UKGC – United Kingdom Gambling Commission
Throughout the Just UK site, you will see us mention the UKGC a lot. And while we mainly focus on independent and non gamstop casinos, the site is called Just UK after all, and we should probably too mention the great UKGC sites available. Here you can find out everything you need to know about the UKGC and UKGC casinos.
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What is the UKGC?
The UKGC or UK Gambling Commission in its proper form, is an executive non departmental public body of the government of the United Kingdom. They license and regulate the people and businesses providing gambling services in Great Britain. The UKGC is responsible for regulating and supervising all gambling laws in the United Kingdom. This covers not only slots and casinos, but also bingo, sports betting, arcades and lotteries, including the National Lottery.
The UK Gambling Commission was introduced under the Gambling Act 2005 in order to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain in partnership with licensing authorities. It has since been amended in 2014. And although the National Lottery Act is of 1993, the UKGC are also in charge of regulating this.
The UKGC has three main objectives in which their rules and regulations are based on:
Prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.
Ensure gambling is conducted fair and openly.
Protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
So, how do they do this?
By now you will have heard the UK Gambling Commissions name thrown around plenty. Whether here at JustUK, online casino sites or other outlets, the UKGC is well known. However, that doesn’t mean to say it’s clear as to what the UKGC actually do and how they do it. Here we will cover all of that, so you, our readers, as UK players can get a better insight as to why the UKGC is so important.
Provide licenses – The UKGC provide licenses to operators and individuals who wish to provide gambling services within Great Britain. This includes all casinos – land based and online – betting shops, lotteries, bingo, arcades, slot and other gaming machines and any other remote gambling software.
Regulate Licensees – The UKGC have a ‘License Conditions Code of Practice’ where they set out all rules and requirements that all operators and individuals must adhere to.
Take Action – If the gambling establishments operating under the UKGC fail to follow all regulations set out by them, the UKGC will step in and take action.
Regulate the National Lottery – Not only do the UKGC regulate all casinos, sports betting and bingos in the UK but they are also responsible for regulating the National Lottery.
Offer Information – The UKGC offer a wealth of information available for both the public and gambling businesses as well as licensing authorities.
Why play at a UKGC casino?
There are a great number of benefits for a UK player to play at a casino holding a UKGC license. Going back to the three main objectives, UK players can get a sense of what the UKGC are all about. Gambling is a fun pastime dating back centuries, however there can be some problematic risks that come with playing.
Playing at an online casino under the UKGC means UK players can be secure. In the knowledge that the casino will be operating to one of, if not the highest standards in the world. Ensuring that all the online casinos and other gambling sites or establishments operate to such a high standard protects the industry as well as UK players.
With UKGC online casinos, verification is mandatory. Although some players are put off by the thought of sending in personal documents. They can be sure with the UKGC it is for a good reason. Being verified from the get go has some benefits too, such as allowing for smoother withdrawals. Players can play with a sound mind knowing they can withdraw fast and with ease or that no other problems may arise due to not being verified.
Making sure that each operator has measures in place to protect the young and the vulnerable. Means that no underage person will be able to enter the casino. It also means that UK players who struggle to stay in control of their gambling activities will have easy access to necessary tools to set deposit limits. Time out or even self-exclude.
Gambling is notorious for being a popular method of money laundering. The UKGC regulates the industry within the UK. To make sure it is not being used for money laundering or other criminal activity.
While the UKGC hold a lot of power and responsibility over gambling in the United Kingdom and ensure their objectives for fair and responsible gambling is carried out. There are still a number of things that at times, UK players expect of the UKGC. That is quite simple out of their control.
UK players are able to report an online casino for not keeping to the rules. Hence, regulations will be taken into consideration. However, the UKGC do not resolve complaints and disputes between gambling establishments and customers. Although players need not worry too much as all online casinos are expected to have a procedure in place for handling complaints. This includes helping players to get refunds for whatever reason.
UKGC casinos are highly regulated so this can affect the quality of the gambling experience, especially for high rollers. There are regulations controlling promotions and bonuses for example. This is why the biggest and best bonuses tend to be found at casinos without gamstop and independent casinos. Credit card deposits are also no longer allowed for players at UKGC casinos causing an inconvenience for many players. Another reason why players are steering away from the UKGC and towards independent casinos. Independent and non gamstop casinos are still allowing credit card deposits for UK players.
The UKGC is probably the safest bet for UK players who wish to gamble online. They protect UK players and the industry from unfair play. However, the UKGC can get a little extreme with some of the rules. This is when it can start to affect the quality of play for the player and therefore their whole gambling experience. If players wish to play away from UKGC casinos. We advise to check our lists of best non gamstop casinos and best independent casinos to find another suitable, regulated online casino. See also blog by Jason Farrell