Online gambling sites are starting to become a big industry in the UK. 12-month statistics (from April 2017 to March 2018) shows that almost £14.4 billion worth of revenue was earned by this sector, which shows a rise of 4.2% from the same period in the previous year. The industry became one of the biggest earners when it comes to gambling in the UK. Because of the industry’s growth, and with more people playing in these gambling sites, the UK Gambling Commission is also ready to step up its game.
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What is the UK Gambling Commission?
When it comes to online gambling and its regulation, the authority that handles it is the UK Gambling Commission. The UK Gambling Commission replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain in 2005 by the power of Gambling Act of 2005. One of its focus is on online gaming, which is now one of the biggest platforms that contribute to the gambling industry. It is known for its outstanding regulator practices and puts the safety of the players first before anything. Other countries and states are using the commission as the benchmark for comparing regulatory bodies.
The Functions of the UK Gambling Commission
The UK Gambling Commission has three core function. The first one is to ensure that all gambling games and transactions that happen on online gambling sites and other gambling platforms are not involved with any criminal activities. Its second core function is to ensure that the gambling operations in the UK are fair and open. The last but not the least is to ensure that children and vulnerable people are protected from gambling.
Aside from its three core function, the UK Gambling Commission is also the authority that provides licenses in order for the gambling businesses to operate in the UK. Instead of an all-in license, the commission is giving separate licenses for activities that involve betting, bingo, casino games, gaming machines, gaming software, and lotteries.
In addition to this, the commission will also require Personal Management Licences to the leadership staff of every online site that plan to operate in the UK. The commission requires the PML for the senior staff that will be involved in the financial budgeting, overall strategy, regulatory compliance, as well as the IT provision and security of their operations. After the UK Gambling Commission released approval, senior staff members can finally make operational decisions.
The UK Gambling Commission is actively regulating the online gambling community, which was the previous job of the Gaming Board for Great Britain until 2005. In 2013, the National Lottery Commission was merged with the commission. The following year later, the 2014 Gambling (Licensing an Advertising) Act was announced. Because of this stricter law, offshore gambling operators that want to operate in the UK needs to obtain a remote operating license from the UK Gambling Commission. WIthout the remote operating license, gambling operators cannot operate or advertise inside the UK and to its residents. This includes all advertisement platforms such as television, sponsorship, and other means. Because of the Point of Consumption Tax, al the off-shore operators will now be charged based on a flat rate of 15% on gross profits at the “point of consumption”.
The UK Gambling Commission is a trustworthy authority body that prioritizes the protection of player funds, player identification, player protection, fair gambling, honest marketing, cash handling, and customer service. It currently monitors over 1,000 companies that obtained licenses, which include famous operators such as 888, Dunder , Betfair, Casumo, Vera&John, BGO, bet365, and Ladbrokes. The commission also monitors the gaming development firms such as NextGen and OpenBet and provides active gambling software licenses.