The law on gambling was consolidated into the Gambling Act 2005. Enforcement falls primarily to the Gambling Commission, who undertake test purchases throughout the UK. We are commissioned to by the Federation of Racecourse Bookmakers to provide support services to on course bookmakers. We also provide the industry standard signage on behalf of the Association of British Bookmakers.

The legislation is split into general offences relating to a "child" aged under 16 years and a "young person" aged 16 to 18 years. Many of the offences can also be committed by young people engaging in gambling activities, but cannot be committed by a child. The act covers both employment and sales involving children and young people.

  • It is illegal to invite or permit a person under the age of 18 years to enter a casino, betting premises, adult gaming centre or certain parts of a race track.

  • It is illegal to invite or permit a person under the age of 18 years to enter an area within a family entertainment centre that contains any Category C gaming machines (that are available for use).

  • It is illegal for a person aged 16 years to 18 years to gamble (subject to some exceptions, such as the football pools) or to enter any casino, betting premises, adult gaming centre and certain parts of race tracks or family entertainment centres.

  • It is illegal for a person aged 16 years to 18 years to provide facilities for gambling (subject to some exceptions, such as the football pools).

  • It is illegal to employ any person under the age of 18 years to provide facilities for gambling.

  • It is illegal to employ any person under the age of 16 years to provide facilities for the football pools or in any function at a bingo hall or premises with a club gaming permit.

  • It is illegal to employ any person under the age of 18 years in a casino, betting premises, adult gaming centre and any premises where gaming machines are situated and the young person may be required to carry out any functions in relation to those machines. It is also illegal for a person aged 16 years to 18 years to work in such a role.

  • It is illegal to invite or permit a person under the age of 16 years to participate in a lottery or the football pools (see also National Lottery).

  • It is illegal to invite or permit a person under the age of 18 years to use a Category D gaming machine

  • Any person aged over 18 years or any company or other offender may subject to an unlimited fine and/or imprisoned for up to 51 weeks (6 months in Scotland) and/or both. A person aged 16 years to 18 years may be fined up to £1,000 for breaches of any of the above rules.

  • It is a defence to show that you took all reasonable steps to determine the child or young person’s age and that you reasonably believed them to be over the relevant age.

The current categories of gaming machines are:

Machine category

Maximum stake (from July 2011

Maximum prize (from July 2011

A

Unlimited

Unlimited

B1

£5

£10,000

B2 (fixed odds betting terminals)

£100 (in multiples of £10)

£500

B3

£2

£500

B3A

£2

£500

B4

£2

£400

C

£1

£100

D non-money prize (other than crane grab machine)

30p

£8

D non-money prize (crane grab machine)

£1

£50

D money prize

10p

£5

D combined money and non-money prize (other than coin pusher or penny falls machines)

10p

£8 (of which no more than £5 may be a money prize)

D combined money and non-money prize (coin pusher or penny falls machine)

20p

£20 (of which no more than £8 may be a money prize)