UK Gambling License Regulations in 2024: What Has Changed?

As we move further into 2024, the landscape of gambling in the UK continues to evolve, shaped by increasingly more stringent regulations designed to protect consumers.

The UK’s gambling sector is one of the largest in Europe, where gamblers collectively spend approximately £14 billion annually. Given the sheer size and dynamism of this industry, it is no surprise that the regulatory landscape must continually adapt to ensure the safety of players.

The Gambling Commission introduced several key changes to its licensing requirements and compliance measures in 2024. Whether you are a gambling business or a stakeholder in the gambling industry, understanding these changes is crucial for navigating the regulatory environment.

As specialists in gambling law, we have put together this blog post to offer some insight into the most significant aspects of the UK gambling licence regulations in 2024, highlighting what you need to know.

What is a Gambling Business?

A gambling business refers to any company or enterprise that offers gambling services as its primary activity. This includes businesses involved in various forms of betting and wagering activities.

Some key types of gambling businesses include:

  • Casinos
  • Sports betting operators
  • Online gambling websites
  • Lottery operators
  • Bingo halls
  • Bookmaking operations

Is Gambling Legal and Regulated in the UK?

Yes, gambling is both legal and regulated in the UK. The primary piece of legislation governing gambling activities is the Gambling Act 2005, which established the framework for licensing, regulation and control of gambling within the UK. This act covers all forms of gambling, including casinos, sports betting, lotteries and online gambling platforms.

The regulatory body responsible for overseeing gambling activities in the UK is the Gambling Commission. This body ensures that gambling is conducted fairly and openly. They have the authority to issue licences to operators and to impose penalties or revoke licence if operators fail to comply with the law.

Gambling businesses must adhere to strict regulations concerning responsible gambling, anti-money laundering practices and customer protection. This includes ensuring that advertising is honest, resources are provided to help prevent gambling addiction and the ages and identities of customers are verified to mitigate underage gambling.

So, what is changing?

#1: Enhanced Customer Protection Measures

The focus on consumer protection remains paramount, with new regulations strengthening the requirements for operators to protect players.

Gambling businesses must now implement more robust mechanisms for identifying and assisting at-risk players, including systems for detecting problematic gambling behaviours and enhanced intervention strategies. These measures aim to intervene earlier and more effectively, reducing the risk of gambling-related harm.

#2: Stricter Age and Identity Verification Procedures

In 2024, the Gambling Commission tightened the rules around age and identity verification. Gambling businesses must now verify the age and identity of all customers before they can deposit funds or access free-to-play games.

This change aims to prevent underage gambling and ensure that all players are correctly identified. The use of advanced verification technologies, such as biometrics, is becoming increasingly commonplace among operators seeking to comply with these stringent requirements.

#3: Increased Transparency and Disclosure Requirements

Transparency continues to be a significant theme in the regulation of the UK gambling industry. Gambling businesses are now required to provide more detailed information to players about the terms and conditions of games, and the mechanisms of game operation.

This initiative is designed to ensure that gamblers have all the necessary information to make informed decisions about their gambling activities.

#4: Focus on Advertising and Marketing Practices

The rules governing the advertising and marketing of gambling services have been updated. There are now stricter limitations on advertising, especially in relation to how bonuses, free bets and ‘risk-free’ offers are promoted.

These changes are intended to reduce the potential for misleading advertising and help prevent problematic gambling behaviour. Additionally, there are more severe penalties for breaches, emphasising the importance of responsible marketing too.

#5: Anti-Money Laundering Regulations

A crucial element that remains at the forefront of the regulations is the legal framework designed to prevent, detect and manage the risk of money laundering.

Gambling businesses must perform appropriate due diligence to establish the identity of their customers, with enhanced checks for high-risk customers, and are obliged to report any suspicious activities to authorities.

They must also regularly assess the risks of their business being used for money laundering purposes and adjust their preventative measures accordingly, as well as train their staff to recognise signs and understand their reporting obligations.

#6: Tighter Controls on Online Gambling

The online gambling sector faces particularly rigorous scrutiny in 2024. New regulations require improved measures to ensure the integrity of games and the security of online platforms. This includes the mandatory use of certified random number generators and enhanced cybersecurity measures to protect user data.

Furthermore, there is an increasing emphasis on the use of responsible gambling tools, such as deposit limits and time-outs, which must be easily accessible to players.

#7: Enhanced Licensing Requirements

Obtaining and retaining a UK gambling licence has become more challenging under the new regulations. Gambling businesses must demonstrate a higher level of compliance in areas such as financial transparency, anti-money laundering practices and corporate governance. The process of licence review has also been intensified, with more frequent assessments and audits to ensure ongoing compliance with the regulatory framework.

If you need help with licensing, our team of specialised gambling regulation solicitors are on hand to support you through the necessary steps.

#8: Cooperation with International Regulators

Given the global nature of the gambling industry, particularly online, the Gambling Commission is enhancing its cooperation with international regulatory bodies.

This collaboration aims to tackle issues like cross-border advertising, match-fixing and fraud more effectively.

#9: Gambling Harm Prevention Initiatives

The Gambling Commission is increasingly prioritising the prevention of gambling harm in its regulatory approach. In 2024, there is a greater emphasis on funding and supporting initiatives aimed at preventing gambling addiction and providing treatment for those affected.

This includes increased funding for research into gambling behaviours and the effectiveness of intervention measures.


The regulatory changes introduced in 2024 reflect a broader trend towards more stringent and proactive regulation of the gambling industry in the UK. These changes are designed to protect customers, enhance the integrity of gambling operations and reduce gambling-related harm.

Gambling businesses must adapt to these changes swiftly and effectively, while consumers should feel more secure in a better-regulated environment.

Understanding and complying with these new regulations is essential for all stakeholders in the UK gambling industry to ensure that they can continue to operate or participate in this sector responsibly.

How Can We Help?

At Terrells LLP, we are one of only a handful of specialist solicitors offering advice on a range of gambling legislation. We help gambling businesses remain compliant and competitive by advising on a range of commercial and regulatory matters.

Get in touch with us if your gambling business is involved in a legal issue. We can support you by assessing your situation, offering productive legal advice and working to find the best possible solution.