All gambling activities in the United Kingdom are regulated and monitored by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. It’s a trustworthy and authoritative state agency whose name has become one of the hallmarks of gambling in Great Britain. Established in 2007, the UK Gambling Commission is sponsored by the Department for Digital Culture, Media & Sport.
According to the information on the official site www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk, the agency is engaged in “licensing, regulating, advising and providing guidance” to individuals and companies that provide different types of gambling services in the United Kingdom.
The UK Gambling Commission has a broad jurisdiction that covers a big variety of gambling entertainments, including online and land-based casinos, bingo, arcade games, betting, and the National Lottery. Casino software providers are also subject to licensing and regulation by the Commission.
If a casino site advertises or provides services to the players in Great Britain, it’s compulsory for it to have a license issued by the UK Gambling Commission. Obtaining a license from the UK Gambling Commission is a tricky task. Not only is it a costly enterprise, but it also requires a great deal of time and effort. In fact, the UK gambling license is among the hardest to obtain, and gambling operators need to go to great lengths to comply with the licensing requirements set out by the UK Gambling Commission. The set of requirements applied to all licensees is known as the License Conditions and Codes of Practice.
Furthermore, the UK Gambling Commission has developed Remote Gambling and Software technical standards (RTS). This extensive document specifies a long list of technical and security requirements that apply to all gambling operators.
Guided by the Gambling Act 2005 (with amendments provided in the Gambling Act 2014), the UK Gambling Commission pursues the following licensing goals:
✔️ One of the fundamental objectives is to prevent gambling from being considered an illegal activity or a crime.
✔️ Furthermore, the Commission aims to guarantee that gambling activities are performed in an honest and transparent way.
✔️ The Commission is committed to protecting minors and other vulnerable groups of people from gambling.
On its official website, you can also find the principles that the UK Gambling Commission is relying on when licensing and regulating gambling operators.
If a casino has managed to receive the coveted license, this by no means signifies that the hard part is over. The thing is that the gambling operator needs to submit a security audit to the Gambling Commission within 6 months. An online casino needs to find a trusted auditor that would test its compliance with the following standards:
- BS ISO;
- IEC 27001.
The UK Gambling Commission does not provide a list of eligible audit companies to perform a security audit. At the same time, the Commission stresses out the importance of using the service of a reputable auditor whose competence and qualifications are beyond doubt. Plus, the audit firm must be an independent agency which is capable of passing unbiased judgment. Finally, the audit firm needs to have one of the following certificates:
- ISFO 27001 Lead Auditor;
The UK Gambling Commission is making great effort to help its licensees follow the regulations. However, if a gambling operator ignores or violates the existing rules provided by the Commission, the latter takes ruthless steps to tackle the situation. Some of the milder measures include issuing a warning or introducing an additional condition to the violator’s license. Harsher penalties include suspending or revoking a license, or even imposing a fine.
How the UK Commission makes gambling safer
The UK Gambling Commission is committed to making gambling a safe and fair hobby for adults living in Great Britain.
- The Commission creates tough requirements for gambling operators to make sure they put player safety first and build a comfortable gambling environment. If casinos fail to meet such requirements, the Commission takes decisive actions.
- The Commission banned online casinos from accepting deposits via credit cards. This ban applies not only to casinos, but also lotteries, bingo halls, betting sites, and other types of gambling businesses. This is done to prevent people from gambling away the money that they don’t actually own, thus protecting players from debt. Moreover, if a player funds their casino account via electronic wallet, such as Skrill and others, a UKGC-licensed casino must make sure this money doesn’t come from a credit card.
- Protecting minors from the risks and threats of gambling has always been one of the priorities of the UK Gambling Commission. In Great Britain, to access casinos and other gambling entertainments, you need to be 18 or older. This legal age is applied to both online gambling sites and land-based casinos, as well as bingo halls and race betting. During registration of a new client, a UKGC-licensed casino must verify the new player’s passport or other ID document to make sure they have reached the right age for accessing gambling games. Plus, the casino Terms & Conditions and other policies must clearly emphasize that underage gambling is prohibited by law.
- Furthermore, the UK Gambling Commission obliges its casinos to be part of a scheme called GAMSTOP. Operating since 2018, this scheme enables players to enter into a self-exclusion agreement. According to this agreement, a player is excluded from all facilities that offer gambling services, such as casinos, arcade halls, bingo halls, etc. for at least 6 months. This scheme is valid for both physical and online gambling operators. Your casino account will be closed and the money in your account (if any) will be returned to you. You won’t be able to access gambling facilities anymore. This is a life-changing option for people that realize they may have a gambling addiction and need help resisting it.
- The UK Gambling Commission is working closely with casino software manufacturers to find a way to make games less addictive without taking away from their entertainment value. We have all reasons to expect that in the future software providers will start making slight changes to the design and gameplay of their products to make them safer for players.
- The UK Gambling Commission has developed a new set of rules that regulates advertising and marketing of gambling products and services. If a gambling operator fails to follow the new regulations, it may face a fine or even license suspension.
- The UK Gambling Commission is collaborating with people with a vast gambling experience. They act as advisors to the Commission, providing valuable recommendations on various crucial issues and topics, such as advertising in the gambling industry, safe game design, and others. By relying on the priceless input from the experts, the Commission is able to revise and raise their regulation standards and take further steps towards making gambling safer for the general public.