Obtaining a gambling license in the UK – a step-by-step guide

The United Kingdom has one of the most developed gambling industries across the globe. Online casinos and some other types of gambling are allowed in the country. The government meets the needs of entrepreneurs seeking to start a gambling business. Residents of the country pay taxes at a reduced rate, while foreign businessmen are completely exempt from any taxation. In this article, we are going to talk about the types of the UK licenses and the process of obtaining them in 2022.

Why is it important to have a UK online gambling license?

A UK gambling license is a special permit that allows casinos to offer more than just casino games. It is a guarantee of an operator’s integrity and transparency and the fact that it always pays out players’ winnings.

The United Kingdom was one of the first European countries to establish clear requirements for operators and social protection measures for players. Their gambling market is the largest in the European Union, which makes it very attractive for online casino owners from all over the world. After receiving a license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, a casino can offer online betting, video slots, live games and many other forms of gambling. All gambling operations in the country are regulated by the 2005 Gambling Act. In 2014, due to rapid growth of the online gambling industry, several amendments to the law were introduced.

The total annual revenue of the UK’s gambling industry amounts to over €15.7 billion.

The advantages of the UK license look very convincing:

  1. Confidence in the future. The United Kingdom is a country with a fair legal system. This means that a casino owner can set any business goals they want and rely on the state’s protection.
  2. Straightforward pricing policy. The English are famous for their pedantry. For example, the UKGC’s website has a license fee calculator where one can input various parameters of their business to determine the total cost of a permit.
  3. Prestigious status. A UK gambling license is a quality mark enhancing player’s trust. If you managed to obtain it, make sure to mention this fact on your website, and you will see your traffic increase.

Does the UK gambling license have any disadvantages? Perhaps only one — the country’s regulation excludes the possibility of using cryptocurrencies in online casinos. The UKGC does not explicitly prohibit having Bitcoin as a main payment method; however, the anonymity of digital currencies makes gaming operators unable to accept altcoins without breaking the AML rules. If you want to open a crypto casino, you should explore other options, as the UK permit in its current state will not meet your needs.

Requirements for obtaining a UK iGaming license

When processing an application, the Commission pays close attention to founders’ financial status and criminal record. There are also a number of important requirements for applicants:

  • Fairness and transparency of games must be ensured by an RNG system;
  • Only licensed games are allowed;
  • All the necessary conditions for safe and responsible gambling must be created;
  • Restrictions for minors must be in place;
It takes several months to process and approve an application. The Commission thoroughly examines every detail before issuing a license.

How to apply for a UK gambling license

There are three types of self-explanatory gambling licenses in the United Kingdom:

  • Remote Casino;
  • Remote Betting Standard;
  • Gambling Software License.

According to the Gambling Act, all gambling equipment must be located in the UK. The Commission monitors the integrity of operators and prevents any illegal activities. Note that the UKGC does not handle player complaints. This responsibility lies exclusively with licensees.

The easiest way to obtain a UK gambling permit is to apply through the official UKGC website. Your application will be reviewed within several weeks, and the whole issuance process takes about 4-5 months. In order to submit an application, you will need to:

  • Prepare basic documentation. Depending on the license type and the company’s activities, it may include up to 25 papers;
  • Ensure your presence in the UK;
  • Pay a license fee of EUR 1,000 to EUR 16,000.

The rest depends on the Class of the license. For example, if you are planning to open an online casino, it is necessary to prepare documents which clearly describe the gambling software’s behavior, your operating model, and other details. Any individual responsible for management functions must have a Personal Management License (PML).

UK gambling licenses are issued for a period of up to five years. GamingLicensing draws your attention that these permits are prestigious, but quite expensive. Their annual cost varies from EUR 1,000 to EUR 40,000. Legal services, such as annual reporting, handling taxation matters, and communicating with the UKGC representatives, add another EUR 1,200 per month to the price tag.

Finally, about the tax regime. The corporation tax rate in the UK is currently set at 19%. Sportsbook and online casino owners pay an additional 15% tax on income.


Successful operators understand that in the long run, a UK gambling license will not only recover the costs, but also make a handsome profit. The country’s gambling industry is associated with reliability and transparency of business processes. It has credibility among both gaming operators and casino players.

Preparing documents and submitting an application for a UK license is a complex and time-consuming process. One mistake in documentation may result in delays or even denial of the license.

Get detailed advice from GamingLicensing experts on the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom, Curacao, Malta and any other country. We will successfully guide you through all the steps of the application process and will answer all your questions. To contact us, please send an email or fill out our simple form.

Jul 8, 2022