The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government and was established under the Gaming Act in 2005. The purpose of the Commission is to act as a watchdog, monitoring and regulating all gambling activities taking place in the UK. Its main activities are to protect consumers against illegal and unfair gambling practices and to promote fairness and safety within gambling sectors.
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Rules and Regulations
The Commission is responsible for issuing licences for businesses operating within the gambling sector and is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that licence holders are in compliance with regulations. The UKGC is also tasked with overseeing the distribution of funding from the National Lottery for good causes as they distribute funds to various charitable causes throughout the UK.
License Registration Process
All businesses operating in the gambling sector within the UK are required by law to have a licence issued by the UKGC and successfully applying for such a licence is not an easy task due to the very strict and tough criteria in place. The UK has a reputation for being a very stringent and well-regulated gambling jurisdiction.
The registration process to apply for licensing depends on the type of business that you are and the type of licence that you wish to apply for. Numerous documents are needed to support the application, such as audited accounts, bank statements, ownership structures, Rules of Play, and Terms and Conditions, with medium to large businesses having to submit approximately 25-30 different types of documents. The registration process generally takes about 16 weeks to complete.
There are three types of licences provided by the UKGC. These are the Operating Licence, Personal Management Licence and a Personal Functional Licence. Some businesses may only need to apply for one type of licence, whilst others may require all three. An Operating Licence is required by any business that operates any type of gambling operation, including those who run online gambling businesses.
A Personal Management Licence is required for people who are responsible at licensed gambling operations and can include those responsible for strategy, finance compliance, and the managers of bingo and casino premises. Finally, a Personal Functional Licence is required for individual staff working in casinos, such as dealers, croupiers, cashiers, inspectors, pit boss, security staff. A personal licence takes around 8 weeks to process.
The UKGC is very pro-active in promoting the importance of responsible gaming and social responsibility. It believes that it has a duty to try and protect people from the harms of gambling. These harms have been identified as a crime, gambling in closed and unfair practices and the protection of children and other vulnerable people.
The Commission provides a lot of information on its website on how to protect people from these dangers and operates a helpline, where they can help with gambling-related issues. To achieve this, they work with different organisations, such as GambleAware, that provides help and education to people who feel they gamble excessively. In addition, to self-awareness, they also provide guidance for people to learn how to avoid scams and fraud.