In 2005 the face of Gambling in the UK would change dramatically with the introduction of the gambling act. This was specifically designed to control all forms of gambling.
The main objectives of this act are the following.
With this act now being in place the UK Gambling Commission ( or often referred to as the UKGC ) took full charge of regulating gambling, and supervising gambling law in Great Britain since its formation in 2007.
In more recent times 2013, the UKGC took control of regulating the national lottery, and more importantly for the purposes of this website, in 2014 any online casino that wanted to accept players from the UK, had to hold a licence from the UKGC.
The decision to make online casinos require a license to accept customers from the UK market was a huge plus point for players. This now means that the casinos have to abide by strict rules and regulations or run the risk of being fined, or even have their licence revoked if the commission deems the offence to be worthy.
Due to these licensing terms, online casinos should always provide you with the following information, and you should always make sure that this is available to you.
With the above having to be in place to satisfy the UKGC, this in turn gives customers a confidence that they are going to be treated fairly when signing up to a casino that holds a UKGC licence.
Earning themselves a reputation for being tough on gambling operators, isn't achieved by having extensive rules and regulations alone. The UKGC are fully prepared to investigate and punish anybody who isn't abiding by the ways in which they should be operating their gambling businesses.
In 2017 one of the UK's biggest gambling firms 888 had to pay a record penalty of over £7.8million, this was due to their failings in dealing with vulnerable players, this set a precedent of what is to be expected from businesses that want to operate in the UK market, and in 2018 further fines have taken place.
The size of these fines, especially the one that was issued to 888, shows that the UKGC is fully prepared to flex its muscles if it feels that operators are not fully compliant with the rules that have been set out to them.
With the internet being as vast as what it is, there are still going to be casinos that will accept UK players although they don't hold a licence from the UKGC. Under no circumstances, especially if you're from the UK should you sign up to one of these casinos.
The likelihood if you sign up to one of these rogue casinos, is that you could well be playing on pirated software that doesn't offer you a realistic or advertised RTP, or if you win and attempt to make a withdrawal you will have little or no chance of ever receiving your funds.
If you do encounter problems when playing at a casino licensed by the UKGC, then you do have the proper channels that you can go through to make a complaint, rather than having no governing body, or one of little authority if you play at an unlicensed casino.
If you're ever in doubt about an online casino, then you can always do a few checks to put your mind at ease. The following tips can help you decide if a casino is legit or not.
Having worked in the land based sector of gambling in the UK, I have had my fair share of dealings with the UKGC, and have seen first hand how they have improved and become more strict in their practices over the years.
This is now having a positive influence as the UKGC begin to impose tighter rules with online gambling companies, and players from all over the world can now reap the benefits of playing at a UKGC licensed casino, as they know that they have to be fair and abide by strict regulations to be able to accept UK players.
With the online market developing at a lightning pace, there are sure to be some challenging times ahead for the UKGC, but as I continue to witness in land based premises and see from their activity with online gambling businesses, they are more than up to the job, and although they do have their moments and there is certainly room for improvement, the gambling world especially for UK players is better for having a tough governing body like the UKGC present.
As I previously mentioned in this article, it can still be possible to encounter problems at an online casino even if it holds a licence from the UKGC.
Having personally played at a huge amount of these UKGC licensed casinos, you will only find the very best of these here at Savvygamblers, and if at any time in the future these casinos drop their standards, then both themselves and any other associated casinos will be removed from this site.
So no matter where you are playing from in the world, take advantage of our recommended casinos that hold a UKGC licence and give yourself the confidence that you are playing at a tried and tested casino.