I am a programmer in England, and am potentially interested in one day working to open a licensed online casino.

I have several ideas about products I would like to work on, but am a bit confused as to the reach of s(41) of the Gambling Act 2005. This section reads:

A person commits an offence if in the course of a business he manufactures, supplies, installs or adapts gambling software unless he acts in accordance with an operating licence.

Meanwhile, "gambling software" is merely defined as:

computer software for use in connection with remote gambling.

In the Gambling Commission's guidance, they say:

The activities of manufacturing and adapting are similar and relatively straight forward in that both activities involve developing gambling software to produce a finalised (or almost finalised) product [...]

If I as an individual (not a business) were to prototype software ideas I have, one day seeking to use them in a licensed/published operation, would this be a violation of the Act? Such prototypes for idea purposes would not be set up to accept actual money.

In other words, would my intention to adapt the software in the future to work with real-cash (once I have the funds to get relevant licensing) prohibit me from manufacturing a simulated version of what I would like to produce?

  • What did your lawyer tell you?
    – user4657
    Feb 27, 2020 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


No, it does not appear to be legal.

I cannot identify any exception based on a reading of the relevant legislation, nor can I find any applicable case law specific to Section 41.

Reviewing the Government's Explanatory Notes on this Section, it is stated:

The purpose of this offence is to ensure that people responsible for generating gambling software do so in a regulated environment, to ensure, in particular, fairness for players.

therefore it is highly likely that manufacturing a prototype of the software would count as committing the offence.


I think the key phrase here is "in the course of a business". So if you were to write the software in your spare time that would be legal, but as soon as you started acting as a business (e.g. by offering it for sale) you would be breaking the law.

This also implies that if you release your software as open source then that would be legal too.

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