Gambling has had its ups and downs in every country over the course of time. This establishes the fact that the practice of gambling has been around for quite a few years now. The gambling industry in the UK is one of the biggest in the world. It is regulated on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) by the Gambling Commission.
Gambling in the United Kingdom started with horse racing, lotteries, greyhound racing, and bingo. Currently, the gambling industry in the UK is worth a staggering £14.5 billion. UK’s gambling history goes back to as early as the 16th century. Horse racing was its most prevalent form of gambling at this point. Since then many other forms of gambling, especially casinos and sports betting have rapidly gained popularity.
Nowadays, the United Kingdom offers punters all kinds of gambling options like lotteries, scratchcards, licensed pubs, remote gambling options, and much more. The UK lottery is one of the biggest and it contributes to many good social causes in the country via the revenue raised and unclaimed prizes. In this article, we will talk about how the gambling laws are getting stricter in the country.
Who Regulates Gambling In The United Kingdom And How?
As you already know by now, the gambling industry in the United Kingdom has seen massive changes over the years. With the Labour Party playing a role in shaping the fate of off-track betting events and World War II taking leisure time off people’s hands, the gambling industry in the United Kingdom has always reclaimed its past glory.
At present, the UK gambling industry is home to a large number of online casinos with the rising popularity of online betting ventures. However, with a larger number of casino establishments – both online and land-based, there needs to be a higher degree of surveillance.
It was only after the Gambling Act of 2005 that the UK gambling industry happens to stand where it is today. Till the year 2007, the betting establishments had to hide from the public eye. Post-legalisation of gambling, the UK saw a surge in advertising, campaigning, and gambling events. The state started regulating the casinos and for this specific purpose, they set up the UK Gambling Commission. All operators functioning within the country require licenses and proper regulation from the legitimate authorities – be it local or a public body.
Primarily, a regulatory body in the UK takes care of the following points:
- Age of Gambler
- Social Gambling
- Fair Games
- Customer Support and Complaints
- Financial Spread Betting
- Responsible Advertising
- Security from third party websites.
Gambling authorities mainly check whether the casino is in compliance with the Gambling Acts, and License Condition and Codes of Practice. Furthermore, offshore websites and casino establishments from other countries also can ask for licenses from major licensing and regulatory authorities such as UKGC, GambleAware, GameStop, and the likes.
What Changed For Punters?
Over the years, gambling has increasingly become more streamlined and regulated. But overall, it has become much better and easier for the average gambler. These changes relate mostly to safety and freedom:
- More Safety – Gambling in the UK has become safer in all respects. The age restrictions are much better implemented nowadays and even advertisements are aired keeping in mind the average age of the potential audience.Additionally, all the casinos verified by the Gambling Commission are also monitored extremely well to ensure the safety and smoothness of payments and personal information. Finally, in order to combat the addiction-related problems of gambling, there are several mechanisms such as the self-exclusion program Gamstop available for punters too.
- Freedom of Choice – Punters in the UK need not only play in UKGC certified casinos anymore. There are many international casinos also available which are all very reliable but have certifications from other offshore gambling authorities like Malta, Curacao, and Cyprus. You can in fact also find reliable ways via which you can bypass the Gamstop scheme to access such non Gamstop online casinos.This is also perfect for people who are not able to or simply do not want to gamble at UK casinos, thus opening up a plethora of options at the fingertips of punters all across the UK.
The regulatory and licensing bodies in the United Kingdom have ensured a higher degree of security being some of the most popular authorities of gambling laws worldwide. Since more and more casinos have been signing up with the authorities from the UK, they have been compelled to raise the bar as far as regulations are considered. Much like their competitors in the industry, the Gambling Commissions from the United Kingdom enforce fair play, responsible gambling, and a higher security level to avoid threats in the business.
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