Online Casino Licence in the UK
The licence to open an online casino in the United Kingdom is issued by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC monitors, reviews and approves (or not) licences. The UKGC implement the Licence conditions and Codes of practice (LCCP) and follow the Laws in the UK Gambling Act» (Gambling Act) that was issued in 2005.
Types of UK Licences
There are three types of licences that are issued by the UK Gambling Commission for online casinos:
- Personal Functional
The General Licence is for premises that have Slot Machines and Sports Betting facilities. The Personal Licence is issued to small businesses and the Personal Functional Licence is for large and medium businesses. Sports betting is not included in the two types of Personal Licences.
The UK Gambling Commission is the UK regulatory body that allows online casinos to operate within the UK. It was created in 2005 to regulate commercial gambling under the Gambling Act 2005 and the National Lottery in accordance with the 1993 National Lottery Act. The UKGC works in partnership with licensing authorities.
- provides the government with data on the strategy for the development of online games
- submits an annual report on the development of the gambling industry
- invoices licence holders to pay the annual licence fee
- licences and regulates the gambling industry
- ensures gambling businesses are compliant with national laws
- regulates the rules of responsible gaming
The documents regulating the activities of the UK Gambling Commission are in the public domain and fall under corporate governance (council).
UK Online Casino Tax Rates
Operators and software vendors must pay 21% of their annual gross revenue in taxes. Additionally, they must also pay the licence fee that is set by the UK Gambling Commission.
UK Online Casino Authority
A licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission permits licence holders to operate Online Casinos that allow users from Great Britain. Local authorities issue licences for land based gambling establishments. The Gambling Commission can take legal action against operators or individuals who fail to follow the rules and regulations.
How to Get an Online Casino Licence
To apply for a license you will need to submit the following documents:
- Ownership structure diagram (except sole trader)
- Management structure (except sole trader)
- Group structure (if part of a group)
- Share certificates (companies limited by shares)
- Articles of association (Limited company only)
- Certification of incorporation (Limited company only)
- Constitution (if you have one)
- Memorandum of association (Limited company only)
- Trust documents (Trust only)
- Partnership agreement (Partnership only)
- Individual identity documents (if you are a Sole Trader)
- Policies & procedures - LCCP
- Customer terms & conditions
- Rules of play
- Copies of gambling licences from other jurisdictions (if licenced elsewhere)
- Policies & Procedures - Remote technical standards & testing strategy policies (remote licence applications only)
- Gambling Software supply details (remote licence applications only)
- Software supply method (remote licence applications only)
- Operational model map (remote licence applications only)
- System diagram for end to end process (remote licence applications only)
- Bank statements for the last 6 months for all accounts
- Business plan
- Audited accounts (except sole trader if applicable)
- Profit & loss projections for next 3 years
- Proof of funding
- Credit report (if based Overseas)
- Annual reports to regulators (except sole trader if applicable)
- Annual returns (except sole trader if applicable)
- Details of bonus/profit sharing schemes (except sole trader if applicable)
- List of individuals compensated over £200k in the last 12 months (except sole trader if applicable)
- Insolvency/administration/liquidation report (if applicable)
- Public debt/equity offerings (except sole trader if applicable)
- Personal Management Licence application and required supporting documents from each person responsible for a specified management office or Annex A personal declaration form if the applicant is a Small Scale Operator
- Annex A personal declaration form and supporting documents from each person who holds 10% or more shares in the applicant company
It takes approximately 16 weeks for each application to be processed.
On behalf of the company, documents can be submitted by a lawyer or other authorized person. To become a supplier of the National Lottery you must visit their website as the procedure depends on the type of establishment you operate.
On the official website of the Gambling Commission can:
Existing Licence Holders of Gambling Businesses:
- apply for an additional operating licence
- add, remove or change the activities you are licensed for
- submit key events and LCCP notifications
- pay invoices using a credit or debit card
- submit regulatory returns or audits
Companies without a Licence:
- submit an online application for a new operating licence
- submit a new personal management licence
Apply for a Personal Functional Licence:
If you intend to carry our any of the following roles in a casino you will need a personal functional licence:
- pit boss
- gambling related security or surveillance
Manage your Personal Licence:
- change personal details
- report key events
- download a copy of the personal licence
- surrender the personal licence
- submit maintenance applications
You can download an electronic copy of the document for opening an online casino in the UK.
Cost of Obtaining a UK Licence
The cost of obtaining a General Licence is determined by the category of installed software (A, B, C, D, E) and the annual gross income from gambling.
An application for a Personal Management Licence costs £370 and a Personal Functional Licence is £185.
For the licence to remain valid, an annual fee must be paid, the amount of which depends on the type of document and the structure of the company. You can calculate the amount on the website.
- Online - via eServices
- BACS - bank transfer indicating the invoice number or your account number
Cheques are not accepted and will be returned to the sender.
No. In accordance with the 2005 Gambling Law, the operator must pay annual fees in full by the date specified on the licence.
No, it will be cancelled. The 2005 Gambling Law establishes the obligation of the operator to pay the premium in full by the date specified on the licence. If the operator cannot pay, the Gambling Commission revokes the authorization.
To reactivate the licence you must re-submit the application and all the documents. The Gambling Commission will review the applicant's financial circumstances and issue a decision.
Yes, Operators are required to pay annual fees in full. If a licence is no longer required operators will need to apply for a suspension of the licence.
The money is returned if:
- the application for a licence is withdrawn immediately after filing
- the licence is cancelled immediately after it has been issued
- the application was rejected by the Gambling Commission.