An Overview of the UK Gambling Commission
Within the Department of Culture, Media and Support lies the UK Gambling Commission. Responsible for issuing licenses to the country’s online casino and sports betting sites, the gambling commission has been in charge of licensing since 2014, though it was first founded in 2005 Two years later it became the regulatory body for online casinos, taking the place of the Gaming Board of Great Britain.
Any casino that is licensed by the Gambling Commission must meet certain standards. To become licensed casinos must be able and willing to protect players’ money; furthermore they must provide basic, medium and high levels of security and protection.
No online casino is legally able to accept players in the UK unless the casino is licensed by the commission. The commission’s primary goal is to ensure that the country’s online gambling industry doesn’t target children or problem gamblers, as well as to ensure that no crimes are committed within the industry.
Regulations that the commission has put into place include requiring online casinos to offer the “Take a Break” fetaure. This gives registered players the ability to temporarily limit their access to their own online casino account. Online casino software now makes this possible for players to do, regardless of whether they have the gaming software on their computer or they play using a browser.
Online casinos licensed by the commission are subject to random audits to ensure that they are keeping their registered players safe from destructive play or financial instability. Online gamblers in the UK are always able to dispute any claim by any casino of illegal or immoral behaviors, such as denying players the chance to withdraw their winnings.
In a further effort to protect gamblers, the commission can revoke an online casino’s licensing if the casino is found to be in violation of any regulations. Beforehand, the commission issues warnings to any online casino in violation of the regulations and gives them a chance to resolve those issues. If the online casino fails to take action the commission can have it shut down so that it can no longer operate legally.
The Gambling Commission also licenses and regulates the UK’s many popular mobile casinos. It also regulates other online casinos that wish to attract players from the country. Online casinos based in other countries can apply for licensing from the Gambling Commission, and many of them do.
For all that the commission does to protect gamblers, it also faces its share of controversy. After Canbet, an online bookmaker in the UK was shut down in 2014, the commission came under fire. Many felt that the commission had not been able to do enough to protect the country’s online gamblers from unscrupulous gambling operators. However, since this was the same year that the commission began regulating online casinos, the commission was eventually forgiven in the minds of the public.
The Gambling Commission will continue to regulate the online gambling industry in the UK for the forseable future.