UK Gambling Commission
If you have visited a betting site or a casino company or even if you have played the lottery there are strong possibilities that you have seen the name of the UK Gambling Commission at some point. Knowing the name though it is not the same thing as understanding exactly what is the task of the Commission and this is why we have created this page to give you a proper guide on this subject.
In a nutshell, the UK Gambling Commission is a non-departmental public body that has the responsibility of regulating gambling in Britain and this also includes the National Lottery. The Gambling Commission does not regulate spread betting as this is under the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority.
Why It Was Created?
The main reason why the Gambling Commission has been created is to ensure that gambling is and will always be: safe, fair, open and will not hurt vulnerable and minors. If you want to know more details about the UK Gambling Commission keep reading.
The Gambling Commission Origines
The Gambling Commission was established by the 2005 Gambling Act, which had the purpose of increasing the regulation of an industry that was rapidly expanding online (see more in our history of gambling section). The bill was opening to the idea that companies operating in the UK would need to request and obtain a Gambling Commission license and that the UK Gambling Commission would issue licenses and regulate the operators.
Today all the companies that are operating in the UK need to display their license details on their betting sites and also on their shops (if they have it). The list of approved operators is also available directly in the UK Gambling Commission website.
The 2014 Act further defined the role of the Gambling Commission and introduced a point of consumption tax that had to be paid by all companies that were accepting UK customers, regardless of where the companies were based. If you want to know more about UK gambling licenses feel free to check our dedicated section.
Role Of The UK Gambling Commission
The main role of the UK Gambling Commission is to ensure betting in the UK is safe and fair. The Commission is regulating all gambling activities for both online and offline that target a British audience.
The Gambling Commission is, therefore, monitoring how gambling companies are operating and also review their practices in regards to children and vulnerable people. In addition to issuing and revoking licensees, the Gambling Commission can also fine companies that do not follow the regulations.
The Gambling Commission also ensure that customer deposits are always ring-fenced in case a betting brand will financially collapse. There are several levels of cover from basic to high, and you can read all the details in our article dedicated to what happens if a gambling company goes bankrupt.
Examples of Gambling Commission Fines
William Hill was fined £6.2M in 2018 after the Gambling Commission discovered that they failed to protect vulnerable players.
Also in 2018 LeoVegas was fined with £600,000 after some customers couldn’t self-exclude themselves properly and some ads were produced that were misleading.
Those are just some examples of the fines that the Gambling Commission have decided in the last few years. The GC is a very serious body that gambling operators are taking very seriously indeed. You can read more about other gambling commission fines and other actions taken in our responsible gambling guide.
What Is Not Responsibility Of The Gambling Commission
A good way to also better understand the role of the Gambling Commission is to take a look at what they don’t do. First of all the Gambling Commission is not responsible for dealing with consumer complaints. If you do place a wager and you have a problem getting paid and believe you have been cheated you shouldn’t speak with the Gambling Commission. You can, however, raise a case with the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (also known as IBAS) that will be able to assist further. You can check how to complain to a betting company in our dedicated article.
The Gambling Commission also does not provide legal advice. You can, of course, get some general information or advice about the Gambling Act but not legal advice.
Another thing to remember is that not every gambling site is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission. The Gambling Law is saying that a site that advertises or trades with UK customers have to have a license given by the Gambling Commission. If, however, they do not operate in the UK then a betting site can also exist outside the Gambling Commission. The majority of less reputable companies out there do set themselves up without applying to the Gambling Commission, so our strong suggestion is that you stay well away from those gambling companies.
All Sites Listed Here Have A License
For this reason, all the sites that are listed in BestBettingSites.Online have a fully valid gambling license: if you bet with a gambling company that is not licensed, you have zero protection on your money and personal information so if something happens you have no chances of getting any compensation.
As far as advertising is concerned, it is the Advertising Standards Authority that will review and sanction those ads that are either inappropriate or misleading. The Gambling Commission also doesn’t get involved in issuing licenses for premises that are given by the local licensing authorities.
As mentioned previously the Gambling Commission is not regulating spread betting as those falls under the control of the FCA.
What Is A Gambling Licence
There are different types of gambling licenses that operators can apply for. Some businesses might need more than one to start operating. To get the license business need to ensure that they offer fair, safe and open gambling and that they will take the required step to avoid hurting young or vulnerable people. You can read more details about this in our licensing and law section.
How Much It Costs To Get A License?
Different variables can influence the cost of a gambling license. Those are:
Annual Gross Revenue
Establishment Type & Number
For example if you have a gambling site that has a profit of more than £500,000 but less then £5M then the license cost is £7K. If you do operate betting shops the costs will change, etc.
The Future Of The Gambling Commission
Since gambling is continuously changing and evolving the Gambling Commission has to adapt. Also, gambling is now moving more and more into mobile devices and this is why the Gambling Commission has to use always new technologies that help to stay in line with the new types of activities.
The Gambling Commission to publish their findings two times a year, generally in May and November and also give out statistics on how the industry is doing.