Online gambling in the United Kingdom has been set up and regulated with one of the best systems that you can find anywhere in the world. While they’ve more or less always permitted online gambling to happen in various forms, they didn’t have a very strict licensing and regulatory system until 2014. The system put into action in late 2014 is the one that players really need to know about when it comes to how they’re affected in the present day, and we’re going to break down every aspect of the situation so that players aren’t left in the dark wondering if a license from the UK makes an online casino safe and trustworthy.
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Long History of Gambling
The United Kingdom has a particularly long history of gambling. If you look at some of the top companies that operate from there on the Internet right now, then some of them have histories that go back seven or eight decades because of the land-based industry. Sports betting, bingo, poker and casino play have all been extremely popular here for decades, so it makes sense that they would eventually have a very strong and permissive Internet gambling regulatory body.
How the UK Gambling Commission Works
There are two main sides to how the UK Gambling Commission works. On the first side, you have how it affects the companies. Companies are allowed to apply for licenses to offer games to players inside of the United Kingdom and abroad, as long as they have offices that meet certain requirements within the borders of the UK. Additionally, they have to pay some specific licensing fees, and this includes a 15 percent tax on gross revenue from gambling. This is a little higher than the industry average, but it’s generally seen as being worth it because of the value that a UK license has in attracting players.
For the players, getting in on the action at a site that has their license in the UK means that they’re protected from shady activity and other issues because of the way the UK Gambling Commission runs things. There have been multiple instances since the 2014 changes were implemented where the Gambling Commission stepped up and pulled a license from an operator for breaking their licensing agreement. They also have very straightforward processes in place to help players recover their funds, and they even have an arbitration process in place that will allow players to put in complaints against operators and software companies as needed with appropriate representation.
Relevant Laws for Players
There are no laws that make gambling online illegal for players from the United Kingdom, and this includes every type of gambling. This is a lot different than many other jurisdictions where only select types of Internet gambling are allowed. With that having been said, there is an Internet blacklist of unlicensed sites that have tried to pull UK players, and this prevents people from within the United Kingdom accessing these unlicensed sites.
There are two purposes for this blacklist. First, they want to make sure that unlicensed operators aren’t able to get in on the action without paying taxes for it, because that would be unfair to the companies that do pay. Second, they don’t want people placing bets at a site where they can’t enforce their rules and protect their players.