UK Gambling License Guide 2024

UK Gambling License 2024

Operators aiming to offer gambling services in the United Kingdom must secure a UK Gambling License. Securing the license is critical for legal operation. This overviews covers all license types and includes descriptions of the application process, regulatory requirements, and associated costs. It is an essential resource for navigating the complexities of UK gambling regulations and ensuring compliance with the Gambling Commission's standards.

UK Gambling License for Online Operators

Operators in the UK require a gambling license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to run an online betting website or online casino. The UKGC offers remote operating licenses for various activities that could interest online gambling businesses.

Licensed operators are eligible to run various casino games, like poker, roulette, and blackjack, on their online gambling platforms. These casino games can be made available through many channels, including websites, mobile applications, and television services.

Types of Gambling Licences Available

Operating Licence

Operating licences are essential for businesses that provide gambling facilities within Great Britain. Various types of operating licences are available, depending on the specific gambling activity. One of the most common operating licences includes remote and non-remote licences. Remote licences cater to online gambling activities, while non-remote licences cover land-based gambling operations. Additionally, ancillary licences may be required in conjunction with these licences to cover specific gambling services or activities not mentioned in the primary licence.

Here is a list of some specific licence activities available under these categories:

  • Remote general betting (standard, virtual events, limited)
  • Remote betting host (real-life events, virtual events)
  • Remote betting intermediary (operating licence, trading rooms licence)
  • Remote pool betting licence

It is important to note that different licences come with varying fees, depending on the gambling operations and projected annual gross income. The Gambling Commission provides further guidance on licences and fees for each category and specific licence type.

To obtain an operating licence, businesses must meet eligibility criteria and comply with the principles laid down by the Gambling Commission. Some key factors considered during the application process include the applicant's honesty, trustworthiness, experience, qualifications, and history, as mentioned on their operating licences page.

Personal Management License (PML)

A Personal Management License (PML) is required for individuals with specific management roles in the UK gambling industry. These licences ensure that those in control of gambling facilities or able to influence the outcome of gambling are directly accountable to the Gambling Commission. Individuals must hold a PML if they are responsible for:

  • The management of the licensed gambling activity
  • The financial affairs of the society
  • Ensuring the society complies with the Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Commission can impose specific conditions on personal licences, such as requirements for annual financial reporting. PML holders are responsible for upholding these conditions and maintaining the integrity of the gambling industry. For more information on PMLs, refer to the Gambling Commission's guide.

Personal Functional License (PFL)

A Personal Functional License (PFL) is required for individuals in specific UK gambling industry roles. This license ensures that those who control facilities for gambling or influence the outcome of gambling activities are held accountable by the Gambling Commission.

Roles that typically necessitate a PFL include gaming supervisors, security staff, and those dealing with gambling-related monitoring and surveillance. Casino inspectors and pit bosses also need to hold a valid PFL. Applying for a PFL involves a process that includes providing personal information, disclosure of any criminal convictions, and paying a license application fee.

The Gambling Commission will grant successful applicants a PFL. The commission can impose specific conditions on the PFL, ensuring that individuals adhere to responsible gambling principles, maintain high integrity, and follow relevant regulations. The guidance to licensing authorities can provide further insight into these conditions and expectations.

The Regulatory Body

The Gambling Commission is the UK's main regulatory body for online gambling licenses. Established under the Gambling Act 2005, it regulates various gambling activities, including arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, gambling software, lottery operators, external lottery managers, and remote gambling operations in Great Britain.

The primary role of the Gambling Commission is to ensure that gambling remains fair, safe, and crime-free. To achieve this, it sets stringent Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), which all licensees must abide by to maintain their gambling licenses. The LCCP covers various areas, including technical standards, testing, anti-money laundering, responsible gambling, consumer protection, and advertising guidelines.

Some of the regulatory functions carried out by the Gambling Commission include:

  • Issuing personal gambling licenses for individuals and gambling operating licenses for businesses.
  • Assessing compliance with LCCP requirements through regular inspections and audits.
  • Taking enforcement action against licensees who fail to comply with the LCCP or pose a risk to the licensing objectives.
  • Advising the government on the development and implementation of gambling policies and regulations.

The Gambling Commission also offers online digital services for licensees and the public, including a Public Register of licensees, premises, and personal license holders. This Register aims to increase transparency in the industry and provide helpful information to consumers, operators, and other stakeholders.


To obtain a UK gambling license, you must meet several requirements and follow a specific process. First and foremost, applicants must be 18 or over to apply for a license, as per the Gambling Act 2005. The application process takes about 16 weeks, provided all required information is provided at the point of application.

During the application process, applicants need to provide several documents, including:

  • Basic identity information
  • Ownership structure diagram
  • Management structure
  • Gambling licenses from other jurisdictions, if applicable
  • Remote technical standards
  • Gambling software supplies details
  • Operational model map
  • Bank statements for the last six months
  • A business plan

The UKGC also issues Personal Management Licenses (PML) and Personal Functional Licenses (PFL), which are required for specific roles within the gambling business. All operators must comply with international money laundering regulations to maintain their licenses.

In addition to the licensing fees, gambling operators must pay a high tax rate on profits, which is 21% and uncapped. It's important to note that licensing is mandatory, even if an operator's online gambling platform is in another world region. Operators must hold a license if the services are being offered in the UK.

Application Process

The UK gambling licence application process can be divided into two main steps: obtaining an operating licence and acquiring a personal licence if needed. It is essential to understand the requirements for each license type and prepare all the necessary documentation before starting your application.

To apply for a UK gambling licence, you must complete an application form on the Gambling Commission's website. This process can take approximately 16 weeks if all the required information is provided at the point of application. 

Depending on the gambling facilities they provide, some businesses may require a combination of licences. Carefully review the operating licences that suit your needs and the associated fees.

You can apply for a personal licence using the Gambling Commission's digital service. To apply for a Personal Functional Licence (PFL), you must provide your address in the last five years and the dates you lived there, and you must use a credit or debit card to pay for the application.

The application process for a UK gambling licence can be comprehensive, and failure to provide accurate information may result in delays or application refusal. Consequently, gathering all the required documentation and information is vital, as understanding the regulations and complying with all the licensing requirements to obtain your gambling licence successfully.

How Long It Takes to Get a UK Gambling Licence

Obtaining a UK gambling licence typically takes about 16 weeks, assuming all necessary information is submitted during the application process. This timeframe is crucial for businesses and individuals who want to operate legally in the UK gambling market.

The overall length of the application process can depend on various factors, such as the type of gambling activity for which a licence is required and the complexity of the application. For instance, operating licences for arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machine providers, gambling software providers, lottery operators, external lottery managers, and remote gambling are all regulated by the Gambling Commission. Each licence type may have different requirements, hence affecting the processing time.

To ensure a smooth application process, it is essential to provide all requested information at the time of application. Missing or incomplete information may delay and prolong the 16-week processing time. Completing all necessary forms and submitting supporting documents, such as proof of address and identification, will help expedite the licensing process.

It is also important to note that annual fees, licence conditions, and codes of practice are to be followed by all licence holders according to the Gambling Commission's requirements. Keeping up with these obligations helps maintain an individual or business's good standing in the industry and ensures a positive relationship with the regulatory body.

In summary, acquiring a UK gambling licence takes approximately 16 weeks and can be influenced by numerous factors, including the applicant's preparedness and the specific licence type. Individuals and businesses can successfully navigate the UK gambling licensing process by understanding the process, providing complete documentation, and staying informed on regulatory requirements.

Cost of Obtaining a UK Gambling Licence

The cost of obtaining a UK gambling licence depends on several factors, including the type of licence and the operator's Gross Gambling Yield (GGY). For example, operators with a GGY below £550,000 are expected to pay an application fee of £4,224 and an annual fee of £4,199. However, the cost can vary significantly for different licenses and operators with different GGYs.

Operators with a GGY below £1.5 million must pay an application fee of £938 and an annual fee of £2,406. Furthermore, other costs may be associated with obtaining a licence, such as fees for Personal Management Licences (PML) and Personal Functional Licences (PFL), which are required for specific roles within the gambling business.

In addition to the application and annual fees, premises licences have associated costs. These licences permit premises to be used for a single specified gambling operation. For example, the new permit fee for a Bingo premises is £3,500, while for an Adult Gaming Centre it's £2,000.

It's important to note that these costs are subject to change, and it's recommended to check the latest fees on the UKGC's official website or consult a legal expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can individuals organise raffles without a formal gambling licence?

Individuals can organise raffles without a formal gambling licence if the raffle is part of a lottery. In the UK, lotteries, including raffles, are subject to specific regulations and exemptions. Small lotteries held during events, such as fundraising or social events, do not require a gambling licence as long as they fulfil certain conditions. More information can be found in the Gambling Commission's guidance on running a lottery.

Where can I find a register of holders of a Gambling Commission licence?

A register of holders of a Gambling Commission licence can be found on the Gambling Commission's website. The Register provides information about current licence holders, including their licence status and territory. Users can search for specific operators or filter by licence type and status to find the relevant information.

How can one file a complaint with the UK Gambling Commission?

To file a complaint with the UK Gambling Commission, it is essential first to raise concerns directly with the gambling operator and follow their complaints procedure. If the issue is not resolved through the operator's procedure, individuals can contact an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. The Gambling Commission provides a list of approved ADR providers for this purpose. Individuals can report their concerns directly to the Gambling Commission if the complaint is still unresolved or concerns the operator's conduct in a broader context.