What Illinois Should Learn From the United Kingdom About Legalizing Online Gambling

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If you are looking for examples of future sports betting, you only need to look to the United Kingdom, which legalized it half a century ago. The legalization of sports betting in the U.S. was officially ushered in by the Supreme Court when it overturned a federal ban. Even though the legalization of this type of gambling in the USA began in 2018, many states have failed to come through with a new bill and allow big brands to start operating.

The UK and U.S. markets share many similarities – both have large middle classes and a strong interest in sports, and both show enormous affection towards wagering.

Gambling in Illinois

Betting on horse races at local race tracks was legalized in Illinois in the 1920s. By 1990, the Riverboat Gambling Act made running commercial casinos legal if they were located in counties with more than 3 million people and outside Lake Michigan. In 2009, the Illinois Lottery was allowed to install lottery terminals in local bars and other similar venues. It is currently illegal to offer online gambling in Illinois, as no iGaming regulations have been passed since then.

Gambling Laws in the UK

During the 1960s, UK gaming became legal. Following the decline of moralistic political forces, in 1960, the UK legalized private casinos through the Betting and Gaming Act. Since 1994, the government has run the National Lottery. Regulation of betting in the UK is relatively young, and thanks to the Gambling Act of 2005, UK residents can legally gamble and win money while placing wagers.

British players enjoy taking a chance on everything from sports to casino games, and fortunately, today, there is a wide range of legal 300 casino bonus online casinos and sportsbooks to make the experience more convenient. The UK Gambling Commission oversees and regulates gambling laws in England, Wales, and Scotland. In addition to arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, fruit machines, and lottery games, the UKGC also regulates remote playing and betting, including internet sites and mobile sportsbook/casino apps. To provide sports betting, bingo, arcades, lotteries, or gaming machines to UK citizens, a business must have a license from the UKGC. In addition to licensing and regulating operators, UKCG also provides a safe and secure playing environment for punters.

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What Online Gaming is Legal in the United Kingdom

Residents and foreign visitors in the UK are allowed to participate in online gaming. Across the United Kingdom, all forms of gambling, including online casinos and sportsbooks, are regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The players from the UK have two restrictions to bear in mind when it comes to online wagering:

  • They have to be of legal age or 18+
  • They have to play or at sites that have a remote operating license

Just for reference, the British call online gambling “remote.” The name “remote” may even be more appropriate because it encompasses both mobile and social gaming apps, as well as desktop gaming. Online gambling is highly popular in the United Kingdom due to its legality, regulation, and a wide array of games. By enacting the Gambling Act of 2005, practically every form of online wagering is legal. These days, players in the UK have access to different options such as a top online casino, sports betting site, daily fantasy sports, online poker, and lottery.


Considering how many UK residents enjoy legalized online gambling and how much the government can profit from it, it is a wonder that the Illinois official still hasn’t passed the bill. The Illinois state government ought to realize that many people are not fans of online sports betting, so online casinos seem like a good investment.

After all, the only thing they need to do is hop on the US gambling bandwagon and realize that the USA has managed to reach 44 billion dollar gambling revenue in 2021.  With the popularity of online sports betting, the UK has managed to take advantage of the trend and turn it into a growing industry – and Illinois has a lot to learn from such countries. Illinois casino enthusiasts will have to wait and see if the state expands to include all forms of online gambling.


Author’s Bio

Leslie Alexander, a Content Lead of the Gamblizard site, is an avid writer who enjoys dabbling into topics related to the casino industry. As a writer and coordinator, she handles the writing of all important articles on the site. Leslie goes that extra step to make all her content unique and informative.

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