The Gambling Commission

Established under the 2005 Gambling Act, the Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating commercial gambling in Britain.

What is the Gambling Commission?

The Gambling Commission is an independent, non-departmental public body (NDPB), based in Birmingham. It is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and funded by licensed operators.

The organisation is responsible for regulating commercial gambling in all sectors, on and offline (with the exception of spread betting). 

As of October 2013, when the National Lottery Commission became part of the Gambling Commission, it is now also responsible for conducting the National Lottery. As such, the Gambling Commission is the body charged with awarding one licence to a commercial operator for the running of the Lottery.

The Gambling Commission operates with three primary aims, to ensure that:

  1. Gambling is crime-free.
  2. Gambling operators are fair and open.
  3. Children and vulnerable people are protected from gambling-related harms.

Since adding the regulation of the National Lottery to its remit, a further goal of the Commission is to see that the proceeds going to the Lottery good causes are maximised.

History of the Gambling Commission

The Gambling Commission was co-founded in 2005 by the DCMS with the express purpose of ensuring that all gambling operations in Britain adhere to commercially and socially responsible standards.

These standards include the provision of self-exclusion, displaying of odds on gambling machines and the maintenance of a clear complaints procedure. See a website’s footer for the Gambling Commission’s seal (left).

The Commission regularly publishes detailed reports on gambling activities in Britain in order to mitigate addiction and problem play.

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 came into force in November 2014.

As a result of the passing of this act, all operators intending to do business or advertise in Britain must apply for a licence from the Gambling Commission.


The work of the Gambling Commission is paid for by fees imposed upon the organisations it licenses.  The level of these fees is set by the DCMS.

However, regarding its functions involving the National Lottery, it receives a grant from the National Lottery Distribution fund.

Should you contact the Gambling Commission?

The Commission does not itself settle specific complaints from consumers.  However, if you do encounter a gambling operator that does not adhere to the Gambling Commission’s standards, you can make an anonymous report by telephone or email.

The organisation will then pursue all necessary legal channels to ensure you and future players can continue to gamble safely.








Responsible Gambling Trust, 35 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0DW