The United Kingdom has some of the strictest and regulated laws and regulations when it comes to online (and indeed offline) gambling and the primary licensing regulator is the UK Gambling Commission.
About the UK Gambling Commission
Established in 2007, the UK Gambling Commission was created after the Gambling Act of 2005 was passed to ensure laws were upheld by companies offering gambling-related activities. The UK Gambling Commission covers arcades, sports-betting, bingo, casinos (off and online), slot machines and lotteries throughout the United Kingdom.
The Commission is generally regarded as a ‘precedent’ in the gambling regulatory world, and the Commission’s tough stance on ensuring operators adhere to certain rules, such as Responsible Gambling measures, have earned them somewhat of a coveted name, as casinos see a UK-awarded license as being a huge benefit to their casino both financially and marketing-wise.
Casinos Regulated by the UK Gambling Commission
ANY online casino (legitimate ones at that) that wants to accept UK players, must have a license from the UK Gambling Commission. Generally, casinos have been noted to follow this procedure as many of the other licensing bodies require their licensees don’t accept UK players unless adequately registered.
Notable names regulated by the UK Gambling Commission include all the large bookmakers, including William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes, Bet365, BetFred and BetVictor. With hundreds of online casinos also awarded a license, there are indeed many hundreds of websites that can now accept UK players.
Interestingly, the UK Gambling Commission has never turned down a license-application, which is something that has caused criticism among experts. The UK Government is now looking at the application process required in order to gain a license.
Rules, Regulations, and Provisos of a UK License
The Gambling Commission has many set rules casinos must follow if they want to accept UK-based players, and one of the most prominent of these is the Responsible Gambling options. For instance, any casino with a UK Gambling Commission license must offer players the chance to take a break, set deposit limits and enter into self-exclusion – the latter, notably because players must be able to do so without contacting support (i.e. it can all be done through the website, in a matter of seconds).
Casinos with a UK license must also follow all the rules and regulations set out in the Gambling Act of 2005 and various financial and legal clauses are in place to ensure 1) The casino operates in a fair and honest way to its players, and 2) To determine that the casino in question isn’t evading taxes or involved with money-laundering.
Interestingly, the UK Gambling Commission don’t deal themselves directly with complaints. If you have a grievance with an online casino, you must, instead, take it to the casinos ADR – Alternative Disputes Resolution Provider. These are third-party organizations and are a requirement of the casino having a UK license. The third-party resolution body will investigate fully the facts of your complaint and make a decision based on the arguments from both sides. If the ADR fail to meet your expectations, the next step is court-action – a significant step that again, has caused critics to question the true power players have when things go wrong.
Checking a License is Valid
All casinos with a UK license must display their license number on their website and most feature a link directly to the UK Gambling Commission’s license-page where you can see for yourself the details of the license. If you are unsure if a casino is licensed, you can head to the UK Gambling Commission’s website directly and use the “Search For A License Holder” function.
Details to contact the UK Gambling Commission can be found below, although if you are a player seeking a resolution to a problem with a casino, see the “When Things Go Wrong” tab on their website, instead:
- Address: Gambling Commission, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0)121 230 6666
- Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday