There are a number of regulatory bodies employed to ensure that land-based and online casinos are crime-free, act fairly, pay winnings within a reasonable timeframe and protect vulnerable people. In the UK, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has overall responsibility for the gambling industry, and employs organisations such as the Gambling Commission to regulate it to the standards set out in the Gambling Act 2005.
Strict rules are imposed over the amount of gaming machines a casino is allowed to offer, as well as what additional services they can provide. Large casinos can take sports bets and run bingo sessions in addition to table and slot games, but these services are optional and vary between locations.
Licensees have their opening hours approved by the local authority and must prevent the gaming at their venue from becoming a source of crime and disorder, while ensuring that the gambling on their premises is fair and doesn’t harm or exploit children or other vulnerable people. They are also liable for gaming duty, charged as a percentage of their gross gaming yield.
If you feel that you might have a gambling problem and wish to self-exclude you can ask a casino to stop accepting your custom. by law, the venue must do everything in its power to prevent you from playing during a pre-arranged period of time.
Previously, as long as a company had no pieces of remote gambling equipment, such as a server, in the country, they didn’t need a UK Gambling Commission licence and did not have to pay UK tax. Now, if they wish to advertise and offer gaming to players in the country, they must obtain a remote operating licence and accept the withholding set out by the UK government.
Another requirement that must be met before an online casino can advertise in the UK is that they must be based in a jurisdiction that features on the Whitelist developed jointly by the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority.
The Gambling Act 2005 allowed casino advertising on television and radio for the first time, but restricts it to companies with a licence to offer gambling to UK players and who are based in the European Economic Area, Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or Tasmania.
Online casinos, just as with land-based venues, must ensure that there is no criminal activity connected with their services, must ensure fairness in their games and protect minors in order to keep their licence. Websites must also prominently display easy-to-access information on responsible gambling as part of the licence agreement.
Although online casinos based overseas need to adhere to the guidance of the UK Gambling Commission in order to receive a licence that lets them offer services to players in the country, they are also regulated by the authorities in the areas from where they operate.
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