The United Kingdom, just like most other countries, regulates gambling closely. This is needed for multiple reasons. First and foremost, we need to make sure that gambling is carried out openly, fairly and crime-free. In other words, thanks to the regulation of gambling, the players can trust online casinos to pay out winnings and honour the casino free spins no deposit bonus offers. Imagine a world where any casino can do what they please with players’ funds! Needless to say, the casino business wouldn’t be nearly as successful or popular.
This article is for those of you who want to find out more about how gambling is regulated in the UK. In this article, we reveal all about the UK’s gambling regulatory body – the Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Who are the UKGC?
The Gambling Commission is a centralised, government-appointed organisation that works in partnership with licensing authorities to ensure that gambling businesses are compliant in order to make gambling fairer and safer.
At the highest level of governance, the UKGC is comprised of two groups that make sure the organisation is open, accountable and efficient:
- Board of Commissioners – Chairman Bill Moyes leads this group which is made up of individuals with varied experience and knowledge from a wide range of sectors. The main area of focus for the board of commissioners is ensuring that the organisation meets the licensing objectives (making sure gambling is carried out openly, safely and fairly; ensuring that gambling in the UK is crime-free; protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed and exploited through gambling).
- Senior leadership team – current members include Sarah Gardner, Sally Jones, Helen Venn, Richard Watson, Tim Miler, John Tanner, Alistair Quigley, Marie Perry and Vic Beaumont. This team leads the UKGC corporate interests and makes strategic decisions.
What does the UKGC do?
You might be asking what does the existence of the UK Gambling Commission mean to an average person. What are the tangible endeavours of this organisation that works to equalise the gambling industry? Here are some of the functions that UKGC carries out:
- They provide licenses to individuals and operators in Great Britain. These licenses allow companies and individuals to run arcades, betting shops, casinos, gaming machines, bingo, lotteries and create gambling software.
If your chosen casino/website/betting shop etc. has a license from the UKGC, you can be sure that their services are fair, open and use all the necessary tools like an industry-approved RNG in the random-outcome games, as well as follow the rules for safe and responsible gambling.
- They carry out investigations and take action where individuals and companies fail to follow the law, rules and regulations.
If you have a complaint about a gambling business you can log this complaint with the gambling commission and someone will inform you whether your complaint is legitimate. You won’t be offered consultation or protection though (dispute resolution companies do that).
Dispute resolution companies
These do not regulate gambling like the centralised UKGC does, but dispute resolution services are worth a mention – these are third-party companies that step in when a customer is in a dispute with a gambling business. They are no less important than the Gambling Commission because they act as a judge in disagreements between players and casinos/betting shops/arcades etc. There are a few companies in the UK to choose from:
- IBAS – Independent Betting Adjudication Services.
- ADR group – Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Bacta ADR service.
- CEDR – Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.
- Lindsays – Jennifer Gallagher.
- ProMediate UK Limited
- Tattersalls committee.
The area of jurisdiction differs from company to company but you will be able to receive assistance with any kind of gambling sector with one of these companies.
Gambling regulating bodies, namely the UKGC and dispute resolution companies, are essential parts of the gambling business in Great Britain. Thanks to them, casinos are regulated and have a rigid set of standards that guarantee you will take part in a fair, open and crime-free gamble.
These companies are your go-to when you’ve been cheated, scammed or witnessed a company breaking the law. To make sure that never happens, always read reviews for your chosen gambling providers and only play/bet with licensed businesses.