UK and USA Casino Laws: The Difference

Gambling is a lucrative pursuit for many people who try their luck in winning cash. The gambling scene in the United Kingdom varies from that in the United States as the gambling laws are different in both countries.  The UK comprises four countries namely Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. 

If you are a UK player, and you want to try to play in a US casino, you can check the brands at and register at American-based operators. The rules and regulations are decided by each country and there are different sets of gambling laws for different countries. In the US, there are both Federal Laws and State laws for gambling, which means that the gambling laws will be different in each of the fifty states.  

Online Gambling in the UK and the US

Online gambling and other formats of gambling in the UK are under the purview of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). Online gambling is legal both for residents and visitors in the UK. The Gambling Act of 2005 replaced the decade-old laws and paved the path for the legalization of gambling in the UK. According to the Gambling Act of 2005, all forms of gambling are legal in the UK and it is permissible for players above age 18 to gamble. 

On the other hand, in the US, legal online gambling was non-existent before 2011. The Federal Wire Act of 1961 or the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, a US Federal law prohibited interstate gambling and the use of “wire communications” amongst gambling operators.  According to a memorandum issued by the Department of Justice, in 2011, the interpretation of the 1961 Federal Wire Act was changed and the opinion that the Federal Wire Act was only applicable for sports betting was adopted. This was a step taken towards the legalization of online gambling in the US. Several states amended the old gambling laws, which led to the expansion of the gambling industry in the US. New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada were the first among the US states where online gambling was fully recognized and legalized. 

Legal age for entering casinos in the UK and US

The legal age for entering a casino in the US is 21, whereas in the UK the legal age to enter a casino is 18. This means the players in the US tend to be more informed about the gambling laws and more mature compared to their UK counterparts who enter the world of gambling at a much younger age. 

Difference between UK Casino Laws and US Casino Laws


The primary difference between the gambling laws in these countries is the difference in legislation. There are two sets of laws, one is Federal Law and State Law in the US. State gambling laws are more specific and applicable for a particular state whereas the Federal Gambling Laws are more general in nature and are enforced across all fifty states. 

This means there is not a single governing body for gambling in the US. Each state authority has the right to monitor online gambling by the enforcement of the state gambling laws for Americans. The Federal gambling laws also aid in the regulation of online gambling on a Federal level, along with the State Gambling laws. 

On the contrary, there is a single governing body for the regulation of gambling in the UK, which is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). All forms of gambling, whether it is being played in online casinos or brick-and-mortar casinos, are controlled by UKGC. UKGC is responsible for providing licenses to gambling operators, setting arbitration guidelines, and determining the payment structure. 


The taxation system for gambling in the US is much more complicated compared to that of the taxation system for gambling in the UK because gambling operators and content providers are needed to submit both federal and state taxes in the US. The rate of Federal tax for gambling differs from the State taxation rate, which is fixed, for a particular state. The rate of state taxation for gambling varies from one state to another. Moreover, the players are required to submit both the federal and state taxes on gaining revenue and the taxes increase with the increase in cash prizes.  

The players in the UK are not necessarily required to pay taxes on the cash won, irrespective of the amount of the cash won. But the gambling operators and content providers are required to deposit licensing fees for gaining licenses to open and set up gambling units in the UK. Moreover, they are also required to pay 15% of the gross revenue gained. 

Nationality of the gamblers

In the US, non-residents are not permitted to play on online gambling sites. In the UK, both the residents and non-residents are provided equal opportunities to gamble, keeping the fact in mind that gambling is legalized in the country of origin of the non-resident gambler.


The differences between the casino laws in these two countries are remarkable. The players should collect information prior to gambling in these countries and should conduct a detailed study of the gambling industries in these two countries. 

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