Casino gambling is one of the most profitable industries in the world. Over the last few years, it has been increasing in popularity as more individuals begin to take part in online casino gambling.
For example, in the UK, there were approximately 34.22 million active online gamblers in 2022. According to another source, the UK is the world’s largest regulated online gambling market with an annual gross revenue of approximately $12.5 billion USD.
This profitable market is set to grow over the following years. A recent study found that the online gambling market will continue to grow by 11.7%.
One of the main reasons behind the popularity and growth of gambling is the expansion of online casinos. They are quickly gaining in popularity with many gamers preferring to play online rather than in land-based venues.
But what are the gambling regulations in a country like Wales? Is it the same as in other parts of the United Kingdom or do they have different gambling laws and regulations?
This article will answer these questions by exploring Wales’s relationship with gambling.
Wales and gambling practices
Are gambling and betting popular in Wales? The answer is yes.
Gambling is extremely popular in Wales. For example, one study found that 55% of people in Wales gambled in 2016.
In 2018, 52% of people in Wales gambled. A slight decline but still a very high number.
In 2023, the majority of people in Wales still gamble and enjoy placing bets. Of course, there are different forms of gambling and betting.
Some prefer placing bets on sports events or races. Others prefer gambling and taking part in casino games.
But does the popularity of gambling in Wales mean that it is actually legalised? If so, when was it formally authorised?
Gambling regulations in Wales
People in Wales have gambled and placed bets long before it was officially legalised. People would gamble in between them and would play casino games in unofficial and unlicensed venues.
However, since the 1960s, gambling has been legal in Wales. Casinos were allowed to open and obtain an official license from governmental authorities.
The first legal British casino opened in Wales as soon as gambling was legalised. It was called Casino Club Port Talbot.
The casino was launched by George Alfred James, who was a gambling entrepreneur. His venue was a fully inclusive gambling house which included a casino, bar, restaurant and a dance floor.
This was made possible under the 1960 Gaming and Betting Act. This Act also legalised land-based bookmakers’ betting operations.
However, the 1960 Gaming and Betting Act did not anticipate the rise of the internet and the subsequent creation of online casinos.
Another gambling act known as the 2005 Gambling Act had to be drawn up to regulate the different types of internet gambling. As a result of this more recent act, some forms of internet gambling are legal in Wales.
In 2007, it was decided that the internet gambling market would be regulated by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission, also known as UKGC. The UKGC regulates and oversees many internet gambling activities to offer gamers a safer experience.
They also have some gambling guides available to gamers for free on their website. These guides help gamers understand their rights and protect any sensitive information such as credit card details to have a safer and more secure online gaming experience.
Important recent changes to gambling regulations
It is important to note that there have been some relatively recent changes to the gambling regulations mentioned above. Although gambling is still legal in Wales, gamers are no longer able to pay with their credit cards anymore.
Since the 18th of November 2020, the Gambling Commission has banned the use of credit cards for most forms of gambling in all of the UK, including in Northern Ireland.
Gamers can still use their debit cards but will no longer have the option to use their credit card. This is to prevent gamers from getting into debt.
Other possible payment options include using a PayPal account with a debit card (not a credit card) attached to it, using a mobile phone billing method or cryptocurrencies.
Apart from that, gamers can still play as they used to as not much else has changed. Casinos both land-based and online are still legal as long as they are licensed and officially recognised by the UKGC.
This article presented and discussed the gambling regulations in Wales. There have been some relatively recent changes to the regulations recently so gamers should keep an eye out for the latest changes.
Despite some changes here and there, gambling remains extremely popular in Wales and legal since 1960.