Online Casino Regulation Guide
It’s hard to ignore just how lucky gamblers in the United Kingdom are. While the odds of winning aren’t any better than abroad, players in the UK can count on their government to be on their side. Unlike the USA, which scoffs at liberty and gambling all at once in all but a few regions, the United Kingdom is far more liberal. Whether you enjoy an occasional spin of a slot machine or make your living by playing poker, you can count on licensed and regulated play. Learn how casinos are regulated online for your benefit.
The Gambling Commission
Since the Gambling Act was first introduced in 2005, all wagering in the Britain falls under the jurisdiction of the UK Gambling Commission. The UK Gambling Commission regulates all arcades, betting, bingo, casino, gambling machine suppliers and manufacturers, gambling software providers, lotteries, raffles, remote or online gambling operators, and the national lottery. Online players need to be concerned with gambling software providers and remote gambling operators, which include both online casinos and poker rooms.
The UK Gambling Commission’s sphere of influence is greater than you might expect. Rather than limiting themselves to online casinos that are physically based in Britain, the Commission requires any casino that transacts with or advertises to players in the UK to hold a licence. In short, if a casino accepts British players it needs a licence no matter where its servers are located.
In order for a casino to receive or renew a licence, the UK Gambling Commission will investigate the identity of the stakeholder or owner, verify the finances of the operations, and assess the integrity, competence, and criminality of everyone involved. This is a rigorous and ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight.
Operators need to make sure they comply with the terms of their licence. That means ensuring games are fair and that children and vulnerable players can’t access the games. Sites also need to provide outreach to problem gamblers and offer self-exclusion to these players.
The Benefits Of Regulation
Regulations aim to keep sites safe, fair, and accountable to players. When you think about it, how do you really know that a deck isn’t heavily stacked against you or that a roulette wheel spins randomly? The fact is online casinos rely on random number generators to mirror real life outcomes. As a player you need to know that every card you receive, every spin you make, and every roll of the dice is fair.
While it is the responsibility of the casino to hold a licence if it wishes to offer you real money games, there are many reasons why you should choose licensed sites.
When you play at a licensed casino, you’ll know that the games are fair and the payout rates are as advertised. You’ll also have the comfort of knowing your funds are safe and won’t disappear overnight. The best part is there are dozens of brilliant licensed casinos, each offering hundreds of spectacular casino games online around the clock.
All of the leading online casinos in the UK and abroad offer additional safety checks including self-regulation. eCORGA is the most popular self-regulation agency for online casinos. Although membership is voluntary, the organisation does an effective job of protecting players and ensuring games are fair. They audit games, software, and payout schedules for fairness and publish their results monthly. Count on their list of approved casinos or look for their logo proudly displayed on member sites. They can also mediate disputes between players and their members.
A Final Point
Keeping games safe can be an expensive proposition for operators, but one that’s worth the price. Licence holders are subject to a 15% tax on their profits plus application fees. Although that doesn’t directly come out of your pocket, any reduction in a site’s bottom line could affect the generosity of promotions and perks. Still, you have to think that 15% is a small price to pay in earning the trust of potential players.