Gambling Commission of Great Britain (UKGC)

The United Kingdom is often recognized as Europe's largest gambling market, and correspondingly, the Gambling Commission, commonly known as the 'UKGC,' boasts a workforce of well over 300 employees, solidifying its position as the largest gambling regulatory body in Europe in terms of staff size.

The UK Gambling Commission, often referred to as the UKGC, carries a name that can be misleading, given that its authority does not extend to all regions within the United Kingdom. Notably, Northern Ireland falls beyond the purview of the UKGC. Therefore, the more accurate term for this regulatory body is the “Gambling Commission of Great Britain,” covering England, Scotland, and Wales.

Established in accordance with the Gambling Act of 2005, the UKGC’s primary role is to oversee and regulate individuals and businesses involved in gambling activities within Great Britain. Under the provisions of this act, licenses were made accessible for various forms of gambling, and both companies and individuals were eligible to apply for licenses through the UKGC.

A significant shift in the regulation of online gambling in Great Britain occurred in 2015 with the implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill. This legislation mandated that all overseas-based gambling companies offering services to British consumers must obtain a license from the UKGC and adhere to its regulations. This approach, termed “point of consumption regulation,” mirrored similar laws established in France, Italy, Denmark, and other jurisdictions.

Before 2015, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport maintained a “Whitelist” of jurisdictions from which operators could advertise their services to British customers. These jurisdictions included all EU/EEA countries, Alderney, Isle of Man, Antigua & Barbuda, Gibraltar, and Tasmania. Most major UK operators were licensed and operated from Gibraltar, Isle of Man, or Malta prior to the implementation of point of consumption regulation.

Since then, the UKGC has gained a reputation as one of the strictest and most rigorous regulators in Europe, frequently imposing substantial penalties on operators found to be in breach of the law.

In addition to the UKGC, operators in the UK market must also adhere to the requirements set by other regulatory bodies. These include the Advertising Standards Authority, which enforces advertising standards, and the National Crime Agency, serving as the Financial Intelligence Unit in the UK. Taxes are collected by a separate entity, HM Revenue & Customs.

Licenced UKGC Esports Betting Sites 2024

Explore our comprehensive list of Legal UK Esports Betting Sites, all regulated by the UKGC, ensuring a secure and trusted environment for your esports betting experience. Discover top-notch platforms that offer exciting opportunities to wager on your favourite esports games and events.

  1. Payment methods
    Mastercard VISA PayPal
    Games Offered
    Counter-Strike 2 League of Legends Defense of the Ancients FIFA 22 Overwatch

    18+ | Play Responsibly |

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  2. Payment methods
    VISA PayPal Google Pay
    Games Offered
    Counter-Strike 2 League of Legends Defense of the Ancients Call of Duty Rocket League

    18+ | Play Responsibly |

    Welcome Offer available only to new UK Customers Only | Deposit between £5 and £10 , and get 300% in Free Bets | Min odds 1.20+
  3. Payment methods
    VISA Mastercard Apple Pay
    Games Offered
    Counter-Strike 2 FIFA 22 League of Legends Defense of the Ancients Arena Of Valor

    18+ | Play Responsibly |

    Exclusive to new customers. Make your INITIAL bet on any market with minimum odds of 2.0 (EVS). If your first bet loses, we will reimburse your stake in CASH, up to a maximum of £20. This offer is only applicable to deposits made using cards.
  4. Payment methods
    VISA Mastercard PayPal
    Games Offered
    Counter-Strike 2 League of Legends Defense of the Ancients FIFA 22 Overwatch

    18+ | Play Responsibly |

    Registration Bonus to new UK Customers Only | Must bet £20 in total on 4+ legs, min odds 3.00. £20 credited as bonus.
  5. Payment methods
    VISA Mastercard Apple Pay
    Games Offered
    Counter-Strike 2 Defense of the Ancients FIFA 22 Arena Of Valor League of Legends

    18+ | Play Responsibly |

    Registration Bonus to new UK Customers Only | Must bet £10 in total | Min odds 1.5 | £30 credited as bonus.
  6. Payment methods
    VISA Mastercard Bankwire
    Games Offered
    Counter-Strike 2 League of Legends Defense of the Ancients FIFA 22 VALORANT

    18+ | Play Responsibly |

    Welcome offer to new registrations only. Claim by placing a min deposit £10 via “My Offers” page within 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits excl. 7 days to stake max £10 in-play. Max. extra winnings £100.

Licensed Operators

As of the UKGC’s Annual Report for 2020 to 2021, there are presently 696 active remote licensees. It is important to note that a single operator may hold multiple licenses issued by the Gambling Commission to cover all its activities.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, the British gambling industry generated a gross gambling yield of £14.2 billion. In 2020, 22.1 million adults engaged in gambling, with 12.1 million opting for online gambling, and half of them using mobile platforms.

An exhaustive list of all operators licensed by the Gambling Commission can be accessed here.

Regulated Activities

The UKGC requires all gambling activities offered to UK customers or operated from the UK to be licensed and regulated. Licensable online games encompass:

  • Casino games, including slots
  • Live Casino
  • Poker
  • Bingo
  • Sports betting
  • Betting exchanges
  • Horse-race betting
  • Esports betting
  • Lotteries (subject to restrictions, as this is a monopoly in the UK)

The UKGC also grants licenses to business-to-business (B2B) operators and software suppliers.

Serviced Territories

The UKGC operates as a point of consumption regulator, focusing on protecting consumers within Great Britain exclusively. While non-UK residents are not explicitly prohibited from playing on UKGC-regulated websites, media reports suggest that the UKGC prefers a minimal percentage of players from markets outside the UK. In cases where exposure to a non-UK market exceeds minimal levels, the UKGC may require operators to demonstrate licensing in those jurisdictions.

The UKGC does not impose restrictions on player liquidity with other jurisdictions, a benefit particularly relevant for operators offering peer-to-peer gambling, such as betting exchanges or poker platforms.


The UKGC is renowned for its stringent and exacting approach to gambling regulation, often criticized as “inquisitorial” in nature. Legislative requirements, drafted broadly, are interpreted narrowly and strictly during audits. As a result, even operators considered reputable in most other jurisdictions have faced substantial fines.

The UKGC is also recognized for its effectiveness in detecting suspicious transactions linked to fixed sporting events.

Amidst a worsening public perception of gambling in the UK, the UKGC has adopted a stricter stance. Consequently, players should anticipate operators imposing stringent deposit limits, intervening when players exhibit excessive gambling behavior, especially beyond their financial means or during unusual hours. Operators also frequently request information from players regarding their source of wealth, financial assets, employment, and other details essential for compliance with Safer Gambling and Anti-Money Laundering obligations.

Notable Fines Issued Include:

  • A £9.4 million fine to 888 for social responsibility and money laundering failures.
  • A license suspension and a £3.8 million fine to Genesis Global for social responsibility and money laundering failures.
  • A £7.1 million penalty to Daub Alderney.
  • A £5.85 million penalty to Casumo.


Media reports examining an Independent Review of the situation have partly attributed the repercussions from the Football Index failure, resulting in £124 million in customers’ open bets being lost, to the UKGC. The UKGC allegedly failed to detect changes in the operator’s business model, comprehend the business model, or take regulatory action as the business expanded and complaints escalated.