The UK Gambling Commission was formed in 2005, after the UK Gambling Act was passed. It is the regulatory body for almost all the gambling in the UK. The commission took over the responsibility from the Gaming Board of Great Britain, and took full power in 2007. It regulates betting, bingo, slot machines, and lotteries, but does not have control over spread betting or the National lottery.
Remote Licences Issued by the UK Gambling Commission
If you wish to run a gambling business through means such as the internet or telephone, and if any of the remote equipment is based in Great Britain, then you would have to apply for a remote gambling licence. There is no one particular licence that you can apply for, rather you need to apply for the various types of remote licenses depending upon the gambling activity you plan to run. Here are the various types of remote licenses based on the desired gambling activity.
- Remote betting licence: If you run a betting service offering fixed odds via a website, then you will need this license. The betting license depends on whether you offer the bets on virtual or real events. If you offer both then you will need licences for both. There is remote betting licence limited for telephone, but your annual gambling revenue has to be less than £275,000, otherwise you will need the standard remote license.
- Remote bingo licence: If you plan to run a bingo service through internet, mobile, radio or TV then you need this licence. This licence encompasses bingo games only and does not cover other casino games of chance like slots or roulette.
- Remote casino operating licence: If you plan to run a website, a TV, mobile or any other online service offering casino games, such as roulette, blackjack or poker to name a few, then you need to have a remote casino licence. Such a licence gives a gambling or bingo website the right to run advertisements on the television in the UK.
Remote gaming machine licences: There are three types of remote licences when it comes to gaming machines that are placed anywhere in the UK or its territories.
- Remote gaming machine software licence: If you have this licence, you can produce, supply, modify, and install software for various gaming machines. However, you will not be able to repair or supply software if you are the holder of this licence.
- Remote gaming machine supplier licence: If you have this licence, you will be able to modify, supply, install, repair, or even maintain gaming machines or certain parts of gaming machines through remote channels like the internet.
- Remote gaming machine full licence: This licence gives you the privilege of the above two licenses.
- Remote gambling software licence: If you pan to produce, supply install, or modify gambling software through remote communication like making the software available for download from a website, then you will need a remote gambling software license.
The UK gambling commission imposes a strict set of requirements on licensees. These include a wide range of aspects, such as financial stability, technical standards followed by the casino, management of funds deposited by users, provisions for fairness, the manner in which cash is handled by the casino, and the variants and the rules of the games offered by the casino. Along with these, the casino also has to adhere to a “Code of practice”, which includes aspects like protection of children and dispute resolution mechanisms.
How UK gambling commission licences protect players
The UK commission aims at removing crime from gambling and protecting vulnerable players. The commission is sponsored by Department of Culture Media and Sport. It gives licenses to gambling companies and has the power to impose fines and revoke licenses. It also advises the government on issues related to gambling.
What all this means is that players playing on sites licenced by the UK Gambling commission can look forward to a safe and fair gambling experience. You can consider a licence from the commission as a seal of approval for the site that you intend to play at. With stringent conditions imposed by the commission, you can be sure that the site you are playing at will adhere to the highest professional standards and code of ethics.
It is important for us to note that all of the bingo sites we cover that are listed under our “Reputable bingo sites” section as well as our “free Internet bingo sites” section have been either licenced directly by the UK Gambling Commission or they are licenced by a governing body that is “white listed” by the UK Gambling Commission. This is important to us because we only want to suggest legal, licenced alternatives to our readers and it should be important to you because you’re assured a fair shake, you can claim your winnings free of tax, and you want to have a legally enforceable route to take in case something goes wrong and you need to file a complaint against the operator.