Are Online Casinos Legitimate?

are online casinos legitimate

Online casinos are 100% legitimate, though there are some exceptions.

It’s no secret that gambling is a controversial activity. It often raises suspicion among people who don’t participate in it. It can also have devastating effects on those who gamble like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s not unusual to see someone calling it ‘evil’ or ‘dangerous’ either. Some governments go as far as to forbid gambling in all of its forms altogether.

Most of them, however, simply don’t have a law that covers every nuance of gambling and casino activities. This is even more apparent when online casinos and remote gambling are in question.

“In the UK, both live and online gambling are legitimate.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with many other countries or states. Even when gambling is allowed by law, there are many restrictions as to its type, scale and other factors.

For now, we’ll prove why it’s perfectly legitimate to play at online casinos in the UK. Then, we’ll explore this topic further if you’re interested in details.

Online Casino Legitimacy in the UK

flag of great britain in the windGambling has been legal in the UK since 1963. When the first online casinos started showing up, the government rushed to regulate them too. Hence, this activity has been regulated to this day.

In fact, the UK gambling regulations are among the strictest in the world. This only makes it safer to play casino games for the people, though.

There are more than a few acts that regulate these activities in the country. The most important of these are:

  • Gambling Act 2005
  • Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014

Thanks to these official documents, you can freely gamble on officially approved websites and be open about it.

Gambling Act 2005

uk gambling act 2005 coat of armsGambling Act 2005 is the most extensive legislation on all forms of gambling in the UK. It’s the core document when it comes to the casino and gambling-related issues.

This document also gives the power to the UK Gambling Commission, which was established at the same time. This act has over 300 sections covering UKGC responsibilities, offences, player protection, licences and more.

There are three main functions of this act, namely:

1. Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime

2. Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way

3. Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

Therefore, the Gambling Act 2005 guarantees your safety as a gambler. It backs you up if you have to deal with rogue casinos online.

It’s one of the most thorough and precise documents controlling the activities of casinos and their players. Few other countries in the world have anything as detailed as this. This makes the UK one of the best countries for online and offline gamblers.

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014

The previous act didn’t solve every single problem, though. Thus, another important law was enacted that further streamlined the businesses of casino operators.

The thing is, the activities of gambling providers outside of the UK weren’t regulated. However, many casinos abroad have been targeting the UK audience anyway.

So, the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act 2014 regulated the casino license system. With this document in place, the operators within and outside of the country were given the same terms.

Gambling Legislation Today

woman gambling on mobile in a trainThanks to both of these and other related acts, the UK government could ensure an open and legal environment for online gambling.

Every legal online casino is now monitored and approved by the UKGC. This means that you can choose from thousands of casinos that are safe. You can enjoy them, win money and keep them all without having to hide anything.

Of course, illegal casinos still exist. However, with an effective system in place, you’d gain nothing you can’t get legally and only increase the risks.

So, if you want to gamble openly (there’s no reason not to), make sure your casino has a UKGC licence. Usually, this information is available at the bottom of an online casino site.

What About Legal Taxes?

As if that wasn’t enough, people in the UK pay no taxes for gambling. There are no fees for playing at casinos anywhere. Besides, even if you win, you get to keep 100% of your winnings.

Again, this doesn’t apply to all the countries in the world. While the UK isn’t the only one with zero taxes, many others claim a portion of every single casino win.

Are There Any Illegal Gambling Activities?

illegal online activity keyboard buttonIn the UK, all officially recognized gambling sites are legal. Among these sites, you may find pretty much all forms of gambling that are popular today. So, there are virtually no limits as to the type of online gambling there.

You can enjoy these activities and games at any time, no special licence or permit required:

  • Online casino games (slots, live casino, etc.)
  • Poker games
  • Sports betting (incl. horse races)
  • Jackpot games
  • Online & offline lottery
  • Online & offline bingo, keno and similar games
  • FOBTs and other gaming machines
  • Online & offline scratch cards
  • Other games

In short, UK is the best country in the world for gamblers and casino game fans, especially online.

Casino Legitimacy in Other Countries

To see just how great gambling in the UK is, we simply need to compare it to other countries. While some form of gambling is legal or at least not banned in other countries, it’s often much more complicated.

Just take a look at the chart below:


Country Online Casinos Foreign Casinos Gambling Types Players Tax
UK Legitimate Allowed All No
Ireland Legitimate Allowed All Only for Pros
Canada Legitimate Allowed All Only for Pros
New Zealand Legitimate Not regulated All Only for Pros
Australia Barely Regulated Not allowed All No
Germany Mostly Illegal Not allowed Most No
France Legitimate Mostly not allowed Limited Yes
In some states only Mostly not allowed Limited Yes


Even if high-street casinos are legalized, the situation of online casinos is often worse.

In most cases, though, if you gamble on a casino that isn’t entirely legal, you’re still safe. It’s the casino operator that will have to suffer the consequences of offering illegal services.

For this reason, people still gamble online even if the laws restrict such activities. In countries where players aren’t held responsible, online gambling can be very popular despite its legal status.

Of course, it’s still better to enjoy casinos where everything is legalized and regulated because:

  1. Scammed players have legal means to seek retribution
  2. Casinos don’t risk penalties and can focus on offering the best gambling services

So, the legality of online casinos depends on the country or state. The best example of legal and regulated online gambling is in the UK.