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Introduction: UK Gambling Commission
Back in 2005, the UK Gambling Commission came into being. This was set up under the Gambling Act of the same year. This was in response to a much-needed reform across the whole spectrum of gambling activities that took place over the UK. Essentially, the government gave the UKGC total power to oversee all gambling activities. It has to perform a number of duties.
UK Gambling Commission: It’s Powers
Issuing licenses to UK casinos, bookmakers, and other gambling operators, both online and offline.
Enforcing regulations and punishing operators who violate them with fines, license revocations, and more.
Collecting data on the UK gambling industry, including revenue, profits, and growth by sector.
Regulating the National Lottery under the National Lottery Act (1993).
Preventing crime in gambling in the UK including money-laundering, terrorist financing, etc.
Oversees all UK Gambling Companies
The UKGC has absolute oversight with regards to all aspects of the gambling businesses. It’s the organization that every would be casino has to apply to, in order to be in consideration for an operating license. The UK Gambling Commission has put into place various standards which every casino must adhere to. It has the power to shut the doors of any enterprise that fails to live up to the standards of the license requirements. And that’s why the UKGC license has probably the most cache in the world. All casinos worth their salt, go after a UK license. Customers can also feel more secure when they see that a site they’re depositing money with has this license.
As a result, a license from this regulator is respected and coveted among operators. It also generally gains the trust of players.
What the UKGC Doesn’t Do
It seems that though the UKGC does have oversight, that doesn’t apply to customer complaints. On its own web site, the UKGC makes it clear as to what it doesn’t do:
Player Complaints – If you feel you have been scammed, ripped off, or taken advantage of by a rogue operator with a UKGC license, you should contact the site first. Operators are obligated to put you in touch with a third-party dispute resolution organization such as IBAS.
Regulate Financials – Spread betting and other forms of financial gambling fall under the Financial Conduct Authority.
Regulate Premises Licences – Most bars and pubs can offer low-stakes slot machines to punters. The UK Gambling Commission doesn’t have anything to do with those. Local authorities usually deal with bar licenses.
As you can see, if you happen to have a problem with a UK based gambling site, then the UKGC are not the place to take your complaints. The casino operator itself has to offer a means of dispute resolution. So that’s where you should go first.
Why the UKGC Matters
Everyone in the gambling industry and all those players and gamblers who make use of UK based casinos and sportsbooks, all have strong opinions with regard to the UKGC. Some believe it’s not fit for purpose. Yet others think it’s overly zealous in its dealings with online gambling entities. But the organization really does offer protection to gamblers, and they are often totally unaware of this. Since it’s inception, the UK Gambling Commission has cleaned up the UK gambling scene. It is now the most criminal free gambling industry in the world.
Bye Bye Crime
Criminals have very little possibilities to operate in the gambling space, and the laundering of monies from any illicit gambling is now virtually impossible. There are many directives that protect the player. For example, all online casinos have to keep the player’s funds as separate from their own which might be used as operating cost. This means that your funds are safe, even if the company were to declare bankruptcy. Another point is that the UK Gambling Commission really does appear to have sharp teeth and the willingness to use them. Over the years many of the largest companies have fallen foul of some of the rulings and have suffered large fines and even had licenses revoked. This constant threat of censure it what helps keep the UK’s gambling scene so correct.
UK Gambling Commission: Keeping Gambler’s Safe
The UKGC also takes an active interest in protecting those underage gamblers as well as those for whom gambling has become an addiction. As an example, all UK gamblers must register their age before they can play on any of the online jackpot sites or sportsbook sites. Also, all operators have to offer a self-exclusion request and provide help and support for problem gamblers. It’s interesting how a change has come about in regard to what constitutes a problem gambler, and more importantly, how the industry has recognized its responsibilities in these matters. Thanks to the UK Gambling Commission, the revenues of UK gambling now stand at around £14.5 billion per annum.