Gambling first became regulated in the UK in 1960 with the passage of the Betting and Gambling Act, which allowed for a large-scale expansion of land-based gambling in the country. In turn, this led to the creation of a large number of betting shops, with ONLY 10,000 opened in the first 6 months of the law’s passage. These betting shops included even smaller bingo halls and casinos, although they were limited to only 20 gaming machines at most during this time. It will be decades later before there is any semblance of UK poker sites existing in the region.
The 1968 Gaming Act allowed even larger casinos to be built. Gambling flourished in the country for decades, but the passage of the Gaming Act of 2005 allowed for an even greater expansion of land-based casinos and also legalized online gambling for its citizens. In essence, the new law threw out the last bastions of its reserves and opened up the gaming market completely, provided it was properly tested, licensed and regulated.
The advent of online gambling has certainly complicated matters a bit from a regulatory standpoint, and the 2005 Act did seek to provide some protection for UK gamers, but it relied widely measure on other regulators to do so. This changed with the passage of the last gambling laws, in 2014, which take full control of the regulation of UK gamblers, as we will see.
Best UK Online Poker Sites
Changes to UK iGaming regulations
Back in the days before iGaming, the location of the gaming business was not normally an issue. Since everything was terrestrial, the law simply stipulated that the game itself had to take place in a physical location and of course the location was somewhere in the UK.
With internet gambling, providers were often located in other countries and subject to the laws and regulations of other countries. This raised some concerns, in particular that these companies located outside the UK were not required to pay taxes or licensing fees to UK authorities, but could still offer casino games to UK residents.
Among other things, this has put UK based gambling companies at a disadvantage. William Hill, the UK’s largest gambling company, has fled to other jurisdictions for a more tax-friendly structure.
In addition, it also created a lack of transparency and control over the gambling games in which UK residents participated and which was not regulated by them, but in other places, such as Gibraltar. It wasn’t that Gibraltar and other regulators weren’t doing a good job, but UK regulators wanted more control and access to more information than the current system allowed.
Thus, the new gambling laws require that anyone offering games of chance to UK residents, whether land-based or online, to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission. There was at least some doubt as to the willingness of foreign sites to comply with this, as this was to some extent voluntary, but the reception was very good, and many poker sites were very keen to ask and to obtain a license. .
It’s a great program for gamers, and the government is actually looking to help gamers play online, rather than trying to hinder or even prevent them from playing, as is the case in many others. places, like the United States. for example. The government has control over things without limiting the game to just a few sites; things are wide open here with all the best choices still available.
How does the UK Gambling Commission help poker players?
While online gaming regulators are generally quite reputable, the new UK regulations are the most protective in the world, so putting gamers first is a given. And while a lot of the stuff he discusses isn’t something poker players typically have trouble with, like stricter rules on communication about bonuses and the like, more transparency certainly doesn’t hurt.
One of the goals of this new law is to help manage problem gambling more effectively, although it is more of a social problem than one that affects the majority of gamblers, but problem gambling is one of the downsides that people see with the game.
Therefore, if it is better managed, it makes the industry itself more beautiful. Poker players in UK have enjoyed a very friendly atmosphere towards poker and the game in general, and surely want this to continue, so anything that helps them is certainly beneficial.
A real advantage for players is that, since these regulations are more stringent, it will better ensure that sites authorized by the UK Gambling Commission have a high reputation, and players can therefore play on a licensed site with an extreme level of confidence.
If something goes wrong, it is also more comforting to know that instead of seeking help from a foreign regulator, all you have to do is turn to the UK authorities, who jealously guard and protect the interests of players. British online.
These new laws are therefore certainly welcomed by players, and in fact the attractiveness of the new law to players was probably the main reason why so many online poker sites have applied for and obtained a license in the UK, although they are still able to offer the game in the UK without one, it was considered valuable enough to obtain to make their poker sites more attractive to UK players.
Do UK poker players have to pay tax on winnings?
Gambling winnings have never been taxed in the UK, and the new laws don’t change that. They only require operators to pay taxes and license fees to the UK government. This increased the cost of their operations there, but the impact was not large enough to deter these companies from voluntarily participating in the new regulatory system.
However, the new law ended up eliminating land-based betting shops, not only placing more restrictions on them, but increasing the tax rate they pay. The UK is now seeing a decrease in these types of establishments in the market as many cannot afford the higher tax. Again, this does not affect the players, as they do not pay tax here [or online] independently.
Most popular poker networks for UK poker players
The question of which online poker sites will have a UK gaming license has been answered, and the answer is pretty much all of the major ones. The UK market is large and too lucrative for these major sites to lose market share to other licensed iGaming game rooms. Each poker room on ANY network must apply for its separate license and be approved before it can begin to share player traffic and manage its operations.
When it comes to poker networks, the iPoker network is the world’s largest in terms of traffic and the third most popular place to play poker in general. The iPoker network is only found behind independent sites such as PokerStars and 888 Poker, both of which are also licensed in the UK.
The second largest poker network, Microgaming, or MPN as it is now known, has many suitable UK poker sites that currently operate here. Poker rooms like BetSafe and Bettson see a fair amount of traffic coming from the UK and all parts of Europe, both shared by similar operations on Microgaming.
Best electronic online poker wallets and other deposit methods for UK players
Credit cards are a very popular way to deposit money at online poker sites, and UK credit cards are easy to use, unlike credit cards in some countries where they may be more restricted. Third-party sites like EntroPay also allow users to get virtual Visa cards, which act like normal credit cards, but without the REAL physical card itself.
Internet e-wallets are also very popular because they allow both easy deposits and withdrawals and are superior to credit cards for this reason. You can, however, link your credit card to your e-wallet and enjoy the best of both worlds. UK poker players can use all major ones including PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and standard wire / wire transfers.
Not all sites accept all payment methods, and they also differ in the minimum deposit requirements for each and may be declined depending on your location as well. Be sure to check the official websites for each chamber you sign up to confirm that you can use specific banking options.
Most popular poker games for UK customers
UK poker players enjoy the full assortment of the most popular poker games. No Limit Texas Hold’em is the king of poker, which of course is available in a variety of different bets, table sizes and tournament buy-ins.
6-max games have been the most popular form of No Limit Hold’em cash for quite some time now, although tournaments and sit and gos have always been very popular too.
Omaha is another popular game among UK gamers, with many pros playing PLO at very high stakes clubs and casinos across the country and across Europe. It’s not prevalent as often as it probably should in most UK venues, but players can normally find 6-max and full ring games around the clock at most major venues.
World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE)
In 2004, after Harrah’s bought the rights to the WSOP, they also bought the London casino operator LCI, which provided them with a launching pad for the birth of the World Series of Poker Europe, or WSOPE.
As of 2007, the WSOPE has been staged in the same format as the WSOP in Las Vegas. This included several bracelet events and of course a big buy-in Main Event which always attracts the biggest names in poker, including Phil Ivey, John Juanda and Phil Hellmuth.
The first WSOPE Main Event winner was Annette Obrestad, who was barely 18 at the time. The more relaxed minimum playing age of 18 is another perk the WSOPE enjoys – and one that has certainly helped Obrestrad in his run for the championship.
The first 4 WSOPE events were held in the UK, but since then that has changed with the next 3 being hosted in France. In 2014 it was decided that this would be held every 2 years, alternating with its sister event in Asia, and therefore there was no championship that year, and in 2015 it was held in Berlin , in Germany.