Does the United Kingdom Authorise and Permit Live Dealer casinos?

by Joe Ellison Last Updated
live dealer games

Finding a legal live dealer isn’t difficult these days thanks to the abundance of regulated gambling sites available in the UK. But it’s always worth checking that the online casinos you decide to join are definitely legal.

After all, you don’t want to risk your card payment details and other aspects of your identity falling into the hands of fraudsters. That’s why here at TMC we only recommend the best legal casinos, most of which feature legitimate live casino games.

Now, the legality around the best live casinos is very important because some of these casinos are operated in other countries, and then fed back to a UK casino that takes bets for players. In this guide we’ll take you through why this set-up works best for everyone, and why said casinos need to ensure their live games are legal.

So with that in mind, let’s take you through everything you need to know about legal live casino games in the UK, how to spot illegal casinos, and the best ways to know you’re playing on a trusted site.

How to spot a legal Gambling Site? 

Spotting a legal casino is actually fairly simple these days. Every casino regulated in the UK must feature specific branding on their homepage and in their app. This includes logos and links to:

  • UK Gambling Commission website
  • BeGambleAware
  • GAMStop (or other charity)
  • Other references to foreign licences (such as Maltese gambling licence)

Casinos must also clearly show their Gambling Commission Account Number and a link to its place on the UKGC public register, as well as their main postal address.

This account number is the best way to find out if your chosen casino is legal. If the UKGC doesn’t have a profile for that casino, then it’s not regulated by the government and therefore is illegal.

live dealer games UK

Our recommended casinos all feature legal live dealer games

Legal live dealer gaming in UK

Legal live dealer games are only available to play at, you guessed it, legal casinos. And it’s actually very important that this is the case. Many live dealer games are operated by third parties and are based outside of the UK. The majority are based in Malta or Gibraltar, while others are based in Eastern Europe.

Legal live dealer games include:

  • Baccarat
  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Lightning Roulette
  • Monopoly Wheel
  • Omaha
  • Coin Flip
  • General gameshows

A casino or casino app will always feature its live games within its live casino suite. Any live casino games accessed outside of the casino brand – say, for example, on YouTube, Twitch or other forms of social media – could be considered illegal.

You can usually spot a legal live casino game because of its branding. Many casinos link up with software developers such as NetEnt and Barcrest to provide their own exclusive casino games. So, Mansion Bet may have its own suite of Mansion Bet live tables, alongside “general” casino games that provide feed access to multiple operators.

Why legal live games are important?

No matter where the live games are based, they must adhere to UK gambling standards if they are to be broadcast and shown on casino apps in this country. And it is these standards that guarantee player protection when they’re spinning the wheel, dealing cards or tossing a coin.

That also means the operator must prove it is tackling money laundering, ensuring fairness of the game, moderating live chats, paying employees fairly, and paying out wins quickly and efficiently.

There is also a reassurance for players that comes with legal live casino games. How often have you played video poker on a machine and wondered why you’re never hitting the winning cards? Of course, the machine algorithm must operate within the fairness boundaries of the game’s RTP, but sometimes it feels better to play a live dealer game, where there is no algorithm involved.

Live dealer games are also important for the development of a player’s skill and judgement. By interacting with the dealer in a safe, secure environment, you can focus on improving your game, making smarter bets, and hopefully winning big money – rather than worrying about the legality of the game!

And of course, the biggest bonus about sticking to legal live casino games is that you’re guaranteed a payout if you win. Illegal sites can sometimes withdraw cash and you have no legal basis to challenge them. It’s a horrible situation to be in but can be avoided by sticking with legal sites.

Our legal casino reviews

Here at TMC we take our casino reviews seriously – and because of that we only deal with and promote legal casinos. We’ve looked over scores of gambling sites down the years, found some five-star keepers, and unearthed some fairly bad ones too. We make sure our reviewers go through every inch of a casino to make sure it meets our standards. And only then will we recommend it to players.

Every one of our recommended sites – whether it be a small-time app or a high stakes casino – goes through the same testing process. And the first test is ensuring the sites are legal. Once we have confirmation from the UKGC that they are legit then we get to work.

As part of our work we also check the casino software each operator uses. Sometimes a casino won’t realise there is a glitch in one of their games because the software developer has fallen short of regulatory standards. And so we make sure only to recommend casinos who deal with professional, legit software companies.

About the Author


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Joe is a journalist, editor and copywriter who specialises in sport, politics, film and the gaming industry. He works on Fleet Street for national newspapers and other publicans across the UK and in North America. He is an experienced product reviewer and editor for global brands and gambing companies. He has interviewed everyone from elite sport stars to the next generation of influential business people.
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