UK Gambling Commission | The Main Regulator in the UK
The UK Gambling Commission regulates the commercial gambling industry in Great Britain. In addition to being the commercial gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission is also the licensing authority and regulates the National Lottery as well. The Gambling Commission is primarily an independent NDPB (a non-departmental public body) that is sponsored by the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport).
The UK Gambling Commission was established in 2005 under the Gambling Act 2005. However, the Commission assumed its full powers in the year 2007 when it overtook all the responsibilities in regulating betting, casinos, slot machines, arcades, bingo, and lotteries from the Gaming Board for Great Britain. Additionally, in the year 2013, the national lottery commission officially became a part of the Gambling Commission.
Contrary to its name, the jurisdiction of the UK Gambling Commission does not include the entire UK. The jurisdiction of the Gambling Commission encompasses Great Britain, Scotland, and Wales. There is a separate body regulating the gambling industry in Northern Ireland.
Objectives of the UKGC
The Gambling Commission as a regulatory body is focussed on achieving the following goals:
- To ensure crime-free gambling practices
- To foster a flexible and fair gambling ecosystem
- To protect minors and vulnerable people from the evils of gambling practices
The Gambling Commission is responsible for smooth operations in the online or offline gambling sector, in cities or remotes areas. The Gambling Commission gives licenses only to the gambling business that complies with all the regulations and criteria set by the authority.
The Gambling Commission offers various types of licenses based on the activities and operations of the gambling business. Businesses must apply and procure one or more licenses depending on the nature of their activities. Here are the licenses offered by the gambling commission:
- An operating license
- A personal management license
- A personal functional license
The complete list of licenses offered by the Gambling Commission based on the activities is mentioned below:
- non-remote betting intermediary
- non-remote general betting (limited) – for on-course bookmakers
- non-remote general betting (standard) – for bookmakers trading from premises
- non-remote pool betting
- remote betting host (real events)
- remote betting host (virtual events)
- remote betting intermediary
- remote betting intermediary (trading rooms only)
- remote general betting (limited) – for telephone an email bets only
- remote general betting (standard) (real events)
- remote general betting (standard) (virtual events)
- remote pool betting
- Gambling software
- linked gambling software
- non-remote 1968 Act casino
- non-remote 2005 Act casino
- non-remote gambling software
- remote casino
- remote casino (game host)
- remote gambling software
- Adult gaming centre (AGC)
- Family entertainment centre (FEC)
- non-remote external lottery manager (ELM)
- non-remote society lottery – includes local authority lotteries
- remote external lottery manager (ELM)
- remote society lottery – includes local authority lotteries
- linked gaming machine technical software
- non-remote gaming machine technical – full
- non-remote gaming machine technical – software
- non-remote gaming machine technical – supplier
- remote gaming machine technical – full
- remote gaming machine technical – software
- remote gaming machine technical – supplier
- single machine permit
- non-remote bingo operating
- remote bingo (game host)
- remote bingo operating
Getting the license is just the first step. Businesses need to take care of various compliance requirements when they are operational. Some of the significant compliance requirements for the license holders are:
- They should keep the operating funds and customer funds separate.
- All players registered with the casino must be verified. The players allowed in the casino should be above 18 years of age.
- The games and gambling software used by the casinos should be procured by licensed providers only.
- The players should be provided with proper grievance redressal mechanism.
- The license holder should avoid dishonest advertising and marketing policies.
- The license holder should avoid money laundering activities.
The Gambling Commission has set up a series of stringent regulations and criteria for the gambling businesses. Apart from filling in the mandatory online application, the applicants need to comply with mandatory requirements and conditions such as:
- The applicants should have a local address within the UK for postal correspondence.
- The gambling business should provide accurate and detailed information regarding the owners, investors, employees, and their backgrounds. Any involvement with criminal activities or any such inquiries needs to be reported to the regulatory authorities.
- The financial reports of the business and the investors should be submitted.
- The applicants must produce tangible evidence of the financial source that will be responsible for disbursing the significant winning amount to the players.
The Gambling Commission of UK thus monitors and regulates the gambling industry since its establishment. Its objective is to maintain a crime-free and fair gambling ecosystem while discouraging people from getting addicted to gambling.
The commission, however, does not promote or encourage gambling in any form while they issue licenses to the business.