Gambling is the act of betting or staking something of value on the result of a game, a match, or an unpredictable occurrence whose outcome may be decided by chance or accident or may have an unexpected outcome due to the bettor’s miscalculation.

Gambling laws differ from country to country, in some its legal and there are laws in order to protect citizens from extreme repercussions while in some countries it is prohibited. One major example of such wide difference in legality of the betting exercise is between UK and USA.

Gambling Laws in the UK

  • Until 1961 betting in the UK was restricted to betting on horse races after which gambling in the UK became official. Lottery shops and betting places are widely open in the UK allowing anybody beyond the age of 18 to bet and gamble.
  • Betting laws and norms in the UK have been enhanced over the period of time, even the restriction of age depends on what kind of gambling you want to get involved in. The Gambling Act of 2005 allows anybody over the age of sixteen to participate in national lottery, football pools or buy scratch cards.
  • In the United Kingdom, online gaming is legal and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, which follows the Gambling Act of 2005.
  • Online Gaming and gambling in the UK are a common sight as legal online casinos are easy to find because they all carry the UK Gambling Commission’s seal, which certifies that the casino is legal and regulated.
  • The only drawback for casino operators is that they have high tax rates, but the market is regulated, which is what matters most to gamblers.
  • The gaming industry in the United Kingdom contributes over £6 billion to the national economy, or around 0.5 percent of GDP. It raises about £750 million in tax revenue per year and employs over 100,000 people in the United Kingdom.

Gambling Laws in the USA

  • Gambling laws in the USA are a complex matter, this is because each state in the country can form and apply its own rules and laws. States like Hawaii and Utah do not allow any kind of gambling and it is illegal to gamble in these states, whereas Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware allow any type of gambling.
  • Nevada is also among the only four states that allow online gambling in the country, but it does not allow all types of gambling i.e., lotteries and racetrack betting.
  • The rest of the states in the USA have banned online gaming, which means that a sizable portion of the population is unable to legally gamble on the internet. The Illegal Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 determines this, but it makes no mention of state lotteries or horse racing events.
  • The Illegal Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was enacted in 2006, and it modified the rules surrounding online gambling in the United States. This didn’t make online gambling illegal in and of itself, but it did make it illegal for banks and other financial institutions to handle gambling-related transactions. This made it very difficult for Americans to deposit or withdraw their winnings from the betting.


In conclusion it can be said that the gambling laws in UK and the USA differ widely. Online gambling is legal throughout Britain as long as the casino operator has a UK Gambling Commission license, whereas it only legal in four states in the USA. In short, gambling laws in the United Kingdom exist to protect people rather than to limit what they are and are not permitted to wager on. While it is far more difficult for a US citizen to gamble in the country because of its strict laws.

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