The rise of online gambling in the UK

For many decades, gambling has been a part of British culture. Gambling takes many forms and is not limited to any single sport or event. On the market for online casinos and gambling today, there is such a vast array of different games to choose from that they can hardly even be counted.


Fifteen years ago, before the 2005 UK Gambling Act, there was a mandatory 24 hour period of waiting before any new customers could start gambling at a casino. The reason for this law was that the government hoped to limit and prevent gambling addiction and uncontrolled, impulsive gambling in the UK. While this did not apply to online casinos, much has changed in the past fifteen years on the casino market.

Ever since the inception of the UK Gambling Act of 2005, gambling has become more accessible than ever in the United Kingdom. While there used to be quite a few hurdles to get past before placing your first bet, there is no longer any need for lengthy procedures and confusing paperwork. Players are free to sign up instantly at any online casino of their choosing.


Casinos from the UK are industry leaders and ever since the Gambling Act of 2005 it seems there is no stopping the success of UK casinos. You may be familiar with some of them, as their brands are often seen in advertising and can be found in sporting events, festivals, in the subway and on buses. Here are a few of the most successful UK casinos to this day:

  • Paddy Power
  • Ladbrokes
  • William Hill
  • Betway
  • Bet365
  • Superwins Casino
  • Sky Betting

There are of course many more online casinos from the UK. We compiled this list through the casino comparison service as well as through Wikipedia. These casinos are not only famous in the UK, but across Europe and the world.

The Gambling Act made it possible for new casinos and old casinos alike to establish within the UK. While this has led to some new casinos choosing to establish in the UK, most casinos have already chosen to operate out of Malta and Gibraltar. Moving back to the UK, especially during the turbulent times we are in and the uncertainty of what Brexit will bring, could prove a difficult and risky challenge for many operators on the online casino market.


If an online casino wants to target UK citizens, they will need a gambling license issued by the UK Gambling Commission. Most online casinos hold licenses in several countries across Europe. There are separate licenses depending on what services the online casino offers. Namely, there are licenses for bingo, lotteries, casino games, odds and betting and gambling software services. A large chunk of the modern casinos have all of these licenses because they commonly offer all categories of online gambling on their websites.

While most major online casinos have chosen to stay in Malta or Gibraltar, some casino operators have chosen to establish closer to home. Isle of Man is one of the largest hotspots for online gambling companies. Headquarters for casino software developer Microgaming as well as the casino behemoth Pokerstars can be found there. While we hope that online casinos relocate back to the UK, we are pleased to see how well they are doing and how far British technology and innovation has come.