The UK Gambling Commission is a governmental agency in the UK. This commission replaced the Gaming Board. It came into existence on the 1st of September 2007 following the enactment of the 2005 Gambling Act. The mandate of the UKGC is to regulate gambling and supervise the gaming law in England, Scotland and Wales. The commission is saddled with the responsibility of regulating lottery games, fruit machines, casinos, bingo, betting arcade as well as remote gambling which includes telephone betting and internet sites.
The UKGC grants gaming licenses to gambling establishments who:
- Keeps out every form of criminal activity in gambling
- Prevent children and vulnerable players from gambling
- Offer games that are verifiably open and fair
The UK Gambling Commission carries out regular reviews, advice the licensees, reviews casinos financial information and takes necessary actions to address issues. The UKGC also mandates license holders to reveal the methods they use in protecting players’ funds in case the establishment faces some financial meltdown and goes bankrupt.
The Gambling Commission UK provides players with valuable resources. It offers comprehensive guides on consumer rights, gaming safety and other important topics. Bettors who have one issue or the other with a gambling establishment licensed by the UKGC can contact the Commission through the UK Gambling Commission complaints portal.
UK Gambling Commission History
The Gambling Commission of UK was established to regulate the booming online gambling industry in the UK. The Commission replaced the former Great Britain Gaming Board. In 2013, the government merged the National Lottery Commission with the UKGC. The Commission continued to protect the interest of bettors and players under the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act, 2004. The Act was promulgated to regulate gambling advertising practices in the UK. The law states that all operators with facilities for remote gaming must acquire a remote operating license from the UKGC. The same law applies to operators that advertise gambling to consumers in the UK. This simply means that any operator, whether in the UK or abroad must acquire the right license to advertise to or serve players in the United Kingdom. This license covers every form of advertisement, including on TV via physical installations or sponsorship.
There was another important change to the UK gambling laws in December 2014. The parliament of the UK enacted the Point of Consumption Tax. Previously offshore operators are taxed at the ‘supply point’, that is, the casinos were taxed according to the jurisdiction where they carry out their operations. But, the Point of Consumption Tax has made it possible for the UK to tax gambling operators at the ‘point of consumption’, that is, in the United Kingdom at a 15% flat rate on gross profits.
Gambling Commission UK License
The Gambling Commission of UK distinguishes between betting, gaming and lottery. The commission regulates each of the three gambling activities separately to an extent. These activities are governed by the concept that all gambling activities are illegal except provided by companies who have the right operating license.
To start up a gaming establishment in the UK, gambling operators must get one of the following licenses based on the type of gambling activity they want to offer:
- Lottery operation license
- Betting intermediary operation license
- Pool betting operation license
- General betting operation license
- Bingo operating license
- Casino operating license
Application for a remote operating license is very thorough and detailed. The applicant must, first of all, identify the gambling activities that he needs gaming licenses. The applicant also needs to provide a UK address where the relevant documents can be served. The applicant must also state its criminal record if it has one.
It is pertinent for the applicant to carefully consider & seek legal advice regarding the application processes, the required details and how to complete the form.
The UK Gambling Commission considers the following factors when considering an applicants’ suitability:
- Ownership and Identity
The UKGC ensures that gambling establishments are aware of the measures provide for the protection of players battling with gambling addiction and other gambling-related behaviors.
The UK Gambling Commission ensures that license holders take adequate steps to verify the age of its customers.
Protection of Players Funds
The Gambling Commission of UK ensures that gambling operators keep players funds separate from the business funds. The players’ funds are therefore immune to the bankruptcy of any gaming establishments.
The UKGC ensures that online casinos have an effective customer support system to attend to all the complaints made by customers.
The Gambling Commission UK ensures that gaming operators take the necessary steps to prevent corruption and money laundering. All UKGC casinos must make use of legal and safe payment technology.
The Commission ensures that operators do not offer misleading advertisements and promotions.
The Commission ensures that gaming establishment only offers games from licensed software vendors. The establishment must also offer fair games.
UK Gambling Commission Licensees
To know if a gambling establishment is truly licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, you have to visit the UK Gambling Commission Licensee search portal on the UKGC official website. Input the name of the casino to get the result that you seek. If you can’t find the casino on the portal of the UK Gambling Commission, then it means that the site is a scam and you should beware of playing at such site.
Is UK Gaming License Legit?
Yes, the UK Gaming License is legit. Any gambling establishment, whether online or brick and mortar that holds a gaming license from UKGC is legitimate. The license is only given to casinos and sportsbooks that have passed the stringent requirements of the UKGC. It doesn’t end there, the UK Gambling Commission continues to monitor the activities of such casinos even after obtaining the license. Any operator that is alleged of breaching the regulations of the UKGC will be prosecuted and banned.