Online sports gambling
Produced in partnership with William Deller of Bird & Bird LLP
Online sports gambling

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with William Deller of Bird & Bird LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Online sports gambling
  • Licensing
  • Sponsorship and advertising
  • Illegal betting and match-fixing
  • eSports

Gambling and sport have a long association; indeed people have been betting on sporting events for as long as there have been sporting events to bet on. In recent years, though, the amount and variety of gambling within sport has increased significantly as the popularity of online gambling has soared.

This Practice Note gives a broad overview of some of the main issues that arise in the field of sports gambling, and covers the following:

  1. Licensing

  2. Sponsorship and advertising

  3. Illegal betting and match fixing

  4. eSports

Licensing

The main piece of legislation governing gambling in Great Britain (online, land—based and in other formats) is the Gambling Act 2005 (GA 2005). Gambling in Northern Ireland is still principally governed by the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, which is outside of the scope of this Practice Note.

GA 2005 defines several types of gambling and designates the Gambling Commission (the Commission) as the body responsible for ensuring that any gambling that takes place in Great Britain is appropriately licensed and otherwise complies with GA 2005. In the context of sport, the most relevant types of gambling under GA 2005 are:

Betting

Pursuant to GA 2005, s 9, a person engages in 'betting' (a form of 'gambling'), if they make or accept a bet on the outcome of a race, competition or other