UKGC Licensed Online Casinos
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or the UKGC in short, is the world’s leading licensing body that regulates gambling not only throughout the United Kingdom but also on a global scale. The UKGC was established under the Gambling Act 2005 with the aim of regulating both gambling and the National Lottery (under the 1993 National Lottery Act).
The main objective of the UKGC is to prevent gambling from being a source of crime, criminal activity, or any illegal action. Also, the UKGC is there to ensure all gambling is conducted fairly and openly, with the players’ best interest at heart. Moreover, the practices and actions of the UKGC are directed towards protecting the minors and other vulnerable persons from experiencing any harm from gambling.
To meet their objectives, the UKGC scrutinizes all gambling operators down to the very last detail, which has earned them quite a reputation not only across Europe but also in Canada and the US.
Canadian players who play in the UKGC-licensed casinos presented here can rest assured knowing that they are playing in a fair and safe environment.
Brief History of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and Its Acts
Before the UKGC took centre stage, gambling in Britain was regulated by the Gaming Board. Then, in 2005, the UKGC was founded to keep online gambling in check and ensure rules and regulations are upheld at all times. It wasn’t before 2007 that the UKGC began regulating the market. When in 2013 the UKGC merged with the National Lottery Commission, it took over the National Lottery licensing and became a true licensing powerhouse.
Monumental changes to online gambling have been brought under the watchful eye of the UKGC. Namely, in 2014, a new gambling Licensing and Advertising Act was introduced. It put more focus on the advertising aspect of online gambling and pointed out the companies that can offer gambling services to the people in the UK. This legislation changed the gambling landscape because it obliged operators that had provided remote gambling services in the UK to obtain a license from the UKGC and follow strict advertising rules for promoting gambling on TV, sports matches, and similar.
New advertising rules were introduced from the joint effort of the UKGC and the Advertising Standards Agency in 2017, and they required gambling operators to refrain from using cartoonish ads, images of comic books, or any other children-oriented promotional strategies, as these might pose a threat to juveniles and lead to under-age gambling problems.
The UKGC continues to develop, together with the current trends in online gambling and the security thereof. The latest improvements and legislation chaired by the UKGC require UKGC-licensed operators to verify names, addresses, and ages of all players to prove their identities before they can play for real money.
Throughout its history, the UKGC has imposed various financial restrictions on specific payment methods, like the use of credit cards for depositing funds, as a way of combating undesirable effects of compulsive gambling.
Taking into consideration their focus on the security measures, protection of players, and fairness, Canadians can have peace of mind when playing in the UKGC-licensed casinos.
The UKGC Licenses
Before an operator obtains a license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, they must go through a detailed process and scrutiny patented by the UKGC. The process is complex and consists of the verification of the gambling activity an operator wishes to conduct, the finances of the operator, its ownership, competence, capability, the absence of any prior legal persecution, and much more.
To comply with the requirements, operators have to abide by strict rules of conduct that involve protecting people from gambling-related harm and full commitment to fair and open gambling, performing regular checks to prevent money laundering and organized crime, as well as full compliance to the technical standards of the gaming software, and complaints handling and alternate dispute resolution (ADR).
In essence, the UKGC offers three types of licenses: an operating licence, a personal management licence, and a personal functional licence. The personal functional license is designed for those who wish to operate as dealers/croupiers, cashiers, inspectors, or pit boss/gaming supervisors in land-based casinos. The personal management license is for bosses of gambling businesses.
The operating license is the key, and it lets online casino operators legalize their gaming businesses, such as:
- Gambling Software
- Gaming Machines
The UKGC Gambling Standards
The stringent gambling standards imposed by the UKGC are what separates them from most other gambling jurisdictions. These gambling standards and requirements for gambling operators are described in the UKGC’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).
For example, in the LCCP, you can find details about the verification of online casino software that must generate entirely random outcomes of games to ensure fair gaming. The UKGC requires regular checks by independent quality testing agencies such as eCOGRA in order to ensure that operators comply with the appropriate gaming policies.
Also, all operators must ensure the absolute safety and security of players’ data and transactions. The latest SSL encryption methods are the key to preventing any unwanted transmission of personal data and banking details to any third party.
Even though the UKGC does not intercede for players in order to resolve any possible complaints about casinos, it demands operators to cooperate with the independent third-party companies that will act as mediators in the process.
The UKGC License Register
All Canadian players who suspect that some online casinos or software are not licensed by the UKGC or they simply want to see what licences operators and software producers own can do so by browsing the UKGC license register. Bear in mind that all licensed operators and software providers will display the UKGC mark transparently on their sites to proudly indicate affiliation with the UKGC. It gives them great merit and helps players feel more comfortable playing their games.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission vs. Kahnawake Gambling Commission
The situation in Canada is not so clear cut when it comes to gambling licensing bodies and jurisdictions, as each of the provinces has its own authority. However, the Kahnawake Gambling Commission has emerged as one of the leading authorities for gaming activity within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake which is open to offshore casinos that use this licence to offer gambling services to Canadians.
The Kahnawake Gambling Commission does not belong to the whitelist gambling jurisdictions like the UKGC, the Malta Gaming Authority, The Alderney Gambling Control Commission and others. Still, they are slowly stepping up their game, especially given the fact that there is a preliminary licence period before operators can get a permanent licence.
The bottom line is that the UKGC licensed casino is a safe bet for Canadian players, as it will provide the necessary guarantees of safety and fairness of their games.