If you’re looking for an online casino in New Zealand with the most rock solid gambling licence in the world, look out for the familiar logo of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC licence is widely considered to be the most secure and tightly regulated in the entire iGaming industry, so much so that other licencing authorities regularly take their lead from the UKGC and often implement its recommendations within a few weeks of any changes being announced. However, as the UKGC only regulates online casinos operating within the UK itself, it cannot be used in other countries around the world, including New Zealand. Nevertheless, while another licence would be required to operate in New Zealand, it is still a sign of approval to see the Gambling Commission logo in the footer of your chosen brand.
While the UKGC is notorious in the press for sanctioning and punishing companies that do not follow its strict regulations on advertising, for instance, it is without doubt that responsible gaming is its number one priority in the last few years. In fact, several changes and restrictions seem to be implemented in this regard on an almost monthly basis by the UKGC. This is so that the most vulnerable British gamblers do not go down the path to full blown gambling addiction.
In order to promote responsible gaming, the UKGC has put in place a strict, non-negotiable requirement for all UKGC licenced casinos to obtain KYC (Know Your Customer) documents at the moment a player registers a new account. This is done to prevent under 18s from being able to play, and to identify any problem gamblers. Another reason for this is clamp down on corruption by identifying and banning any persons of influence (such as politicians) and to request proof of any source of income to ensure that no money laundering takes place.
As mentioned above, the other main remit of the UKGC concerns how gambling services are advertised and promoted. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to advertise services that may appeal to children, that all models must not only be over the age of 25 but they must also not look any younger than that. There are also rules banning the use of words like ‘free’ if there are wagering requirements to complete, for example. Therefore, a player knows exactly what they’re getting.
Not only are the UKGC super strict on responsible gaming, but they also want to stomp out money laundering, financial fraud and data leaks. Therefore, sensitive player data is processed and held on encrypted servers that cannot be accessed without explicit permission from the user. To ensure this, the UKGC regularly visits the offices of online casinos to ensure they are following the rules to the letter. Companies may dread this often unannounced visits, but they are a good thing for the industry because they are aimed primarily at protecting players.
If an online casino is discovered to have broken any of the UKGC’s rules, they will often find themselves faced with massive fines often totalling up to millions of pounds. This is just for first time offenders. If an online casino continues to break the rules, they will be subject to more checks, bigger fines and in some cases legal action. Finally, they will lose their licence altogether, effectively meaning that they can no longer offer their services in the United Kingdom. And as the UK market is a huge, that is something they never want to happen.
Address: United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Fourth Floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP, United Kingdom.
Phone: +44 121 230 6666