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What we do

  • We provide licences to operators and individuals in Great Britain that run arcades, gaming machines, betting, lotteries, bingo, remote gambling (online, telephone), casinos and gambling software.
  • We regulate and are responsible for awarding the licence to run the National Lottery.
  • We set requirements for those licensees in our rulebook, the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice, and carry out assessments to make sure that licensees are following our requirements.
  • We take action where we find operators and individuals failing to follow our rules and regulations.
  • Where we find failings we use our regulatory powers to take enforcement action against licensees and you can read more about this action in our news pages.
  • Read more about how we make gambling safer for consumers.

What we don’t do

There are, however, also things that we cannot do for consumers and these are listed in the sections below:

Consumer complaints


  • We are unable to resolve consumer complaints against gambling operators. We do however expect operators who hold a Gambling Commission licence to have procedures in place for handling customer complaints and for disputes to be referred to an independent third party. If you have a complaint, please contact the relevant operator in the first instance.
  • We can’t help you get your money back from a bet placed, or from a gaming machine, or rule on a disputed National Lottery prize. The National Lottery operator also has its own procedures in place for handling player complaints.

Legal advice


  • We don’t give legal advice to help develop business models or ideas. But we do provide general information and advice about the Gambling Act and our approach.

Spread betting


Regulate all gambling websites


  • Our regulatory remit only allows us to regulate gambling websites which trade, or advertise to, consumers in Britain. These gambling websites must have a Gambling Commission licence.
  • Online gambling companies have to be licensed by us to provide gambling to British consumers. Before gambling online, please check that the operator is licensed by the Gambling Commission. To check whether a site is licensed, look for the link to the Gambling Commission’s Licence Register where you can see what type of activities the site is allowed to offer. For more information see what to look out for before gambling.

Premises licences

We do not issue premises licences, these are issued by licensing authorities that are also responsible for:

  • issuing gambling operators with permits (which allow low stakes gambling in venues which are not primarily for gambling, for example, pubs)
  • registering societies - allowing them to hold small lotteries
  • compliance and enforcement of the Gambling Act 2005 locally.

Our objectives

All of our work is conducted with our main licensing objectives listed below in mind.

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

In respect of the National Lottery, our objectives are to ensure that:

  • Ensuring the National Lottery is run with propriety
  • Ensuring that participants’ interests are protected, and
  • (Subject to those two duties) doing our best to ensure the proceeds from the National Lottery are as great as possible

Day in the Life of Gambling Commission colleagues

We have asked different people at the Gambling Commission to give us an insight into what a typical day looks like for them. Here, you’ll be able to read about what each team is doing to make gambling safer, and how they are overcoming challenges they face.