In today’s world, we see gambling as an entertaining hobby. We see it as the thing that could one day bring home the bacon we have always pined for. However, this has not always been the case. Gambling has spent some years with a bad reputation. This is due to shady dents, mafias running the underworld, tricksters, and scammers.
Back then, it was not something you would want to get yourself involved in. Nevertheless, today, its narrative is changing. With variety, accessibility, and convenience, gambling is now a form of leisure that is becoming increasingly popular.
Each country passes its own laws and legislation on gambling. Therefore, one cannot help but wonder why countries like the United Kingdom find ways to handle this kind of activity. So, in this article, we will take a look into the major historic highlights in the UK’s gambling legislation.
From Past To Present
Back in the 15th century, the rich continued to perceive gambling as both a vice and a form of entertainment. During this time, the Unlawful Games Act of 1541 declared every form of gambling illegal. While this is happening, the country’s main concern focused on the army. This is because gambling interfered with military training among army ranks.
For many years, gambling remained illegal. But the country’s history started to change when Queen Elizabeth launched the first national lottery. From 1566 to 1569, she used the national lottery as a source to fund the country’s harbours. With this idea proving to be a complete success, this milestone introduced the beginning of modern gambling regulations. Or so it seemed.
From 1710 to 1744, the UK’s gambling acts formed the foundation of taxation, gambling houses and games with the industry As the country celebrated this progress, the Gaming Act of 1845 was passed. This recognized all games of skill. With the UK now legalizing skill games, cheating became a crime. These laws then regulated casinos and gambling houses.
Years later, the country wanted to take a different turn in banning gambling, especially among the poor. So it passed the Gaming and Betting Acts of 1853. Unfortunately, the law’s efforts did not seem to work. Because it was the 1850s, London had at least 150 betting stores in its working-class areas alone.
By the time the Victorian era arrived, gambling became a social activity. Many reform movements were not happy with this. So, in an effort to create change, they started launching campaigns that spread a message that condemned gambling as a sin.
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The 20th Century
In the 20th century, the world saw significant progress in the area of technology and the gambling industry. With an up-and-coming evolution, bookies took the lead in capitalizing on the latest trends; however, not all was as it seemed.
To prohibit betting in pubs and on the streets, the UK passed the Street Betting Act of 1906. Nonetheless, the act did not seem to bother law officials and bookies. So, in 1960, the UK finally decided to legalize off-course betting. The legalisation of bingo was a big step in the industry.
The 21st Century
When the 21st century arrived, it came with some memorable surprises. Now that online betting was becoming increasingly popular, authorities were now finding themselves in some serious trouble. Fortunately, the Gambling Act of 2005 established the Gambling Commission. This means the UK now has a regulatory body responsible for monitoring all forms of gambling and betting.
In 2019, the UK announced that it plans to release a big revision that could introduce further limits and background checks in gambling. The revision was to take place on the 22nd of May. Again, this did not happen.
Acts, Regulators, Laws And Bans That Shape Today’s Gambling Legislation In The UK
The Gambling Act 2005
At some point, gamblers requested that the law start to accommodate other forms of gambling. So, in 2005, the country introduced the UK Gambling Commission. This commission was responsible for licensing, regulating, and overseeing all events taking place in gambling.
Over time, the commission received authority to extend its responsibilities among online and land-based casinos. During this time, the country started legalizing large-scale casinos. Nevertheless, this happened only with the approval of the Gambling Commission.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
The UKGC is the British Government’s non-departmental and executive body that was established in 2005. In 2007, it took over the Gaming Board of Great Britain and right now, it is overseeing all types of games. These include arcades, betting, lotteries, bingo, and slot machines. However, it is worth noting that the body is not overseeing overspread betting since it is run by a different body.
Since the UKGC is a public body, it has endorsements with the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport. So, similar to what gamblers will find on bestuk.casino, the Commission issued licences to many other casinos in the UK which include those for:
A Ban On Credit Cards
The UK has millions of bettors in the country. According to the UKGC, out of these bettors, roughly 40% of them do their gambling online. Out of this 40%, 10% of them use credit cards to deposit and withdraw funds to and from their gambling accounts.
According to research, bettors are likely to practice poor gambling habits because they have credit cards to rely on. As gambling can be addictive, bettors sometimes resort to spending above their means. Now, 22% from this 10% of gamblers have a gambling problem.
After public consultation and much deliberation, in April 2020, the UK decided to ban the use of credit cards. This rule applies to both online and land-based casinos.
Technology continues to advance and with this, many industries and countries are able to benefit from it. With developers, operators, and service providers becoming more and more creative, the gambling industry still has lots to offer. Therefore, we can only wait to see what moves the UK government will make in future. On top of this, we can only wait for the gamblers to rethink their goals.