American Express
• Diners Club
There are others, but these are the best in terms of speed, fees and convenience. Most of these can also be used for both deposits and cash outs.
Of these options my favorite is PayPal. For the reasons above, but also because they’re selective in who they work with. Not every casino can accept PayPal. So, if the casino is good enough for PayPal then it’ll be good (safe) enough for you, too.
Another thing worth noting – most casinos will give you the option to deposit in multiple currencies including USD, Pound and Euro (amongst many others). Better yet, most UK and European-based casinos will let you play in one of these currencies. That way you don’t have to worry about exchange rates/fees.
Gambling Regulation in the United Kingdom
Good news – it’s perfectly legal to gamble in the UK. The Gambling Act passed in 2005 after the country realized they were failing to keep up with how fast technology was evolving.
According to Tessa Jowell:
Our gambling laws date back to the 1960s. Since then attitudes to gambling have changed and the law has failed to keep pace with rapid technological change. Gambling is now a diverse, vibrant and innovative industry and a popular leisure activity enjoyed in many forms by millions of people. The law needs to reflect that.
So, they passed The Gambling Act with the goal to regulate commercial gambling and make it safe. Casinos have to go through a rigorous review process before they’re given a license.
They also created The Gambling Commission. This is considered one of the strongest gambling regulators in the world. They have the authority to issue licenses, take them away, enforce the laws and hand out consequences.
Brick-and-Mortar Casino Gaming in the United Kingdom
There are more than 400 casinos in the United Kingdom.
But there’s no doubt you have plenty of options for where to play live – in London alone, there are almost 30 casinos. If anything you’ll have a hard time choosing where to play first.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
London Clubs International (LCI) from Caesars Entertainment
• Playboy Club London
• Rendezvous Brighton
• Golden Nugget
• Alea Casino – There are branches in Glasgow, Leeds and Nottingham.
• Casino at The Empire
Genting UK – They have more than 40 properties between their Genting Casinos and Genting Clubs
• Crockfords – Their flagship casino/book.
• Maxims Casino Club London
• The Colony Club London
• Circus Casino Blackpool
• Mint Casino Liverpool
• Circus Casino Nottingham
But that’s not all.
Some other options include Grosvenor Casinos who have over 3 dozen properties throughout the UK. Another is Gloucester Casino London who offers 24-hour gaming, live sports betting and table games.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Google ‘UK casinos’ and you’ll be busy for hours, not to mention the months or years it takes you to check them all out.
If casinos aren’t your thing you can also host or participate in social (home) poker games. You just need to follow these rules:
Playing games of poker in your own home, between friends and on a non-commercial basis, is legal as long as all of the following conditions are met:
• Play must take place in a private dwelling.
• Play is part of a domestic occasion (such as a private party).
• The rest of the participants must be your legitimate guests or friends.
• Members of the public can not join in.
• You cannot ask people to pay a fee, separate from the stake, to take part. This is the case whether the fee is expressed to be voluntary or compulsory, particularly if players are prevented from playing if they do not make the “voluntary” donation, or there is strong peer pressure to make the donation.
There is no limit on the stakes and prizes when playing poker at home.
Persons under 18 are allowed to participate in poker that is played at home.
That comes directly from the UK Gambling Commission.
Here are a couple interesting stories to come from the UK over the last year.
1. Just a few weeks ago the Prime Minister, David Cameron, stated he’s pushing the largest Internet Service Providers to create adult content filters. The goal originally was for the filters to block out pornographic and other adult-themed sites.
But there was a side effect – they also happened to block out gambling sites.
This sounds like a “two birds with one stone” sort of scenario, depending on what side you’re on, of course.
2. The Isle of Man has introduced a bill that would give online gambling operators a break from the financial burden brought on by the UK Gambling Act of 2014.
The act would require all operators to pay a 15% point-of-consumption tax on all winnings from British customers. However, there is concern that the UK would lose operators over this tax.
So, they decided to cut them a break. Money that would normally have to be paid to the Isle of Man is now waived up to the amount the operators would’ve had to pay for the point of consumption tax.