The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) came into full power in September of 2007. The executive non-departmental public body covers remote gaming, as well as several segments of the land-based gaming industry. When the Commission was first implemented, its first order of business was to develop licensing procedures for online casinos located in the UK. Businesses outside the UK could also gain access to the local market which allows these gambling sites to appear legitimate among UK players.
Any operator that manufacturers, supplies, or installs casino or gambling software online must acquire a gambling license if based in the UK. The United Kingdom is made up of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Under the UK Gambling Commission, the gambling sectors include casinos, arcades, raffles, lotteries, bingo, sports betting, gaming machines, online gambling, and gambling software.
New measures put forward by the UKGC require all casino operators in the UK to verify both new and existing players starting May 7th, 2019. These casinos must acquire a player’s name, date of birth, and address before a player is permitted to deposit funds, access demo games, receive marketing materials, become eligible for promotions, or bet with real money or bonuses. This helps ensure that all players are of legal age to gamble. In the UK, the minimal legal age for gambling is 18 years old. This age restriction applies to all gaming centers, bingo halls, betting shops, racetracks, and online casinos.
The UKGC also regulates fair gaming among casino players who want to have a realistic chance of winning. This requires casinos to be fairly transparent in terms of payouts and return to player (RTP) percentages. There are a number of ways that the Commission helps maintain a fair gaming experience, such as the use of random number generators (RNGs) which are used at most legitimate gambling sites to ensure a totally random outcome on games. Casino games must meet quality testing standards to ensure that they are in compliance. This process is conducted by third-party independent auditors.
Player privacy and protection is of the utmost importance. To ensure that the personal and financial details of customers do not fall into the wrong hands, licensed online casinos must ensure that all personal data is safely stored and never misused. Online casinos must also have various measures in place to protect outside dangers, such as cyber attacks that could possibly expose a player’s data. If a gambling site does not have these safeguards in place, they will not receive a license from the UKGC.
Online gambling companies based in the UK must keep their customers’ funds in a separate account from their operational funds. Not only does this provide players with peace of mind, it also helps ensure that if a casino goes bankrupt, players have a chance of getting their money back. However, although a separate account may be set up for customer funds, players are not guaranteed to have their money returned in the event of bankruptcy or a similar event. Each individual casino has their own set terms and conditions that outline whether your funds are protected and the level of protection that is offered.
Bonuses and Promotions
Gambling sites that are licensed in the UK may offer a variety of bonuses and promotions to both new and existing players. While there are no strict rules in regards to what type of bonuses and promotions can be offered, the UKGC does require these bonuses to be fair and to have easy to understand terms and conditions. If a player finds that a website is not offering fair bonuses or if the terms and conditions are difficult to understand or misleading, a complaint can be made to the UK Gambling Commission.
In the UK, only licensed gambling websites are permitted to promote their gambling services. If a site does not hold the necessary licenses, it is illegal for them to promote or advertise their gambling services anywhere in the UK. This rule is greatly enforced. In addition, advertising for online casinos cannot be misleading, must not be likely to appeal to children or underage individuals, and cannot link gambling with sexual success, seduction, or enhanced attractiveness.
The UK Gambling Commission is an essential component in keeping casino players safe and protected while gambling online. There are many reputable online casinos that hold a license from the UK Gambling Commission, including Guts Casino, Mr Green Casino, Leo Vegas, and CasinoLuck. If you have a complaint about an online casino that you are not able to rectify with the casino itself, you can choose to submit a complaint directly on the UKGC website.