What many people don’t know is that the United Kingdom was one of the countries leading the way in defining regulatory standards by creating their own online gambling licensing model. The model set forth by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is one that most countries should look up to and even consider copying for licensing and managing their own jurisdiction.
Why does the UK have the ideal online gambling licensing?
- Only licensed gaming sites can advertise on TV and in print
- Illegal for non-licensed gaming operators to accept UK players
- Operators are required to provide a dispute resolution service for players
The UKGC is very effective in policing their own jurisdictions and issue heavy fines for operators that don’t comply with regulations. The net result is players find it difficult to register with non-licensed operators and end up only gaining access to licensed operators.
This positive result indirectly protects players from being treated unfairly or an operator leaving a player high and dry because they are out of jurisdiction with no recourse for the player. You’ll even have US-facing operations not even taking UK players because the laws explicitly state that licensing is required to accept bets online whereas, in the United States, there are no laws that legalize online gambling other than the payment processing being illegal. It is for this reason that most of these companies don’t take players in the United Kingdom and it makes it nearly impossible for a US facing
It is for this reason that most of these companies don’t take players in the United Kingdom and it makes it nearly impossible for a US facing operation to ever be able to operate in the UK without a gaming license.
Obtaining an online gambling license in the United Kingdom
Getting a UK license is not easy and requires a lot of time and the fee is not cheap either. UK gaming companies are required to pay 15% gaming tax.
There have been some UK facing gaming companies that have licenses in Alderney, Isle of Man or Gibraltar as a means of avoiding the UK license, paying a little less in gaming taxes but still gaining access to the UK markets. Companies are already leaving Gibraltar and it will really be only the strong UK licensed online casinos that will be the ones players will stick with.
Online Gambling UK vs USA
In the United Kingdom, there is already a gambling culture that is heavily based around football where you have betting shops all over the country. There are presently over 9000 betting shops across the country and most of these exist with a brand that has a strong online presence which includes William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral. In the United States, betting on sport is very popular but all of that takes place on the black markets with local bookies.
Even though we’re in 2017, the United States barely has any online gambling licensing with only a small number of states offering it despite the UIGEA law created in 2006 that makes the payment processing of online gambling illegal but not the act of gambling online itself. If the United States adopted the United Kingdom’s model for online gambling licensing, they could easily gain taxes on an activity that is happening in the black market and make it easier for enforce and control.
UKGC ADR – Accredited Dispute Resolution
Now the ADR system for player disputes isn’t perfect but it’s far more useful for players than any other system or resolution service offered by any other online gambling licensing body. If players have complaints within another jurisdiction the operator directly pays licensing fees to the body that reviews the complaint. This can leave the player feeling like there is a bias against them.
The UKGC’s ADR system appoints the task of managing complaints to independent 3rd parties with relevant experience within the sector. The system does need more work as the number of approved bodies could be confusing to players but the counterpoint to this is that the system allows the player to choose which body reviews their complaint. ThePOGG provides a casino complaint and dispute resolution service which has helped recover well over £500,000 to date.
Overall the UK’s licensing setup is not just one of the oldest around but one of the best and is an ideal licensing model other countries should consider. It is only a matter of time before every country either has a law regulating online gambling or banning it. With regulation comes the responsibilities of enforcing the laws in a reasonable manner and protecting the interest of the players in that country. The United States of America is far behind on this and it seems there won’t be any regulated online gambling in the near future as too many interest groups and lobbies are all fighting each other with nothing being accomplished. The UK has done the best job of
With regulation comes the responsibilities of enforcing the laws in a reasonable manner and protecting the interest of the players in that country. The United States of America is far behind on this and it seems there won’t be any regulated online gambling in the near future as too many interest groups and lobbies are all fighting each other with nothing being accomplished. The UK has done the best job of
The UK has done the best job of self-policing without having to go to the extremes of forcing internet service providers to ban websites. The moment this happens you have privacy groups crying foul. Everyone wants these regulatory bodies to work but to be done in a fair manner without conflicts of interest or privacy laws being violated. Any other country looking to create their first set of online gambling laws and licensing body need to look no further than the United Kingdom to see how it should be done.