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UKGC updated regulations for UK online casinos

The UK might not be home to Las Vegas or Macau, but it leads the way in online gambling. The £5 billion a year industry continues to lead and set standards for other countries’ online gambling industries to pursue. The massive success of the UK online casinos doesn’t come as a surprise, because the government’s attitude towards online iGaming has always been progressive and liberal.

roulette casino
Credit: Sashkin

The UK doesn’t just act as a benchmark for other countries in terms of revenue earned from legalizing casino sites, but their regulations are used as a reference by many countries globally. The gaming laws created by authority bodies that govern iGambling always strive hard to regularly reconsider the regulations to catch up with this dynamic sector. MoneyCasinosHowTo, the initiative aimed at guiding on the most crucial gambling related issues, including regulations worldwide, can serve as a model for online casinos seeking to reach the UK market.

The UKGC New Rules and Regulations on Online Gambling

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission that is reliable for the regulatory framework of the betting activity on the territory of the UK released the new rules at the beginning of this year which UK casino sites’ stakeholders have to adhere to inorder to establish a safe and secure landscape for all those involved.

The new regulations appear on the morrow of an investigation by the UKGC together with other regulatory agencies and interested stakeholders were looking into ways the UK online gambling could be advanced as an industry. The recent regulatory regime which is already enforcing by the UK body, promise to produce long-lasting effects for all participants of the casino industry. From casino sites to software developers to users have to adopt and follow the new rules as well as terms, conditions, introduced by the UK regulatory body;

1. More Time to Verify Ages

IGaming generally is rife with underage playing betting games and it is not any different in England and other territories of the country. Underage players use their parents’ credit card or alternative payment methods to make deposits into their mobile casinos and wager on their favourite slots games or table games for real money. Some underage children have registered into Paypal casino sites, used various options like pay by phone, debit card, Neteller Skrill deposits and even wire transfer to deposit funds behind their parents’ backs.

Recently implemented rules and regulations require all casino operators to always check and verify the actual age of the users before they can make their 1st deposit or before they start to wager money on casino sites. If a underage player still managed to cheat the entire casino system, placed a bet on blackjack, roulette, then the casino owner is obliged to cross-check the gamer’s age before letting them collecting the winnings.

The renewed terms, conditions apply to free-to-play games too. They are accessible in a range of best online casinos’ game portfolios. They often provide free versions of games which players use to equip themselves with knowledge of how to play on real money. Free games also serve as a way of acquiring casino experience that can be useful. Underage users often play such games because they technically are not classified as betting games.

2. Update Privacy Policy

Another update rule governing online casino platforms is aimed at protecting the customer identity of British casino websites. The regulation obliges casino sites to update both their privacy and cookie policy and desist from requesting extra personal information when a player tries to withdraw their funds.

UK players often complain about the casinos’ customer support often asking users to send their IDs and additional forms of identification before they can withdraw their money from UK casinos. The updated UKGC rules require licenses UK casinos to;

  • Always request for IDs or some other verification information before a player starts wagering. The platforms should not wait until a player is going to withdraw money but they need to request for the user data
  • Each casino in the UK should verify only the basic data that includes name, date of birth, and address of the gambler. No other information is necessary for verification.
  • The best casino operators have to always cross check the information provided by players on the accuracy.

The new updates regulations concerning the privacy policy are aimed to improve the fairness of betting websites towards customers when they win. Money withdrawing process will be easier and quicker. In turn, the casinos will have a lot of time to verify a player’s personal data before he/she wins any money.

3. Updated Rules on Casino Bonuses

Offers and promos are an essential part of any gambling platform, be it bookie, mobile casino, or a land-based one. It’s a proven way for enticing users with exclusive bonuses, VIP promotions, deposit match. The diverse selection of games, which are eligible for promo bonus wagering x35 in some casinos may reach even up to 50x wagering for example, in Vegas Hero or Temple Nile. They may include top casino games but more often, they are limited to selected games picked by the betting platform.

Although UKGC suggests and allows casinos to tweak the bonus terms to their liking, some casinos make use of it and set exploitative conditions evidently violating consumer protection laws. Before delving into the essence of the new updates, let’s take a look at popular online bonuses that propose the best UK casino websites;

  • Deposit bonuses- are given to players upon depositing money to their accounts. Different casino platforms have varied reward schemes of deposit bonus. Some examples include Betway Casino’s min deposit 10 GBP gets you another free 10 GBP bets. Williamhill casino attracts users with free 50 pounds on your deposit 50 pounds and free spins on great games are given for deposit 100 and above. Another popular site Royal Panda Casino regularly grants various offers that successfully increase the number of loyal customers. Using UK leading casinos a user will always find generous promotions like deposit bonus 100, pleasing free spins deposit, attractive casino welcome bonus for newcomers, and lucrative match bonus regardless of your location.
  • Match bonuses- the name speaks for itself and entails matching the user’s deposited amount. They range a lot and can be presented as a deposit $100 match bonus and may even reach up to $ 500 in particular cases. Some casinos, mobile especially provide 100 bonus spins matching of deposited funds.
  • Free spins- mostly refer to slot Wide variety of offers, promotions concerning online slots come from numerous casinos. The offers may include 10 free spins on 1st deposit of above 10 units, free spins bonus on starburst, 50 free spins for returning players, 100 spins are credited to players who wager highly, 20 spins for registration of new players, spins 100 for deposits above a given amount, and finally spins no deposit. To use them, first check whether the bonus spins are valid because they are active within a limited period of time. Use them within 15 days or 10 days till the last day expiry.

Although the requirements for bonus wagering still range on different betting platforms, the UK regulatory body has implemented new rules which will help in making bonuses less exploitative and fair. The updated regulations will affect how casinos will be offering their promos;

  1. Cap on sign up promotionsthe CMA conducted an investigation in 2016 and discovered that a large portion of casinos offers too lucrative sign-up bonuses. The CMA indicated that they are too enticing to gamblers, and are unfair to the upcoming casinos which can’t afford to propose such high offers. This finding prompted the UK authority body to consider introducing a max deposit and max bonus limitations to handle the abuse of the promos.
  2. Casinos are obliged to clearly outline the requirements of free bets usage Casino guide clearly describing the rules of sign up bonus, free bonus usage, how to wager cash prizes, etc, is what required from every casino site to do. The instructions on withdrawal of the games winnings from the bonus also should be clear and in details. The users of the site must be aware of any conditions that are capable to prevent them from instant play, fast payouts, and smooth withdrawals. Online casinos have to ensure they meet this requirement before players wager free bets on their popular games.
  3. Casinos should not withhold winnings arising from players wagering bonus and free bets- The casino operators are obliged to release the winnings without withholding even a cent to a player who has won by wagering free bets in casinos online.

Now that we’ve seen the UK updated casinos regulations, it’s logically to contemplate the impact they will have on the casino platforms. The effects UK gambling environment to expect;

Impacts of the Updated UKGC Rules and Regulations

1. Casino Operators Will Be More Careful

To follow the updated rules, UK casino platforms should be extra careful in a bid to avoid the violation of the new laws. Since the consequences of breaching the regulations, rules, and restrictions apply max punishments, including heavy penalties, jail terms for the officials and even closure of the casino sites.

Casino owners will therefore educate their live dealers and other staff members to ensure they understand how the new rules work. To be capable to verify the identity and the actual age of the users more accurately, it’s reasonably for the best UK online casinos to address leading software providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming and invest heavier in high quality computer programs. Without an exception, all licensed and regulated casinos must ensure that their players are of the right age. It’s mandatory condition and no difference which casino games players intend to play: one the best slot games or video poker, exciting live dealer games or test the luck on roulette blackjack. The same it makes no difference which platform they will use: either online or mobile casinos or land-based ones, the requirements apply to every single betting game and platform.

2. Reduced Cases of Underage Betting

The updated regulations don’t just affect the casinos, but they suggest to enhance the safety of the betting sector by preventing underage children from gambling. Due to the stringent measures introduced by the UK regulatory authority, underage children will not access the mobile games for playing on real money.

This is good news to firms promoting responsible gambling like begambleaware org. It contributes to a safer gaming industry generally providing a more healthy environment for everyone.

3. Betting Self-Exclusion Will be More Effective

Self-exclusion helps those who are addicted to gambling to quit for a given period of time, 6 months at least. Without proper know your customer (KYC) resources, it would be very hard for self-exclusion to prevent those who have signed up from gambling.

4. Better bonus terms and fast payouts

The updated conditions on promos and bonuses terms intend to establish a more competitive and fairer online gambling environment for the stakeholders. Since it will make clearer all things concerning the best casino bonuses and provide fairer terms, exploitative promotions which prompt customers to sign up will go down. Instead, users will understand which live casino games are eligible for bonus offer, how long a given casino bonus is valid for this promo, and similar stuff.

Much quicker process of deposit and withdrawal plus the customers’ awareness of the possible ways of using bonus funds together with decent promo conditions will positively impact UK iGaming environment.

5. The Online Gambling Industry Will Grow

None of these updated regulations oppresses either UK licensed casinos or British players. To play responsibly and improve customer service is what these regulations are oriented at. Therefore, UK regulatory bodies are looking for limiting the maximum bonus amount and increase casino operators’ responsibility.

The UK Will Continue Leading the Way

Following the reasonable regulatory changes, the UK will continue to have a firmer grip on the lead in the gambling sector. The top quality casinos and high rollers will always choose the UK as their investment hub because of the agreeable regulations.

It is not surprising that top online casinos almost always open their first operating site within the UK jurisdiction. The country cares about the highest quality services for its residents and therefore became a home for the first-rate fully licensed casinos from Grosvenor Casino and Rizk Casino, Dunder Casino and Unibet Casino, Genesis Casino and Casino Winstar, 777 Casino and Casino William hill, Spinit Casino and Hero Casino, to Casino Sloty and Casino Mansion. Yet even casino reviews across the globe almost always feature the UK casinos at the very top.

In case that other markets and industries are to hit the highs of the UK standards, they will need a complete overhaul of their governance regarding online betting and gambling to make them favourable for all the interested parties. From Vegas Casino to live casino and mobile casino, regulations play a key role in determining the conditions and the overall performance of a country’s industry.

If the global iGaming industry is to grow, then stakeholders have to work in conjunction with governments as the UK is doing to keep the industry streamlined and ensure it generates as much revenue as possible and create hundreds of jobs.

augusta free press
augusta free press