Gambling in the United Kingdom is regulated by the Gambling Act of 2005. This set of laws were passed by Westminster to regulate gaming across the nations forming the United Kingdom. The UK Gambling Commission is the regulatory body that was formed as per the requirements of this act and serves as the government’s eye on the industry. It started operating in September 2007, but over the years, England and Wales, saw their regulations diverge slightly from the ones of Scotland and Northern Ireland which retouched the laws to accommodate their local realities via their respective national parliaments.
With this set of laws regardless of how different they may be, it seems essential to set up some solid standards that every entity in the industry should have to abide by, this is why a licensing system was created.
What are the objectives of Casino Licensing?
- Licensing limits the possibilities for gambling to degenerate into criminal activities. This covers the proceeds from gambling, association and other related activities.
- It regulates the gambling models and algorithms to ensure the outcomes are tamper-free and open. Winners will be rewarded based on the pre-set conditions.
- It ensures that all gambling requirements are met. Young people below the betting age are prevented from betting due to vulnerability and addictions.
- It ensures that the key people mandated to run the online casino and sportsbook can do so, both technically and experience-wise.
What types of licenses are issued by the UK Gambling Commission
The Gambling Act of 2005 classified these under three categories;
- The Operating Licence – this is the permit that allows the investor to operate both the infrastructure and buildings that provide gaming services. Each form of gambling has its conditions for regulations, a good example being casinos and sportsbook. Among the requirements to acquire this licence include certified financial statements, business models, personal details of the key people and source of funds. The directors of the company also undergo background checks to ascertain their suitability.
- The premise licence – this licence gives the holder the right to provide gambling services to the public. It can either be non-remote or remote. Licences for non-remote premises are issued by the Local Authorities in England and Wales, while those in Scotland get it from the licensing boards. The reason for this license is to regulate the number of gambling outlets throughout a locality, and country at large. This makes it difficult for casinos to randomly open premises.
- The personal licence – it is a raft of conditions that guides the gamer on how to gamble, what to avoid and other statutory requirements. This touches on age, location and responsible gaming.
How to identify a legal casino?
For a casino to be allowed to operate in the UK, it should be rightfully licensed by the gambling commission, however, with the open-world available through the internet, it is extremely common to encounter online casinos licensed elsewhere but not in the UK.
These are by default illegal casinos.
Casinos registered with the UK Gambling Commission are identified by the certificate displayed in the footer of their website. Casino Wings cover most of these casinos. There is a code of practice included which spell out the conditions to be maintained for the licence to remain active.
If you still are uncertain you can access the UK Gambling Commission website and search for the name of the casino in order to know the status of this casino. The fragility on regulations makes it mandatory for online casinos or bookmakers to include anti-money laundering rules, terms and conditions for usage.
Additionally, the operator has to display high levels of social responsibility towards the communities and to its users. All communications should be open, detailing on remission/deductions and support towards gambling addiction. Gambling without a proper license may lead to losing money, jail time, data loss and the proceeds may be funding criminal activities.