UK gambling regulation. How it works

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New online casino players may have certain concerns about how fair and secure such casinos are. This probably happens because if compared to land casinos, their online competitors offer the nicest conditions. They provide bonuses, countless games, live dealers and other perks, but most importantly — online casinos are always right there in you laptop or a smartphone. To some this all sounds too good, so they start looking for faults.

Of course, online casinos have certain disadvantages, but those are definitely not in the field of security and fairness. After the Licensing and Advertising Act was enforced back in 2014, each and single casino online that accepts players from the United Kingdom is licensed by the government established UK Gambling Commission. The commission is empowered to check every aspect of casinos activity, including randomness of games’ outcomes, payouts and the bonuses management.

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UK gambling regulation. How it works

Online casinos go to great pains to obtain the desired UK licence. Afterwards, they do everything to keep it and there were no precedents so far when a casino chose to treat its visitors unfairly after they have obtained it. Possible losses in this case would outweigh any unfairly made money. Plus, UK Gambling Commission has strong influence all over Europe and its bad recommendation may damage or even destroy reputation of a dishonest casino.

An interesting fact. The cost of licence application is over £3,000 or even over £20,000 for operators with £500 gross gambling yield. The casinos are also subject to annual fees of different amount.

If mistreated by online casinos, players can address complaints to the commission knowing that they would be investigated. When the complaints confirm, the regulator will help in settling the issue. There were cases when players themselves were being dishonest and made stories about unfair casinos behaviour. When this happened, the UK GC banned such players from access to online gambling once and for all.

Why is gambling license UK so important

The UK licensed casinos are safe to visit and reliable. They will definitely pay out all the winnings and provide high-rate customer support 24/7. On the other hand, the casinos know that if someone practices unfair gambling, they would be punished as well. This gives the feeling of safety so important for both the players and the casinos. The atmosphere of trust and mutual respect is very important and helps in creating flawless experience.

Some other avenues of players protection are under discussion by the UK Gambling Commission. For example, they are planning to create a nation-wide self-exclusion scheme, when any player who suspect he/she has got gambling addiction can exclude themselves from all online casinos for good. There is a plan to launch some sort of social casinos, where players use virtual chips bought with real money, but they cannot withdraw the winnings. So the industry keeps changing and growing, but we are positive that the future of online gambling is in good hands.

About the UK Gambling Commission

The British Government established the UK Gambling Commission by the Gambling Act of 2005. The Act regulated gambling in the United Kingdom (although only commercial) and had authority over casinos, bingo rooms, betting, lotteries and online gambling. It could not interfere with the spread betting though, because it FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is in charge of this one. In 2014 the Licensing and Advertising Act came into action and now only casino licence UK can legally operate in the country.

Everything the Commission does is directed towards ensuring that:

  • Gambling and online gambling is crime free
  • Underage people are banned from the casinos
  • People with gambling addiction are considered vulnerable and cannot play in land or online casinos
  • Real money gambling is conducted openly
  • Players are treated fairly
  • Casinos are treated fairly

How online casino players are protected

Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) is the set of rules used by the gambling commission. It regulates every aspect of casinos’ work, from money handling to staff nuances. So when players visit the Terms and Conditions page at an online casino, many rules described there originate from the LCCP. Let us put all these numerous requirements into several general categories here:

1) Players funds are safely protected.

This one is arguably the most important aspect of all. The players want to be sure that the money they deposit to a casino can and will be returned if, of course, they win. A casino that only accepts the money but does not pay out the winnings is pointless and useless. The UK Gambling Commission makes sure such online casinos do not receive its licence.

2) Players are identified.

This one is more important for casinos than it is for players. This requirements helps prevent illegal gambling UK players could otherwise try to practice. All online gamblers are familiar with this procedure, because they have filled in the registration forms when first joined a new casino, provided their ID, address, email and so on.

3) Gambling is fair.

The UK Gambling Commission after the LCCP sets technical requirements for online casinos. Only licensed software providers can create games. They must use the Random Number Generator to calculate outcomes of all games, to make sure they are completely random and fair.

4) Reliable customer support.

This also includes fast complaints handling. Whenever an issue occurs, an online casino player can contact the customer support service and they have to solve this issue within reasonable terms. If not — they must provide an important reason why this cannot be done.

5) ‘Honest marketing’.

We’ve all at least once seen commercials sponsored by online casinos. LCCP and the Gambling Commission check whether or not it is misleading and unclear. When a casino promises bonuses, free cash — the money must be provided, otherwise it is a ground for the commission to interfere.

6) Money handling.

All online payment solutions available at casinos are expected to be legal in the country. They have to own the FCA or some other regulator licence. These can be first of all local banking solutions like Skrill, Neteller or the world famous PayPal, Visa, MasterCard etc.