The United Kingdom gambling market is among the biggest in the world and UK gamblers often find themselves wondering if it’s safe to play in UK online casinos.
With this in mind, the United Kingdom government has formed a regulatory body called The Gambling Commission to control everything associated with gambling.
In the past years, the online gambling regulations in the UK have undergone some minor changes but the most important ones have remained the same since the Gambling Act was introduced back in 2005.
Online poker, sports betting, and casino games are being regulated by the UK Gambling Commission; all those willing to offer such games to the public must obtain a license from the commission itself.
Here, we are going to see the new online gambling regulations in the UK for the upcoming 2021.
Gambling Act of 2005
The Gambling Act of 2005 was the first significant gambling act to be introduced since the Act of 1961. The act was created in order to control and regulate all forms of gambling including betting shops and off-track betting. With the introduction of the Gambling Act of 2005, there was a need to form a commission that controls and works by the Act, and that’s when the UK Gambling Commission was formed.
This Act of 2005 brought the United Kingdom hand-to-hand with the modern world of regulated gambling. The Act has plenty of primary focus points such as preventing gambling to be a source of crime, to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair fashion for all participants.
Many casino operators have agreed that the Gambling Act of 2005 had made a positive impact on the online gambling industry in the UK, as all those willing to open a casino or betting shop, they must confirm that they have enough finances to operate with can they maintain a stable financial position. In the near future, it’s expected that this Act will undergo major updates.
UK Gambling Commission
The UK Gambling Commission was formed following the introduction of the Gambling Act of 2005. This commission regulates all gambling activities in both online and land-based casinos in the United Kingdom and it’s the only regulatory body allowed to issue licenses for casino operations. It’s their duty to make sure that everything is in order before any casino operator can offer their games and services to the public.
The primary objective for the UK Gambling Commission is to make sure that all three objectives set by the Gambling Act of 2005 are executed properly. In fact, this means that the Commission needs to make sure that all forms of gambling are provided in a safe and fair manner to all participants while providing protection against kinds and offering support to vulnerable adults.
The Commission is responsible for all gambling licenses in the UK, as they can evaluate the conditions in casino operators applying, strip away licenses at any time, and monitor casinos that already have licenses.
New Gambling Act of 2021
The already existing Gambling Act of 2005 was about to be updated with new rules and legislations about online and land-based gambling in the UK, but the current COVID-19 pandemic prevented that from happening. The other problem that this Act encountered is Brexit that will most likely be a top priority of the government, rather than the new Gambling Act.
So far, there are no details released about the new Gambling Laws of 2021, but with this pace, it is expected to be delivered sometime in 2022 with some changes to the existing Act of 2005. There are some speculations regarding the new Act such as VIP Schemes, as many reports claim that the biggest casino frauds often occur in the VIP sectors, specialized for loyalty players only.
Payments and withdrawal methods are expected to be slightly changed. By now, you know that all credit cards are banned for online casino usage and gamblers switched to e-wallets, something which is expected to be changed in the upcoming act.
Gambling Commission’s Whitelist
The Gambling Act of 2005 allows the UK Gambling Commission to restrict all foreigners without a UK gambling license from promoting their products to the UK population. To avoid such scenarios in the future, the Whitelist category was introduced to show those allowed to promote their products to UK gamblers.
Casino operators from countries such as Tasmania, Island of Man, and European Economic Area countries are allowed to promote their product to UK gamblers if they hold a license. Unfortunately, for the UK legislators there are many casinos not on gamstop that UK players can play at in 2021. This trend is expecting to grow since the non gamstop casinos often offer better and more generous welcome bonuses. On the flip side, the player protection is not as good. So, if you are a problem gambler you should really make sure to avoid such sites.
To Sum Up
UK online gambling regulations are very strict and not everyone can open an online or a land-based casino. The rules are pretty straight-forward and those that are allowed to obtain a license are considered to be safe and secure casinos. However, players may find some refuge in online casinos! The UK Gambling Commission has been ever-vigilant for frauds and scams, and their upcoming Gambling Act will solidify all rules already in place.