The UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the regulatory body which oversees all online gambling in the UK (aside from spread betting, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) as well as several parts of the brick and mortar industry.Since its inception, the UKGC has shown a focus for protecting vulnerable gamblers, keeping crime and criminals out of the iGaming industry, and ensuring that all operators within the UK meet the required standards expected in order to provide gambling options to UK players.

The history

Established under the Gambling Act 2005 and taking its full powers on September 1st, 2017, the UKGC has implemented many changes that have affected the industry.One of the biggest regulations brought into effect by the UKGC was to make it necessary for all operators who offered games to UK players, no matter where that operator was based, would need to hold a valid license from the Commission.Before that point, the expense and time taken up by obtaining a UKGC license could be avoided by those who were based overseas, but the law change altered that.It wasn’t until 2014 that these powers came into effect, following several examples of overseas companies breaking regulations without being penalised.One of the highest profile examples of this was the Betfair Happy Hour, where an enticing promotion was offered, only for the terms and conditions to be changed subsequently.Due to the Commission having no powers outside of the UK, customer complaints could, for the most part, not be upheld.Once the rules changed, the UKGC was then able by law to penalise any operator seen to be mistreating UK players, no matter where the company is in the world.

Multiple licenses

Another way the UKGC ensures that all licensed operators act as they are expected to, is by making it necessary for every different gaming category to be licensed.This means that a company offering bingo, casino games, lotteries, poker, and sports betting options would need separate licenses for each segment of the games offered.While some companies tried to put the losses on customers after this change, they were unsuccessful for the most part.PokerStars stopped VIP payouts to customers in the UK, but this decision was ultimately reversed by the operator.


The UKGC has proven on many occasions that they will fight for the rights of players in the UK, as shown with the multi-million pound fines that have been handed out to various companies that were seen to be engaging in unethical practices or not protecting vulnerable gamblers to the necessary extent.With a list of all licensed operators and casinos available on the UKGC website, and all licensed casinos having the UKGC stamp, it’s possible to double check the security of a casino before registering, ensuring that the risk levels for UK players are amongst the lowest in the world, and that looks set to continue improving as the UKGC works to better the gambling industry in the United Kingdom.

Leave a comment