What the Proposed Criminal Justice Bill Means for the UKGC and Gambling Licenses

UKGC Gambling Licenses

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The new UK Criminal Justice Bill will give the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) greater powers to manage unlicensed gambling sites to keep players safe online. Although it has not yet been passed, the bill would allow the UKGC to request the blocking of unlicensed gambling sites through IP and domain name providers.

The Criminal Justice Bill and gambling licenses

The Criminal Justice Bill is not yet signed into UK law but has passed both the first and second readings. The next step would be for it to pass a third reading, and then it will go to the House of Lords for approval.

The impact on the gambling industry

Currently, when unlicensed gambling sites breach British Law, the UKGC must request that the website be blocked under a voluntary suspension model. This has not previously been overly successful and is especially challenging for websites that are not UK-based.

Under the new bill, the UKGC would be able to request that domain name and IP providers block sites that offer gambling without a relevant license or otherwise are in breach of British law.

The risks of unlicensed sites

If an operator is licensed by the UKGC, you know that they have passed specific criteria. Therefore, as long as you have followed the casino’s terms and conditions you signed up to, then you will receive any winnings you accrue. However, with unlicensed online casinos or bingo sites, you cannot guarantee you’ll receive your winnings, and you’ll have no protection if you don’t.

Operators in the UK will have strict guidelines to follow to receive and maintain their license, including regular checks, high levels of protection for players, and money laundering protection practices.

How to check a gambling license

Online casinos with a UKGC license must show the number on their website. This is often found at the footer of the home page, and you can also go to the Gambling Commission website and search for the operator to ensure the license is still valid. If a provider does not have a UK license, then it’s not suitable for UK players.

For more information about gambling licenses in the UK, visit our guide.

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