What is a UK Gambling Licence?

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
UK gambling licence

When playing at an online casino you want to be sure that you, your personal details, and your money are safe and secure. This is where the UK Gambling Commission comes in. It is a not-for-profit organisation that operates with the best interests of the players in mind.

The Gambling Commission is responsible for providing gambling licences to companies that behave in a fair and responsible manner, and these licences are a legal requirement for any casino or gambling company wishing to operate in the UK. Even the National Lottery comes under the jurisdiction of the Gambling Commission. 

Essentially, no company can legally provide a gambling service to players in the UK without the Gambling Commission’s permission. That means you shouldn’t play at a casino that is not licensed by the UK Gambling Commission if you want to be fully protected and be afforded the benefits of playing at a licenced casino.

The Pros of playing at a UKGC Regulated Casino

Player Protection

The reason you should only ever play at a licensed casino is your protection. When you play at a UK Gambling Commission approved casino and gambling establishment, you can be sure that your personal and financial details are kept private and secure.

There are strict standards that must be met to be in accordance with the UKGC rules, relating both to how your data is stored but also used. They ensure that any gambling company has sufficient competent measures in place to guard against cyber attacks that could risk your data being exposed.

Fair Gaming

Another key area that the UKGC has strict measures for is the fair gaming experience. Players must be given a realistic chance of winning and all games must be transparent to the player in terms of their chances of winning. 

The main way that online casinos can be fair to the player is by using Random Number Generators (RNGs) in order to produce the result of their games. Casinos must also specify the RTP rate of all virtual games. 

The RTP is a percentage that presents how much of the funds put into a game are returned to the player. For example, a slot with a 95% RTP would return £95 for every £100 spent to the players. For more information on how RTPs work, check out our guide on what RTPs mean.

Player Funds Kept Separate

One of the most important considerations for approving a casino is whether or not player funds are kept separate to operating cash.

Should a casino go bankrupt, keeping player funds separate means that these will still be safe. This can give a player peace of mind, knowing that whatever happens to the casino their money will not be lost without their knowledge.

Operator Accountability

Having an operating body like the UK Gambling Commission overseeing the actions of all casinos is hugely important and vital to ensure that casinos behave in a fair manner. It also means that should a player have a concern or complaint, there is a governing body to whom they can file their grievance. 

However, if a player goes to an unregulated casino, this would not be possible and they would have to try and take the matter to the courts in order to be represented. This is why it is so important to only play at licensed casinos, you are afforded a level of protection and a fair gambling environment to enjoy.

How to file a complaint and what issues you can raise 

If you encounter an issue while playing at a regulated, licensed casino your first port of call is to try and communicate with the casino. It will be within their best interest to resolve any issues you may have, as they will not want their licence revoked over a dispute they could have solved quickly and in a hassle-free manner.

If you have had no luck communicating with the casino, you can escalate the issue and raise a complaint with the UK Gambling Commission. The UKGC offers plenty of advice regarding a variety of issues players may face online, but if you have no luck resolving the issue you can file a complaint directly with the UK Gambling Commision website. They have a dedicated Resolver website, set up to deal with player complaints.

Making sure you are safe

The UK Gambling Commission was founded in 2005 to regulate all forms of gambling in the UK, ensuring safe, fair, and responsible gameplay for all players, whether they have played at a land based casino, in a betting shop, or online. It is a legal requirement for any business offering gambling services in the UK to hold a gambling licence from the UKGC, and it is always within the players best interest to play at a licenced business to ensure they and their money are safe. 

Always remember to check that the online casino site that you are playing at holds a UK Gambling Licence, or make sure to play at sites we trust and promote. Here at Online Bingo we only work with UKGC approved casinos so you can spin the reels with peace of mind that you are protected and represented by a governing body.