Why the party is over for online gambling By Jonathan Ford, Financial Times March 3, 2019 at 6:07 pm When Britain loosened its gambling laws in 2005, then prime minister Tony Blair presented it as a way to legitimise what would happen anyway. “I am not a gambler myself, but people do gamble,” he said. “There is no point in taking a position which says all gambling is wrong.” It was always a strange line as the UK had legal betting and no one was exactly agitating for its abolition. But one consequence of the reform was a bonfire of restrictions. It was as if the ancien regime was overrun with illegal betting that ministers wanted to legitimise, even though analysts at the time detected little sign of substantial black market trade.