The UK Gambling Commission
When it comes to legal gambling, there are specific gambling authorities that grant licences and regulate the activities of the establishments themselves. If you are familiar with online gambling in the UK, you will know that all licenced gambling in the United Kingdom is governed by the UK Gambling Commission. While most people will be aware of the commission due to their role in online gambling, the commission itself is responsible for all type of gambling actives including arcades, betting, bingo, land based casinos, gaming machines suppliers and manufacturers, gambling software providers, as well as raffles and lotteries.
The Aim of the Commission
The UK Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate gambling activities in the UK in partnership with licencing authorities. They are an independent public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The main aim of the commission is to remove criminality from the gambling sector and ensure that children and vulnerable players are protected at all times. The commission is also there to ensure that gambling is not a source of crime and to make sure the gambling establishment is fair and transparent with all gambling activities.
Type of Gambling Licences
There are a number of licences that the UK Gambling Commission can award. For online casino websites, each licence is based on the type of product offered on the site. These licences include a casino operating licence, a bingo operating licence, a pool betting operating licence, a lottery operating licence, a general betting operating licence, and a betting intermediary operating license. Each operator must have a specific licence for each one of the categories of gambling offered. This means that if a casino website offers slots and bingo, they must hold a licence for both types of gambling activities.
The issuing of licences
Before the UK Gambling Commission issues a gambling licence, there are certain criteria that the commission must investigate, these being: identity and ownership, finances, integrity, competence and criminality. By investigating these five points, the commission can determine who owns the establishment, where the operating funds originate, the trustworthiness of the company in question, the experience of the staff and if the applicant or any of the employees have a criminal record.
The UK Gambling Commission requires that all players complete a registration form with their name, date of birth and address. This is to ensure that all players are of legal age and are allowed to gamble. The commission also ensures that every online casino or land based establishment have a responsible gambling policy in place to protect players with a gambling problem. This can include limit setting and exclusion policies where players can force themselves not to gamble at the establishment for a certain period of time. The commission can be contacted if a player suspects that illegal activities are taking place at the casino either by the casino or a player. This must online be done when all other channels are exhausted. The commission does not handle wager or payout disputes between players and the casino.