Online casinos can technically be located anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection. As untrustworthy as this may sound, most countries don’t allow the operation of an online casino within their territories. There are only a few places that actually allow online casinos to operate in a regulated and transparent manner. Saying that, they need to have a license if they are to offer their services to the UK market.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC from now on) is an independent non-departmental public body who are sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Located mainly in Birmingham, they have over 300 employees and are funded by fees set by the DCMS and paid by the organisations/companies and individuals they license. Their aims are as follows:
- stop gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being connected to crime or disorder, or being used to support crime
- ensure gambling is fair and transparent
- protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling
As a result, all licensees (the online casinos) have to adhere to the UKGC’s License Conditions and Codes of Practice. If licensees are non-compliant, the UKGC will address those issues and may take formal action which can include fines or, in some cases, having their licensed suspended or revoked.
Therefore, all UK licensed online casinos have to adhere to stringent and comprehensive checks before being able to operate in the UK market. License applicants are required to provide a wealth of information including references and financial credentials. All the information is audited by professional companies who provide the UKGC with an invaluable service. Financial muscle is analyzed in order to ensure that the applicant can pay players and finally, the fairness of the games/software is dependent on what software is being used.
Saying this, software providers also have strong requirements for allowing operators to use their software as this could tarnish the reputation of their company and slots. Some providers are stricter than others obviously but this is another hurdle.
CasinoManual.co.uk highly recommends that, as a player, you should know who you spending your money with. This is not limited to the online casino and customer support details but knowing where the online casino of your choice is licensed. Players can be treated badly by casinos and even cheated of their winning because of unfair games, incompetent management or simply rogue operators. The UK Gambling Commission licensee will be safe to gamble at. For more details, visit the UK Gambling Commission’s website/
You may have heard about ID verification – these are the rules surrounding age and identity verification procedures for online operators (i.e. online casinos). Read our What does ID Verification mean? article for more details.