Licensing & Regulation

By denisab on 7th September, 2018

As most of us United Kingdom casino fans know, an uk online casino needs a licence to operate on the British market. 

The more elaborated and concise pieces of legislation that today are the norm in the British gambling sector have their roots in the UK Gambling act released in 2005.

This act gave contour to gambling legislation as we know it today. It set ground rules in the child protection act, legal age limit and impose the 1st real restriction and consequences that British brick and mortar casinos faced and face today. The following act from 2014 came with tighter rules towards gambling. As a consequence of the development of the online sector in the industry starting from 2007, online gambling gave the hole industry a totally new dimension and angle to look at.

So, as of 2014 all gambling operators based off-shore had to apply for a UK licence granted by the UK Gambling Commission. The outcome was a safer environment for children and protecting the user from unfair bets and withdrawal problems.

Having a licence implies that casinos are under the eagle eyes of the commission and can be audited or checked at any given moment. They have the responsibility to keep the reputation of gambling in the UK as fair and therefore any questionable actions undertaken by an operator can possibly result in them losing their right to operate in the country.

Today, we are facing a tightening of this initial law with a substantially higher focus on child protection and player information. The increased of attention towards the industry from the Gambling Commission in the last couple of months has as sole purpose the protection of our significant others and us as players. The availability of casino on literally any devices makes it easier for children to access it. Thus, the recent focus of the media on the issue lead to positive changes meant to protect us. Let’s look deeper into how this change affects our casino experience and what will the outcome be:

  • Design and slot games name less appealing to children
  • Less players nagging and respect towards unsubscriptions from an online operator
  • No more demo games
  • No more so called free spins meant to mislead us
  • Easier accessibility to casino and bonus terms and conditions

The chances are beneficial. We believe that they will lead to a more carefree experience for the casino player and an easier way to pick an operator. Yes, not being able to try new games on demo mode will take away some of the fun, but on the other had it will make us look deeper in to winning statistics and ultimately pick a game with better odds. Game review in the written and video form can provide you with most of the information you were getting from a demo version before and it’s a small price to pay for safety.

From now on free will actually mean free. Spins or no deposit bonuses cannot be called free any more unless they have no wagering requirements. Bonuses or free spins that have the wagering on winnings are still advertised as free.

Let’s move on to how do we check if an online casino has a licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission or not. In order to give you an easy overview we will go through the most common asked questions about UK licences.

How do I identify an UK licenced online casino?

All casinos listed on King Casino Bonus are UK licenced. This is our way of helping you avoid any trouble with online casinos and that you get valid no deposit bonuses and deposit bonuses. However, if you find yourself on a casino page it is always recommended you follow the next easy steps to identify a casino regulated by the UK Gambling Commission:

  • Check the footer of the casino
  • Look for the Gambling Commission’s logo in the footer
  • Check if it links to the actual UK Gambling Commission work
  • Check on the Commission’s website for the casinos name and find the licence number
  • Check if the casino lists information regarding dispute resolution third parties, gambling addiction and age limitations
  • Check review and forums for feedback on the casino

Even with the mentioned keep in mind that checking the licence number on the UK Gambling Commission’s site is the safest way to check a casino. Make sure their audits are update and be aware of problems they might have had with past players. Keep a critical point of view when it comes to casinos and do your homework before you make your first deposit.

Why are licences so important and what are the dangers of playing at an unlicensed casino?

Failing to check a casino’s legitimacy can be a costly and painful experience for a player.

Firstly, if you are constantly seeking new casinos, extra spins and bonuses you put yourself at high risk if you don’t run a background check before funding. It’s easier to rely on online casinos that have been present on the market for a while, but at the same time we all seek new adventures and get bored easily. So, let’s keep it safe!

Unlicensed casinos are a hazard for the industries reputation and for our budgets. Playing at unlicensed casinos makes you an accomplice at times to criminal activities that those casinos have been developed to collect funds for. Casino games while tested and accredited by legitimate parties in an UK licenced casino in this case they can be fixed to take as much money as possible and never to give any pay outs. Thus, we are not even talking about you not being able to withdraw but you not being able to ever actually win.

How does the Gambling Commission actually help me? 

Having negative experiences with casinos even though less likely now than ever before still occur. The low number of issues as such is due to the regulations implemented by the Gambling Commission.

The UK Gambling commission is the legal party that not only regulates and watches over online casinos but also can get involved in case of conflicts. However, prior to involving the Commission it is recommended that you contact the casinos customer support. In case the issue is not solved contact an Alternate Dispute Resolution body that will assist you through the conflict. Licenced casinos have listed on their websites at least one such recommendation.

The purpose of the Gambling commission is to supervise the overall casino obedience of rules and regulation rather than dive deep in to payment issues or delays in bonus transfers. Thus, avoiding to take part in such conflicts unless it escalates higher than the ADR’s capabilities.

Other regulating parties

While the UK is an open but regulated market, across the EU there are several that aren’t regulated yet. This doesn’t imply that the player is not protected by any legislation or regulatory parties. It just means that they are not protected by a particular legislation implemented and developed by their own government.

Not having a country developed legislation for gambling opens doors for casinos all over the world to receive and sell their services to players. Thus, casinos are licenced by one of the largest licencing authorities such as: Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), Curacao eGaming and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority all of which provide players with protection.

Here are some of the most common regulatory bodies you will come across in the gambling industry:

Malta Gaming Authority

By far the largest regulatory body in the industry. The rise of the industry in Malta can be to a large extent apportioned to the favourable tax system that promoted investment not only in the gambling industry. At the moment, the gambling industry accounts for about 8% of the GDP and Malta hold about 10% of the total number of operators on the planet.

MGA is committed to fair gaming, supporting charities fighting gambling addiction and protecting the people of Malta from unfair gambling practices. The MGA is known for their great collaboration and contribution to the development of gaming regulations as we know them today.

Curacao eGaming

As MGA, Curacao eGaming has at its core the desire to protect and ensure that players are treated fairly. This regulatory institution from the Dutch Caribbean Island had been a pioneer in implementing regulations for the online casino industry since the early 1990’s. They are in continues expansion due to their support towards the eGaming industry and the growth infrastructure they built from the begging.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission

While the core responsibility is to monitor the gambling activity in Alderney they are in strict collaborations with others. They work in collaboration with country legislative bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission on the development of better regulation and ensuring a better protection of players under their watch. You will encounter this sort of licence also in some of the casinos that have a UK licence.

Casinos holding such a licence are allowed to accept player from any country that does not have their own gambling regulations that overrules AGCC.

HM Government of Gibraltar

Created back in 2000 under the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority- GRA with the purpose to oversee electronic communication and it ulterior expanded towards the online casino business. A special characteristic of this licenser is the attention they pay to the financial state of the businesses they accept under their licences.

Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission

This institution was put together to oversee under the name of Gambling Control Commission gambling activities since 1962. Ever since the commission has work hard to ensure a fair and safe environment for players. As the UK Gambling Commission, they have no legal power to interfere with conflicts between casinos and players they will advise you what steps to undertake in order to solve the issue.

 To sum up, it’s essential that you choose a licence operator when playing in Great Britain to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience. Check a casino licence on the Gambling Commission’s well site and keep your children safe from operator interfaces.

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