What are the legal hurdles to setting up a UK gambling website?


I'm looking to set up a simple website that allows two people to play a game against each other, for arguments sake lets say chess, and place a small bet against each other on who will win - e.g. £1 with the winner taking say £1.98 (2p rake for "the house").

I have all the technical knowhow and resources to set this up but wonder what legal status, accreditation etc I would need to operate. I'm a UK resident/tax status although I'd look to allow worldwide participation...

Thanks in advance,


2 Answers

  • ZCT
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Really the best idea would be to see a good lawyer, explain what you want to do and have him figure it out for you.

    One wrong move and you could end up in some serious legal trouble. Gambling is one of those industries that is highly regulated. So you want to be safe rather than risking arrest or closure.

    You should also consider the extensive ramifications of such an endeavor. You need to have a very robust and attractive web site, marketed well. A highly secure method of operating the games and paying the winners. In short you need a bulletproof well marketed site, or people won't play. You will need to form a business relationship with credit card companies and other online providers like Neteller. This can also be problematic, since you will need to prove you are an honest trustworthy site despite being brand new and having no customers yet.

    You will probably need to run this on your own servers and have staff capable of troubleshooting if something goes wrong. Clearly you will lose customers fast if the servers go down and people lose their games. Like I said, the site has to be bullet proof in every way.

    Good luck!

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