The Gambling Act 2005 - a brief guide

The Gambling Act 2005 came into force in September 2007. The Act comprehensively updated existing gambling laws that were several decades old, providing new powers and protections for both new and old forms of gambling.
Fundamental to the act are three Licensing Objectives:

  • Keeping gambling crime free
  • Making sure that gambling is fair and open
  • Protecting children and vulnerable adults

These are underpinned by:

  • Social responsibility and protection of the public, especially children and the vulnerable. 

This remains the top priority.

  • Creating a new regime, which has at its heart firm but fair regulation allowing people to enjoy gambling responsibly, encourages an important industry to thrive by behaving responsibly, and protects the vulnerable. A robust regime is good for players, providers and investors.
  • Close, open and consultative working with all stakeholders - the industry; faith, belief and community groups; researchers; those dealing day to day with problem gamblers.

The Act covers two main activities:

  • Providing facilities for gambling
  • Using premises for gambling

Anyone engaged in either of the above two activities must hold the appropriate permission. Permission may come from a licence, permit, or registration granted according to the Act, or from an exemption given by the Act.

The Act established the Gambling Commission as the unified regulator for gambling in Great Britain and a new licensing regime for commercial gambling (operated and regulated by the Commission or by the licensing authorities, the Council, depending on what is being licensed).

The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, the Gaming Act 1968 and the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 were all repealed by the Gambling Act.

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Page last updated: 13 January 2016

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