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Are sports betting sites legal without a UKGC licence?


With so many online sportsbooks popping up these days, there is something you need to check before opening an account and making a financial transaction. Before enjoying the promotions and bonuses offered by the sportsbook, you must ensure that the online website has a United Kingdom Gambling Commision (UKGC) licence. If you are looking for betting websites with a UKGC Licence, then rest assured the non Gamstop betting sites can also be used for new or long-time punters.

The UKGC licence is a stamp of approval certifying that an online sportsbook is legitimate. The UKGC licence ensures that online sportsbooks are regulated and can operate in the UK. Although the licence certifies a betting website is regulated, not all sportsbooks have one. Some sportsbooks obtain licensing from a different country or regulatory body. Others may not have any type of licence at all, which means they are not legally allowed to operate.

What is the UKGC?

The UKGC is a governmental body in the UK that regulates gambling and gaming within Great Britain. The group is responsible for all online casinos, sportsbooks, bet shops, casinos, slots, lotteries, and arcades. They have a wide reach in the betting and gambling industry. The UKGC was created to protect punters from crime and unscrupulous bookies. The ultimate aim is to give the UK a safe gambling ecosystem. By licensing online bookies, the UKGC regulates betting, making it safe for all.

Why do online betting websites need a licence?

The simple answer is that online gambling needs thorough legislation to prevent individuals from being taken advantage of. The UKGC is able to stop illegal online gambling websites from popping up and swindling people out of money. In addition, it prevents groups from illegally copying a popular sportsbook and passing it off as their own legitimate website.

Can I bet with a non-UKGC licensed sportsbook?

Searching the Internet, you are bound to find non-UKGC licensed websites offering a myriad of promotions and bonuses. These websites may also offer competitive odds that are not posted on other, more reputable sportsbooks. Although these websites may be tempting to join, it is not advisable to sign up and many a deposit with them. Why? As they have no operating licence and no organisation to oversee their work, these sportsbooks can do whatever they like.

Some online bookies are licensed in other countries or territories, such as Curacao or Malta. These websites have regulatory bodies that oversee their work. However, the UKGC is considered one of the strictest – if not the strictest – gambling authority in the world. Betting with a UKGC licensed sportsbook ensures the bookie has been vetted by authorities.

When betting with a website that is not licensed, you are taking your chances. There is no safety net and even when winning, the bookie may not pay out. They could invoke a loophole or simply refuse to pay your winnings. A Licensed sportsbook offers safety to punters in the UK.


Sports betting websites without a licence are not legal to operate in the UK. Of course, that doesn’t stop some from attempting to curtail the rules and avoid purchasing a licence. It is advisable to only wager on sports with a fully licenced sportsbook and enjoy the benefits.

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