Gambling addiction

Responsible gaming has always been extremely important to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) as shown in the Gambling Act 2005 put together by the commission that lists one of the main licensing objectives of the Act as the protection of vulnerable people. Nowadays, the Commission adopts a zero-tolerance policy to any form of gambling-related harm which means that licensed casino sites in the UK are considered the safest in the industry, ready and able to help problem gamblers and gambling addicts and working with industry bodies including the UKGC.

gambling addiction

What is a gambling addiction?

Gambling problems are common. Gambling begins as harmless fun but turns into an obsession with serious consequences irrespective of where or how the bets are made. You will recognise a gambling problem because it strains relationships, has a negative impact on work and often leads to financial problems. Being self-aware of the problem means you can begin to fix it.

Gambling addiction is an impulse-control disorder that without treatment is impossible to control long-term. There is a compulsion to gamble and once started an uncontrollable obsession to continue gambling means that all other responsibilities and reasonable thought processes are lost, creating negative consequences for the player and their loved ones because once addicted, the consequences of the gambling are not considered relevant. Although addicts feel powerless to stop gambling, it is a problem that has can be solved with help.

Organisations that can help

There are organisations who can help those struggling with a gambling addiction.

GambleAware

Entirely independent, GambleAware is a registered charity in the UK that has a framework agreement with the UKGC to deliver the “National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms” funded by voluntary donations from the gambling industry.

GambleAware

The GambleAware logo on a website is not an endorsement of a particular product, company or brand. It is added purely to ensure that people who need information, advice and support can find it as easily as possible. The charity monitors all UK casinos that show the UKGC seal of approval.

Online gambling sites in the UK are obliged, as part of their licensing terms, to offer all the necessary tools to help gamblers. Players at online casinos can self-exclude themselves for a specified period. If self-exclusion does not help, anti-gambling software such as GamBlock, Betfilter and Gamban will block casino sites entirely.

More information about responsible gambling, including how to access confidential support and advice, is available at the BeGambleAware website, prepared by GambleAware.

GamCare

Founded in 1997, GamCare offers information, advice and support to anyone affected by problem gambling. It operates the National Gambling Helpline, provides treatment for problem gamblers and their families, creates awareness about responsible gambling and treatment, and encourages an effective approach to responsible gambling within the gambling industry through education, prevention and communication.

gamcare logo

GamCare also helps and supports operators and regulators in the development and implementation of effective responsible gambling policies, measures and practices, including certification, training and consultancy. As leaders in the development of best practice in research, education and communication, the organisation has become an internationally recognised Centre of Clinical … Read the rest

Top Online Casinos with License from UKGC

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has some of the strictest rules and strongest guaranteed protection for hundreds of licensed casinos that operate under its jurisdiction. Considered the best-regulated gambling market in the world, the UKGC safeguards the players and the operators’ interests. In addition to casino operators, the UKGC vets casino games. Yet not all the UKGC licensees offer the same game selection and customer care.

Here we list the very best of the online casino operators approved by the UKGC. The UKGC logo is mandatory and gives customers an easy way of verification. Clicking the logo should take you to their license details.

Captain Spins

captain spins

Launched in January 2020 and offering 1,500 games, Captain Spins is an exciting new venture that is worth a look. There is an extremely generous bonus value up to £1,200 spread out over your first four deposits and up to 260 free spins to new players. There are a multitude of payment providers, some of which will incur fees. There is 24/7 customer support via live chat and email and a VIP programme offering a myriad of perks.

The games come from big-name brands Evolution Gaming, Play’n GO, Quickspin, NetEnt, Microgaming and Elk Studios. Aside from slots, there is an impressive collection of table games and live casino games on offer including roulette, poker, baccarat and blackjack.

PlayOJO

playojo logo

PlayOJO has become a classic pick among Brits who seek top-class PayPal slot sites. Launched in 2017, PlayOJO offers over 2,000 games and a sleek live casino platform. The operator offers many clear and fair bonuses, some of which have no wagering requirements, which makes it stand out from the crowd. On this site you will find popular games from NetEnt, Amaya and SG among others and its “players first” philosophy has won it several industry awards, including the “Casino of the Year” award at the prestigious iGaming Awards and eGR “Rising Star Casino of the Year”.

Vegas Hero

vegas hero

Launched in December 2017, Vegas Hero Casino UK offers more than 1,300 high-quality games on a user-friendly interface with some amazing offers for all types of players and a generous VIP programme all of which has made it one of the top UKGC licensed online casinos. There are various payments options, including Boku (pay by mobile) and fast withdrawals via PayPal, ecoPayz, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Trustly, Skrill Moneybookers, NETELLER and Visa.

At Vegas Hero, you cannot get bored with games created by trusted certified gaming providers such as Evolution Gaming, Microgaming, NYX Interactive, NetEnt, Play’n Go, Yggdrasil, and Quickspin, and as a mobile app, can be played instantly anywhere, as smoothly as if you were on a desktop.

Genesis Casino

genesis casino

Operating since 2018, it attracts great reviews from players around the globe with its dual licences from MGA and UKCG. Genesis is part of Genesis Global Limited which also runs other top European casinos, including Casino Cruise, Spinit Casino, Sloty Casino, and VegasHero.

It offers a vast huge selection of games, daily promotions. The site design and customer support team are exactly what you want as an online casino player. Games come … Read the rest

Biggest fines of UKGC against online casinos

Every online casino site operating in Great Britain has to be licenced by the UKGC. One of the powers of the UKGC is that if a casino is accused of having broken the terms and conditions of its licence, the UKGC can investigate and fine guilty parties for the breach. The majority of fines relation to player protection breaches, misleading advertising and money laundering, for which the UKGC cooperates with the UK Government under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations. Here are the five biggest fines thee UKGC has ordered against online casinos.

ukgc fines

Caesars Entertainment UK – £13m

In April 2020, money laundering issues landed Caesars Entertainment Limited UK with a record £13 million fine. The UKGC fined the company for regulatory failings across its network of 11 live casinos in the UK, which includes The Empire in London. After investigation, Caesars Entertainment Limited UK was found guilty of extremely serious failings concerning social responsibility and money laundering.

The matter relates to a history of oversights regarding VIP customers improperly vetted or monitored over a two-year period. The UKGC found that between 2016 and 2018, Caesars Entertainment allowed a number of customers to wager when self-excluded or with unchecked funds, with one case involving bets worth £3.5 million.

Betway – £11.6m

In March 2020, online betting firm Betway was found guilty of handling illicit funds and was ordered to pay £11.6m in settlement. Betway did not adequately check the source of funds £5.8 million from seven high-spending VIP customers, in breach of money laundering rules, as well as the UKGC’s social responsibility guidelines since some players were displaying clear signs of gambling addiction.

Betway has since shut down its VIP programme. Half the fine will go to the victims of crimes committed by customers and a further £5.8m to fund the UKGC’s efforts to reduce gambling harm. The UKGC did not opt to use its power to suspend or revoke Betway’s licence to operate.

888 – £7.8 Million

In August 2017, the UKGC imposed a record £7.8 million on 888 after more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from the site were allowed to continue betting due to an avoidable technical error. The fine was imposed for the failure of 888 to protect vulnerable gambling customers and for “significant flaws” in its social responsibility procedures.

The regulatory commission noted that 888 allowed these customers to deposit up to £3.5 million over 13 months with one customer allowed to bet £1.3 million, £55,000 of which he had stolen from his employer. The employer was repaid, and £4.25 million was used to finance a socially responsible cause helping to tackle gambling problems.

Casumo – £5.85m / Videoslots – £1m / Daub Alderney – £7.1m

1n 2018, three online casino firms were fined almost £14m, in the largest enforcement action by the UKGC that uncovered failings in systems designed to prevent money-laundering and protect problem gamblers. Casumo was ordered to pay fines totalling £5.85m, Videoslots was fined £1m, and Daub Alderney was ordered to pay a £7.1m fine. CZ Holdings was also … Read the rest

UKGC

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the main gambling regulation authority in the United Kingdom. Only online casinos regulated by the UK Gambling Commission are legal to play for British gamblers. The list of all UK licensed casino sites can be found on the Commission’s website.

uk gambling commission

Gambling Act 2005

Established in 2005, the UKGC for formed as a non-departmental public body of the UK government to regulate Gambling. It was the same commission that came up with the Gambling Act 2005, and many of the laws passed then still stand today to ensure safety, promote fairness and provide protection to minors and other vulnerable gamblers.

Licences

All casinos that are licensed by the UKGC are required to display the UKGC logo on their website. This creates a link which takes a visitor directly to the Commission’s Public Register that shows which gambling activities are allowed at a particular casino and will also show if any regulatory action has ever been initiated against them. This applies to land-based casino operations as well as online casino gambling in the UK.

Who needs a UKGC licence?

A UKGC licence is one of the most respected online casino licences in the world today. Gaining the UKGC’s approval requires the company to meet all the necessary requirements, and there is a long list of criteria that must be met. Some of these criteria are straightforward, such as needing a registered address in the UK and a clear business plan with organisational structure, audited financial accounts, detailed policies, rules as well as terms and conditions as well as details about the software being used.

Outside of the UKGC requirements are other regulations that must be satisfied, covering technical standards and security requirements which are revised frequently, meaning casinos have to update processes to maintain their licence. A breach in compliance could suspend or revoke a licence which can be catastrophic to a business.

UKGC Licence Types

Businesses in the UK gaming market need several licences from the UKGC. These are an operating licence for either offline or online gambling, personal management licence, personal functional licence.

Since 2014, all offshore companies offering online gambling services to the British market need a Remote Casino licence, irrespective of the type of games on offer. The Remote Casino (game host) licence applies to software companies.

Complaints Procedure

The Gambling Commission is there to support players to gamble in a safe environment and is ready to offer advice should an issue arise. However, there is a process that needs to be followed before a complaint will be considered. The full terms of the gambling site should be checked, and if there is a breach, the operator is to be contacted directly with the complaint, and the company’s investigation into the matter should begin.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

If a transaction complaint is not dealt with to your satisfaction by the casino, the complaint can be forwarded to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider. All UKGC licensees have to appoint an ADR that is independent of the business and approved by the UKGC, that will look at … Read the rest