Why You Should Only Play at UKGC-Licensed Casinos
All casinos operating under a UKGC licence are provably fair and are required to follow the highest standards regarding player protection and fair gaming. The UKGC regularly audit online casinos licensed by them, to ensure that all operators are compliant with the current gambling regulations for the UK.
By playing at an online casino licensed by the UKGC, you, as a player residing within the UK, can be sure that the casino is operating according to the rules set forth by this gambling authority. In other words, you know that you’re playing at a safe casino.
These are some of the Gambling Commission's tasks:
- Ensure that all operators conduct their operations in compliance with the requirements of the 2005 Gambling Act.
- Inspect and audit licensees, including reviewing their financial activities.
- Make recommendations for changes in the gambling regulations based on the results of research.
- Remove or suspend gaming licenses from operators that are non-compliant with the license requirements. Alternatively, impose fines.
- Work with law enforcement agencies to identify and combat illegal gambling.
Types of Gambling Licenses
Any provider wishing to offer gambling services in the UK needs a licence from the UK Gambling Commission in order to do so legally. Since the UK is a regulated gambling market, licences from other jurisdictions will not give an operator the legal right to offer their services to players residing within the United Kingdom.
The UKGC has a variety of licences, divided into different subject areas. A distinction is made between certain types of games. All of the licences differ in terms of the details that apply to each specific category. The following licences are available:
- Casino licence
- Bingo licence
- Licences for sports betting and betting in general
- Lottery licence
Requirements for Obtaining a Licence
Applicants must have a valid address in the United Kingdom to receive correspondence. First of all, a police clearance certificate must be submitted, and information about any previous convictions must be given. At the same time, information about the application will be provided, explaining the background of the applicant in detail.
Furthermore, a business plan must be presented, including all planned areas of activity. Several background checks are carried out by the UKGC including:
- Identity verification
- Financial foundations
- Competence and responsibility
- Criminal history
The UKGC licensing authorities are responsible for issuing licences and concessions. These can relate to both online businesses and physical gambling services. This includes, for example, checking slot machines in bars and clubs and smaller local lotteries or the like.
Payer Protection and Responsible Gambling
When it comes to responsible gambling, the UKGC is one of the toughest regulators out there. Player protection is one of the elements upon which the UKGC is particularly strict, and they’re well-known for being the market leaders here. They’re usually the first European regulatory authority to implement new ways to protect vulnerable players, and other regulators tend to follow their lead.
The UK also has its own register for problem gamblers. If you opt to self-exclude from an online casino due to a gambling addiction, for example, you’ll be excluded from all other casinos operating under the UKGC license as well.
Furthermore, operators are required to follow strict procedures before they can welcome back any previously self-excluded players. In addition to this, online casinos need to provide a variety of gambling limits and responsible gambling tools for their players.
In the event of a disagreement between the player and the operator, a UK Ombudsman acts as an intermediary between the two parties on behalf of the UKGC. This task is taken very seriously. Player protection is important and is subject to very strict guidelines.
If the dispute shows that licence requirements are violated, online casinos face massive fines, and, in the worst case, their licence will be revoked.