888casino in the UK
The 888casino has been in the UK for more than 2 decades now. A feature which not many can match is that it's one of the founding members of the independent self-regulation body called eCOGRA. 888 has a rather unique approach when it comes to casino product, offering a refined game collection. Instead of putting everything there is in front of you, they handpick the best and the latest only. We should also mention that they have their very own exclusive casino games, also approved by the UK gambling regulatory body.
Granted, if you were to check their track record with the Gambling Commission's public register, you'll see that they have their own share of penalties, but they are related to responsible gambling practices. We're not saying we approve of this, yet the top dogs in the business seem to be stained when it comes to this.
Not on the market since the 90s, but they sure are getting a lot of attention. And we have to say that the attention is justified. The EGR awards say a lot about their success, their product and the level of service they provide. Not only it's safe, but it's among the best. Of course, determining the top casino online in the UK is always subject, but selecting five is more or less objective. It's safe to say that LeoVegas Casino will always be in the top 5, should they stay on the current course.
Despite the penalty they received in 2018 for misleading advertising and contacting self-excluded players, they've recovered well, and have demonstrated that it was just a hiccup. Are they safe now? They always have been, even today! They've become a role model for new online casinos in the UK!
Although synonymous with betting, bet365 have a fully-fledged online casino, consisting of several different products, such as Games, Vegas, Live Casino and Bingo, among others. They weren't there when the online gambling market was incepted, but it sure feels that way. The previous two cases of penalties we mentioned are not detrimental, but it's worthing that bet365 Casino is spotless, no penalties recorded of any kind. They too have a different approach in dealing with players and community members.
It might take some time to get used to the user-interface, but once you do, you will realise how powerful and flexible their product is.
What to Expect from UK Online Casinos?
Top-notch product and service, but that's in short. In detail, the UK gambling market is the best regulated in the world, with adequate security and protection measures, which safeguard the players' but the operators' interest as well. Besides casino operators, the casino games provided are also vetted by the UK Gambling Commission. This is why if you were to enter the casino site with a VPN, you will see a different selection of games. However, this is against the policy, and you should NOT do it. Playing games by a casino software provider which is not licensed will get you into trouble.
To stay on point, and put this in perspective, here's what you can expect from casinos in the UK:
- Safe and audited online casino games
- Transparent bonus terms (easy to access)
- Access to dispute platforms
- The support and protection of the UK Gambling Commission
- Hassle-free deposits and withdrawals
- Live casino streams optimised for UK casino players
- Access to the latest and the best online casino games
What are all the Logos at the Bottom of Casino Websites?
With the objective to showcase their efforts in providing a safer environment, and to reassure players they are getting the best there is, online casinos boast the logos of the associated organisations. The UKGC logo is mandatory and gives customers an easy way of verification. Clicking the logo should take you to their license details.
But what are the other logos? What purpose do these organisations have? Here are the most common ones you'll come across. Of course, there will be others, such as sport club logos!
It's an alternative dispute platform, an auditor, one that was created by operators, for operators, and to give players the sense of security, and a safety net, but not false ones. Created in 2003 by 888 and Bwin, it showed up on the online gambling scene with an objective that wasn't very popular back then. Today, it's considered an important seal of approval in regulated markets like the UK, Sweden and Denmark. Moreover, eCOGRA is an auditor, which proudly boasts:
- ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (General Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories for the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden)
- ISO/IEC 17020:2012 - Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection
- ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems
Seeing their logo means you're at an online casino that's gone above and beyond to prove their worth, that they are safe, and that they act in the players' best interest.
Some know them too well. BeGambleAware is the leading responsible gambling organisation in the UK, a promoter, advocate which has a watchful eye on all UK casinos that show the UKGC seal of approval. Their objective truly is noble. You will also find supporting logos and campaigns like When the Fun Stops, STOP, and GAMSTOP, both being close to the one and only, GambleAware.
You will also come across a lot of GamCare, Gambling Therapy and many others. We will discuss responsible gambling a bit later, in detail.
The company iTechLabs is not as popular as eCOGRA, but this doesn't mean it can't deliver, or match what the same services. It's also a UKGC approved testing house, just like its popular counterpart. Seeing their logo in the footer means the games that are offered, including the operators' platform has successfully passed iTechLab's audit. It's worth noting that iTechLabs does not offer the full array of services eCOGRA does.
Gambling Laws UK - A Brief History
Gambling in the United Kingdom has a long history. The earliest forms of sports betting as well as casino games like dice, date back to the 1400s. When it comes to online gaming, players were slower to catch on however by the 1990's this too was booming. With the gambling industry starting to boom, it was only a matter of time before authorities looked to start regulating things. In fact, 1993 saw the National Lottery Act come into play. It took another 12 years for the Gambling Act to pass in the UK.
Gambling Act 2005
2005 definitely goes down as one of the most crucial years in UK gaming history. Primarily, it marks the setting up of the UK Gambling Commission in an effort to regulate gambling in the UK. The GC is considered a non-departmental public body of the UK government. It was in fact this same Gambling Commission who came up with the 2005 Gambling Act. Many of the gaming laws passed back then still stand today. Below is a list of the main licensing objectives of this gambling policy:
- Ensure a safe gambling environment for UK players
- Promote fairness in all UK online casinos and betting sites
- Provide protection to minors and other vulnerable players
Of course, there have been some regulatory changes over the years. For instance, in 2013, the Gambling Commission merged with the National Lottery Commission. What this means is that the UKGC's responsibilities have now been extended to include control over the national lottery.
The UKGC Public Register
One of the easiest ways for us to confirm whether an online casino is authorised to operate in the UK is to check the Gambling Commission's Public Register. We include a direct link from our reviews to the respective license number. It's one of a kind service, which other regulators do offer, but it's rarely ever user-friendly. Not only you see current active licenses, but there's also an archive. For whatever reason, if you think your rights were broken, you can lodge a complaint with the UKGC, but only if the casino is licensed in the UK.
Which Online Casino Operators Need a UK License?
Its the most coveted online casino license out there, no one said gaining the Gambling Commission's approval would be straightforward. With UK online gambling and betting sites on the rise, it is however possible. You'll just need to ensure that you meet all of the necessary requirements. As one of the safest gambling jurisdictions out there, of course, there is a long list of criteria, potential operators must meet. To make thing easier for you we have summed things up in a list below.
Gambling License UK Requirements
- Registered address in the UK
- Clear business plan including organisational structure
- Details of all policies, rules of play and terms and conditions
- Gambling software supply details
- Financial details including audited accounts, profit and loss projections and other annual reports
- Proof of sufficient funds
- List of individuals compensated over £200k in the last year
- Proof of identity of each individual in the company holding more than 10% of shares
- Public debt
The actual documentation that you operators need to present will also come down to the type of applicant. For those that have ensured that they have all the right paperwork in hand, then the process from here on is relatively straightforward. In case you experience any issues along the way, here's a list of steps to follow. For further information, we also suggest that you seek advice from the commission themselves. They are there to help after all!
UK Gambling Commission Technical Standards
Whilst we won't go into this next area in detail, it is something worth pointing out. As well as all of the requirements mentioned previously, license-holders must comply to other regulatory standards. One of which deals with remote technical standards and security requirements all UK licensees must meet. The important thing here is that standards are subject to regular revision. UK online casinos must thus ensure that they keep up to date with all changes. A breach in compliance could lead to a license being suspended, or worse, even revoked which could be detrimental.
UK Gambling Commission License Types
Slots, bingo, lottery, betting and even premises gaming machines, these are only a few areas that fall under gambling. Under many other gambling regulatory public bodies, the UK does not operate a one size fits all policy. On the contrary, there are many different types of licences to apply for. At this stage, it's important to point out that business holders looking to move into the UK gaming markets will need several different licences.
- Operating licence
- Personal management licence
- Personal functional licence
- Premises licence
Whilst the first three can be obtained directly from the Commission, premises licences must be obtained from a local authority. As for the operating licence, this is further narrowed down depending on the type of activity, including both offline and online gambling. Areas include arcade, betting, casinos, bingo, gambling software and gaming machines. Being that our main area of interest is online casinos, we have listed the various casino licences below.
- Non-remote 1968 Act Casino - for those originally granted a gambling premises licence under the 1968 Gaming Act
- Non-remote 2005 Act Casino - for non-remote operators applying after 2005. Fees based on annual; gross gambling yield.
- Remote Casino - since May 2014, all offshore companies need this licence if they are offering online gambling services to the British market, regardless of game types.
- Remote Casino (game host) - usually applies for software companies (such as Evolution Gaming)
The UK Gambling Commission White List
As part of the Gambling Act passed back in 2005 a white list was set up. Previously, any jurisdictions falling under this list were allowed to operate in the United Kingdom. By 2009, all new applications were closed due to the Government wanting to tighten up regulations. In the years that followed, several disputes came about.
May 2014 marks another key date in the history of gambling with direct repercussions by both UK players and operators alike. The passing of the Licencing and Advertising Act meant that UK online casinos could no longer operate without a gambling commission license. Previously, casinos licensed in other jurisdictions were allowed to accept traffic from the market as long as they were on the whitelist.
As is to be expected, the backlash of this new regulation was also felt elsewhere. Many overseas operators ending up relocating back to the UK. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association, for instance, tried to fight things out in court but unfortunately, they were unsuccessful. Isle of Man was another jurisdiction that took a huge hit.
If it hasn't already been made clear enough, the Gambling Commission has players best interests at heart. Not only are gamblers at online casinos and bookmakers with this license promised a safe environment, should any issue arise, the Commission is always ready to offer advice. Below is a step by step procedure of how to file an objection, should any issue arise.
How to Lodge a Complaint
- Check back to the full terms at the online gambling site
- If you feel that any codes of conduct have been breached then you must first complain directly to the operator
- Each business has their own specific procedure that you must follow
- Once a complaint has been submitted, give the online casino or betting site some time to investigate
- Once the investigation is complete, you should receive full information on the outcome
- Should you still not feel satisfied, it is now possible to put your complaint forward to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider
- Should you have any difficulties at any point, it is also possible to get in touch with the Gambling Commission
UK Gambling Commission Contact Details
Responsible Gambling at Its Best!
Whether you are looking to play slots, table games or even place a bet with real money, it is important to gamble responsibly. Responsible gaming has always been of utmost importance to the Gambling Commissions. In fact, one of the main licensing objectives of the Gambling Act 2005 was the protection of vulnerable people. Of course, over time, the Gaming Board has looked to improve things massively. The Commission adopts a zero-tolerance policy to any form of gambling-related harm. Today, UK licensed casino sites are considered the safest in the industry. They must abide by strict regulations and are subject to regular audits. Failure to co-operate can have serious repercussions.
Protection of Minors
Unfortunately, underage gambling is a current issue. KYC checks, as well as other player verification procedures, have helped to limit breaches. This said some minors do still slip under the radar. Luckily, there are some organisations that work towards good causes to help reduce those harmed. Nowadays there are filters available such as Netnanny. Most online casinos holding a gambling license in the United Kingdom will provide links to all the tools that can help combat underage gambling.
Not everyone who is looking to bet or gamble is considered to have a gambling problem. The important part is knowing how much money to bet with and when to stop. For players who tend to get carried away, budget calculators can help massively with money management. Moreover, online casinos allow you to set a deposit limit. It is also important to keep an eye on the time spent gambling. Self-awareness is the first step!
Online gambling sites licensed in Britain are considered advocates of responsible gambling. They are obliged to offer all the necessary tools to help gamblers. Players at online casinos with this gambling license are in fact able to self-exclude themselves for a specified period. Self-assessment tools are also available with advice on how to proceed. Should self-exclusion, in the form of periodic time-outs not be of help, there are more serious steps to take. Anti-gambling software such as GamBlock, Betfilter and Gamban will block casino sites entirely.
As well as providing important information and advice, casino sites with a British gambling license also look to link to non-profit organisations. If you have had any experience with UK online casinos, then you're bound to be familiar with the following.
UK Gambling Commission KYC - Anti-Money Laundering
Online gambling has a tainted past with money laundering and fraudulent credit cards. Luckily, Gambling Commission licensed casino sites can be considered some of the safest out there. The Commission is doing everything in its power to ensure the protection of player funds. All online casinos with this gambling license must abide by strict player verification procedures. Moreover, casinos licensed in Britain must adopt only the most secure of payment methods. Let's just say you won't be seeing crypto casinos entering the market any time soon! PayPal is by far the ultimate seal of approval.
UK Licensed Casinos FAQs
🇬🇧What is the UK Gambling Commission?
The Gambling Commission is a non-departmental public body belonging to the Government. The Commission was first set up back in 2005 to help regulate gambling operators in the United Kingdom. The Gambling Commission set up most of the gambling regulations that still stand to this day in what is known as the 2005 Gambling Act.
🇬🇧How do I apply for a gambling license in the UK?
Firstly, all potential licensee will need to ensure that they have collected all necessary paperwork. For further information, we suggest checking back to the list of requirements outlined earlier on. Once all documentation is in hand, gambling operators can apply for the license of their choice by filling out the online application form. All paperwork should be uploaded and submitted online. You'll also need to ensure that you pay any fees.
🎰What are the requirements for getting a gambling license?
Before filling out the application forms on the official Gambling Commission website, there is a long list of documentation that all candidates must submit. Specific paperwork will depend on the type of license being applied for. As a general rule, applicants will need to provide details on identity, finance, integrity, competence and criminality.
🇬🇧Who regulates online gambling in the UK?
Gambling-related activity in the UK is regulated by the Gambling Commission under the 2005 Gambling Act. 2014, also saw the passing of the Licencing and Advertising Act. What this means is that in order to operate in the market, all online casinos and betting sites must hold a valid license.
🇬🇧Is gambling in online casinos legal in UK?
Since 2005, online casinos, as well as other forms of gambling in the United Kingdom, became regulated by the Gambling Commission. There are certain acts in place to ensure safety, games fairness and protection of vulnerable gamblers. Additionally, since the passing of the Licencing and Advertising Act a few years ago, gambling is illegal at unlicensed online casinos.
☎️How to contact the Gambling Commission?
There are several ways to get in touch with the Gambling Commission. For further information, we suggest visiting their 'contact us' on their website. They provide both phone and email support. Additionally, there is also an e-services portal specifically for license holders.