Who controls gambling in the UK?
The UK gambling market is one of the strictest worldwide. The recipe is simple: a strong legislation and a capable regulatory body to enforce it. Let’s find out who controls the UK gambling scene and how the law is applied!
Why was the 2004 Gambling Act a must?
Enforced in September 2007, the aim of the act was to improve and come up with more complex regulations. In 2005, the land-based casinos were already popular and established. The industry needed a law to ensure that every aspect of gambling was legalised. The Gambling Act of 2005 had three major objectives:
- Ensure that no gambling activities are associated with crime;
- Enhance justice and fairness in the gaming environment;
- Protect the youth and other vulnerable people from getting any negative impacts resulting from gambling.
That was the starting point. After 2005, the industry started to develop, and the law brought in the aspect of online casinos and sports betting websites. However, during the inception and development of the Gambling Acts, online casinos had not been foreseen or projected. As such, these laws need to be revised to accommodate online gaming platforms.
2014 – The first adjustments
In 2014, another Gambling Act was introduced and majorly covered licensing and advertising. Before this act, gambling sites and operators outside Great Britain could legally advertise to UK gamblers as long as they were in the EEA on the specified jurisdictions. The Gambling Act of 2014 brought more restrictions and rules to licensing and advertising.
What were the main conditions?
- For any provider to operate or advertise their services in the UK, they had to hold a UK Gambling Commission licence;
- UK gamblers were charged with a gambling duty of 15% gross gambling profits.
2018 – New measures for casino operators
After a series of consultations with the industry stakeholders, it was decided that it was time for new additions to the law. In this new act, the UK Gambling Commission brought in more requirements for casinos to fulfil to begin rendering their services in the UK.
- All casinos were required to equip their website with better tools and software to monitor their gambling practices;
- Gambling sites must allow players quick access to their accounts;
- Display the players’ gambling and transactional histories for specific periods;
- Online casinos must ensure players can see their net deposits and winnings;
- Players should be able to impose limits on their spending to avoid overindulgence in gambling activities.
In addition to these, casinos must ensure responsible gambling measures. These refer to ways to limit one’s spending and the option to self-exclude when necessary.
A betting or gambling site must fulfil these requirements before it can operate under the UK Gambling Commission.
The UK Gambling Commission and how it operates
The Act of 2005 fostered the UK Gambling Commission’s formation, a public board sponsored by the British Government and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports. It was a replacement for the Gaming Board for Great Britain that had been previously established in 1968.
Why was it founded?
The UKGC was created to oversee that all the gambling activities in the country were legal. It was also to cover the online and physical gambling sites. By this time, the lottery was also a gambling activity hence included in the list. The organisation also regulates the National Lottery.
Today, the Commission holds a high power and mandate to verify that all the gambling providers comply with all the requirements and codes, as stated in the Gambling Act. Additionally, the body also performs investigations on whether offences have been committed and to what extent. Afterwards, it pursues legal actions against the irregularities. They can also grant, refuse and revoke licences.
After further assessments, the Commission was found to be one of the strictest in the industry. Today, it has even gone further to regulating and licensing casinos and betting sites from all over the world. It is one of the most reputable and trusted gambling regulators.
The future of gambling in the UK
One of the biggest markets, UK gambling recorded lots of profits over the years. In 2018, the profits grew from £8.4 billion to £14.4 billion. In less than a decade, the numbers had doubled, which means that huge deals of people gamble in the UK.
The gambling industry also happens to be one of Britain’s largest employers, employing over 100000 people directly and indirectly. It has been discovered that the rise in gamblers in the country can be linked to the development of online and mobile usage.
You can now access your favourite online casino at the convenience of your home. Most of them have now incorporated mobile apps and optimised their browsers to accommodate mobile users. You can comfortably gamble on the move. Even better, there is a lot of optimism about the future of gambling in the UK, just like in the other parts of the world.
Does UK gambling have an influence worldwide?
The UK has had a magnitude of impact on the world’s gambling industry as it houses the most reputable gambling regulatory authority. Most gamblers trust the body as it has no-nonsense policies for bettors and roots for the best conditions for gamblers worldwide.
Technology has positively influenced the gambling industry and will continue to do so in future. Today, you can already witness the increment of crypto and block-chain gambling sites. As such, it is expected that gambling will get safer and even more accessible. Other features that have been incorporated into the gambling scene include the Augmented Reality and the Virtual Reality gambling to make your experience even more enjoyable.