The United Kingdom is among the largest betting markets on the face of the Earth.

It was reported that the gambling industry in the UK generated a £14.4 billion yield between April 2017 and March 2018.

In September 2018 there were 8,406 betting shops within its borders and around 108,000 residents employed by the industry.

These numbers are staggering and it is no wonder that internet wagering is both popular and extremely lucrative in this market.

Internet gambling sites in jurisdictions all over the world want a piece of the pie but only those jurisdictions that are on the UK Gambling Commission’s “white list” have the privilege of offering their services to UK residents.

When it comes to gambling, more specifically internet gambling, the United Kingdom is a global leader and they are largely responsible for setting many standards that exist today.

Only the best of the best are allowed to operate here which means that punters who are customers of UK-based sportsbooks can fully expect to be treated fairly.

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Who is the UK Gambling Commission and what is its Purpose?

Established under the Gambling Act of 2005, the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission is responsible for overseeing all gambling in the UK with the exception of spread betting which is monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority.

In 2013, the National Lottery Commission also became part of the Gambling Commission. The Commission’s objective is to keep crime out of gambling, to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open manner, and to protect children and vulnerable people. It is a public body which operates under the Department of Culture, Media, and Sports.

The Commission is responsible for overseeing all aspects of licensing and enforcing regulations. Aside from issuing gambling licenses, they have the authority to fine, suspend, and revoke gambling licenses within their jurisdiction.

They also ultimately decide who can appear on the United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s “white list” which allows betting sites from other jurisdictions to serve UK residents. They perform regular audits of both land-based operations and internet gambling companies to ensure things such as systems, personnel, finances, and overall operations meet compliance.

As of March 2015, the Commission employs about 270 people, had carried out over 1,300 compliance inspections, revoked 12 licenses, taken other action against 6 companies and had formal engagements with another 53 operators. They handled over 67,000 enquiries. This is definitely a very busy group that takes their mission very seriously.

How can a Player Submit a Complaint for UK Regulated Bookmakers?

As in any other jurisdiction, there is an onus on the complainant to try to resolve any dispute directly with the bookmaker. Punters should be sure to read the sportsbooks terms and conditions as well as checking the Commission’s website to see if the particular issue is addressed.

Complainants will also want to be certain that the sportsbook is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. If a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached then customers are urged to contact the Commission.

The customer should be careful to include any and all details concerning the complaint as well as the steps taken to attempt to resolve the conflict. You need to be very clear about why you feel the need to report the operator.

The complaint can be sent by e-mail to or it can be sent by post to Gambling Commission, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP. The Commission will seek your permission to talk to the licensee about if they feel the complaint has merit.

How are Disputes Moderated Here?

If a complaint has to do with illegal activity such as fraud or money laundering, the Intelligence Department of the UK Gambling Commission will be deployed to investigate. The Intelligence Department will liaise with other agencies as well.

In other disputes where a complaint about a sportsbook is made, the Commission will request statements and evidence from the licensee. The evidence is then considered and the Commission will respond to the complainant with a ruling which details the reasons.

If a sportsbook is found to be in breach, the Commission has the authority to penalize the offending bookmaker with fines, license suspension, or revocation. As mentioned above, the Commission has revoked licenses in the past and customers can be sure that their complaints will be investigated and acted upon. The UK Gambling Commission has a good track record of resolving disputes quickly.

Is Sports Betting Legal in the UK?

Sports betting is perfectly legal in the UK provided the customer is of legal age. In the UK this age is 18. Any customers who use UK sportsbooks from outside the jurisdiction must be of legal age in their country of residency.

There are very rigid measures in place to verify a customer’s age, residency, and payment methods. This is in keeping with the UK’s mission of prohibiting underage betting as well as abiding by anti-money laundering laws.

What are the Requirements of a UK Sports Betting License?

The UK has among the highest standards for sportsbook operators and getting a gambling license is not an easy task. The Commission needs evidence to support the identity and ownership of the company. All key figures in the company are thoroughly investigated to ensure that nobody has a criminal record and that they are people of high integrity.

All past and present finances are scrutinized and a strong financial posture must be established. The company needs to have a sound business plan and be run by experienced and competent people. These qualifications are closely checked. The Commission needs to be satisfied that the prospective internet betting company will comply with all of the rules and regulations that are in place.

There is also a thorough testing of all infrastructure to ensure it complies with the regulations. When the Commission is confident that the company has met the criteria they will be issued the license. Of course, every licensee can expect to be audited and inspected on a regular basis to ensure ongoing compliance.

These audits and inspections focus on every aspect of gaming operations from personnel to equipment and finances among other things. These measures result in UK sportsbooks being among the most respected betting sites in the world.

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