Betting and Wagering in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Seay v Eastwood
    • House of Lords
    • 28 Jul 1976

    Legislation against, or controlling, gaming, wagering and betting is many centuries old in the United Kingdom. It is impossible to frame accurate definitions which can cover every such variety: attempts to do so may indeed be counter-productive, since each added precision merely provides an incentive to devise a variant which eludes it.

    My Lords, I doubt very much whether, as to this type of legislation, one can carry the argument much further than this. It is possible to take various elements supposed to be essential to a "bet"—an uncertain event, the possibility of loss, the holding of opposite views, an interest in winning or losing—and debate whether all or some of these are present.

  • R William Hill Organization Ltd (Claimant) The Horserace Betting Levy Board (Defendant) The Association of British Bookmakers and Others (Interested Parties)
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 20 Jul 2012

    On the Claimant's case, there is a significant difference between a person who bets by way of business with a bookmaker and a person who bets by way of business on an exchange. The former does not, in my judgment, receive bets, even if by placing an assemblage of bets he is seeking to make a profit whatever the outcome of a race, and has never been generally regarded as being a bookmaker.

    The question posed by the statute is not whether, in the course of a business, a person receives bets. The question is whether he carries on the business of receiving bets. Someone who operates a betting shop, or who has a stand at a race meeting, receives bets there. His business is that of receiving bets. The person who operates through a betting exchange may in the course of doing so find himself receiving a bet. But he does not carry on the business of receiving bets.

  • Calvert v William Hill Credit Ltd
    • Chancery Division
    • 12 Mar 2008

    It would in my opinion fly in the face of common sense and be a travesty of justice if a problem gambler were able to attribute liability for his financial ruin to a particular bookmaker with whom he had made the relevant losses due to their failure to exclude him at his request, if he would, had he been excluded by that bookmaker, probably have ruined himself by betting with one or more of that bookmaker's competitors.

  • BHB Enterprises Plc v Victor Chandler (International) Ltd
    • Chancery Division
    • 27 May 2005

    This is, in effect, a tax levied on bookmakers' profits to help fund and develop British horseracing. The income derived from the Levy is distributed by the British Racing Levy Board. There is, accordingly, no set off against payments paid to the BHB under their Data Agreements.

  • IG Index Plc v 1. Max Leung-Cheun and Others
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 17 Ago 2011

    If a breach of contract is assumed and the acts complained of were taken in isolation then it seems to me that Mr Mallin's view of causation might be preferred. If one assumes the breach (and also the absence of a "such bets" issue) then a loss caused because bets were closed out some days later than they should have been would have been caused by the breach.

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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Are Loot Boxes An Illegal Gambling Mechanic?
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    A member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament has opened an inquiry into the legality of loot boxes. Loot boxes are virtual items that may be redeemed to receive a randomized selection of additional ...
  • English Internet Casino Law
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    .... Introduction. The principal law governing betting and gaming in England and Wales was the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act ...' The Gaming Act 1845, s18 provides that contracts by way of wagering are void and unenforceable (as are gaming contracts) whilst other betting ......
  • Not All Lost When Betting Agreement Is Unenforceable
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... The Court of Appeal held as follows:-. The contract was not itself a wagering contract within the meaning of the Gambling Act 1835, but the promise to repay the £20,000 fell within the Gaming Act 1892 which rendered null and ......
  • Income Earned In Virtual Worlds: Taxation Issues
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... that has merit is that income earned in virtual worlds is through betting and not trading. In the UK the basic position is that betting and gambling ...It has been held essential to a wagering contract: '..that each party may under it either win or lose, whether he ......
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