The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) could be considered as an iconic controlling body. It was founded in 2014 in order to improve the quality of service in the gambling market.
How the UKGC Works
Essentially, no company or organisation can legally provide any form of gambling service to British players without the approval of the commission. If a company wishes to offer gambling services in Britain, they must apply to get a gambling licence from the UKGC. However, getting a gambling licence from the UK Gambling Commission is no easy feat. It is an arduous process that looks deeply into a company’s background before approving any licence.
Indeed, the commission takes this responsibility very seriously, and will only approve a company for a gambling licence if they can show a clear ownership structure, demonstrate sufficient financials and the ability to pay out prizes, have integrity, are sufficiently competent to provide the services they offer, and do not have a criminal record. What’s more, if companies go against the regulations set out by the UKGC, they will see their gambling licence revoked – preventing them being able to legally provide gambling services in Great Britain.
The Advantages of Playing at a UKGC Regulated Casino
It is also of paramount importance that players only choose to play at UKGC regulated casinos in order to protect their best interests and personal safety. There are multiple reasons to follow commission guidelines, including player protection, fair gaming, funds protection and operator accountability.
One of the most important reasons to play only at UKGC approved casinos and gambling establishments is to protect your personal and financial data. The UKGC has strict standards – in accordance with the data protection act – for gambling companies, to ensure that players’ personal data is securely stored and is not misused.
Indeed, the UKGC is not just concerned about online casinos stealing your data. They also ensure that the company in question are sufficiently competent to guard against cyber attacks that can risk the exposure of player data. If a company doesn’t have good enough safeguards against such attacks, they will not be granted a gambling licence.
Another key area that the UKGC regulates is that online casinos offer players a fair gaming experience – i.e. they give players a realistic chance of winning and are transparent to the player in terms of their chances of doing so. There are multiple ways the commission goes about guaranteeing a fair gaming experience. The main one being that online casinos use RNGs (random number generators) in order to produce the result of any virtual game.
The purpose of RNGs is to ensure that the outcome of the game is indeed truly random and is not being controlled by the online casino or software provider. Games such as roulette, blackjack and online slots must all use RNGs to create the result of a game.
Online casinos must also specify to the player the RTP (return to player) rate of all virtual games. The RTP is a percentage that represents how much of the funds that players put into games that are statically returned to players in the form of winnings. For example, a slot with an RTP of 95% would mean that for every £100 that is spent on that game, £95 would return to players (although obviously not necessarily the same players) in the form of winnings. The percentage difference represents the house edge on a game (in this case 5% or £5) and this is how the casino can make money.
Player Funds Separated
When the UKGC looks at an online casinos company structure and finances, one of the most important considerations they look into is whether or not the company holds player funds in a separate account form operating cash.
This is hugely important, as should a casino go into administration or go bankrupt, this would ensure players funds are still safe and won’t be lost even if the company goes out of business. The UKGC checking player funds are kept separate from operating costs can provide players with peace of mind when using the casino that their money won’t be lost without them knowing.
Regulation provided by the likes of the UK Gambling Commission is vital to ensure that casinos behave in a fair and responsible manner to their players. Such regulation also means that casinos are inevitably accountable to the UKGC, which provides a great deal of protection to the customer using their services. Indeed, if a player is unhappy with the actions of an online casino operator, they can file a complaint with the commission, who will then investigate the complaint.
However, if a player was to play with an unregulated casino, this would not be possible, and they would face an almost impossible task in trying to take the casino in question to court to try and find a resolution. This level of player power shows why the UKGC and other such regulatory bodies are so important to create a fair gambling industry.
How to Find out if a Casino is Regulated by the UK Gambling Commission
If you’re looking to see if a casino is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, there are two things you can do: you can check the online casino reviews at Scams.info, or secondly, you can check directly on the UKGC website.
Issues You Can Raise
There can be a multitude of reasons you may need to issue a complaint to the UKGC. Common problems found with online gambling companies can be to do with disputes regarding whether a player has won or not, the amount of winnings paid out, the way in which your payments were handled, a company’s terms and conditions, bonus offers, problems with ID verification, accounts being closed, IT issues, customer service issues or decisions such as voiding your bet.
The UKGC offers plenty of advice regarding such problems on their website, but if you still feel you have been unfairly treated, you can raise a complaint with the business in question or indeed with the UK Gambling Commission itself.
How to Complain
The UKGC has lots of information about how to complain to a gambling business. If you have tried to communicate with the company in question but aren’t making any progress having followed the commission’s advice, you can file your complaint directly with the UK Gambling Commission website, using their dedicated Resolver website.
The History of the UKGC
The UK Gambling Commission was set up as part of the Gambling Act 2005, which aimed to regulate commercial gambling across Britain in partnership with licensing authorities. The UKGC assumed its full powers in 2007, and is responsible for regulating arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, slot machines and lotteries played in the UK. One of the key things that they are responsible for – and one of the main reasons the commission was created – was to regulate remote gambling, i.e. online gambling. The primary goals of the UKGC were to keep crime out of gambling, protect vulnerable people and also to ensure that all gambling activities are conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
As we’ve discussed in this page, the UK Gambling Commission was created in 2005 in order to regulate all forms of gambling in the UK, ensuring players can enjoy a safe, fair and responsible gambling experience, regardless of where they play their games: whether that be in a land-based casino, in a betting shop or online. Any company offering gambling services – including online casinos – to British-based players are required by law to hold a gambling licence from the UKGC.