Responsible gambling – #1 priority
On the very top of the UKGC list of priorities is Responsible Gambling. It almost seems like they come up with some new rules and regulations on this topic several times a year. For an online casino and some of their players, this might be a hassle, but for the security of vulnerable players, this is a necessity – not only according to the UKGC.
One of the things they have implemented, which no other gaming authority has done thus far, is the requirement of a KYC verification of players at registration. This is to avoid underage players, and those suffering from a gambling addiction, registering and playing at the casino. For most other countries and markets, a player will be asked to verify their identity and address when requesting a withdrawal, but UK players have to do this even before they start playing at the casino.
Other rules they have which hinder underage and vulnerable players are related to marketing, for example, a casino is not allowed to aggressively market themselves and their services. This includes not offering free gameplay on the site for play money before the player actually logs in to their accounts, and not targeting young players in their ads.
Breaking the UKGC rules
Of course, it's not only Responsible Gaming that the UK Gambling Commission is strict on, but also money laundering, secure storage of KYC documents and other sensitive player data, fair gameplay, and additional common factors are also included in the controls they perform at their licensed casinos. These controls are dreaded by many casinos, but that's a good thing, as it keeps them from straying outside the rules.
If a casino is found not to be compliant with all the rules, the UKGC will come down hard on them. It is not uncommon for them to issue fines in the tens of millions of pounds, and that's for first-time offenders. If an online casino continues to not comply they will be targeted with more and more random controls, and eventually they will lose their licence altogether. As the UK gambling market is considered the biggest in Europe, no one wants to lose their license. Therefore, casinos pay up and change their routines to satisfy the UKGC. This is also why playing at a casino with this licence is a good thing even for us Canadian players, as it is only the best casinos in the business that can get and keep the UK Gambling Commission licence.
Gambling Commission, Fourth Floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square Birmingham, B2 4BP
0121 230 6666