The Gambling Act 2005 (“the Act”) gives effect to the Government’s proposals for reform of the law in relation to gambling.  The Act received royal assent on 7 April 2005 and provides for a regulatory system to control the provision of all gambling in Great Britain, except for the National Lottery and spread betting.


The Act repeals various Acts of Parliament which currently regulate gaming.

These are:

  • Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963
  • Gaming Act 1968
  • Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976

The Act establishes two comprehensive offences: providing facilities for gambling or using premises for gambling, in either case without the appropriate permission.  Such permissions may be granted by way of a licence, permit or registration or are otherwise given an exemption by the Act.  Where permission to provide facilities for gambling is granted, it will be subject to varying degrees of regulation which is dependant upon the type of gambling, the means by which it is carried out and the people by whom and to whom it is offered.

Further information concerning the Act, including guidance notes, application forms for either premises licences or permits can be found via the headings listed below.  Please click on the link to access this information.

Compliance and enforcement

The Act provides the Gambling Commission, local authorities, licensing authorities and the police with the powers necessary to monitor compliance with the provisions of the Act and with licence conditions, and to investigate suspected offences.

In general, the Gambling Commission will take the lead on the investigation and prosecution of illegal gambling, but there may be occasions on which licensing authorities are better placed to take the lead, particularly where there is illegal activity on a smaller scale that is confined to one authority area.


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