Introduction to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission | News Direct

Introduction to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the body responsible for regulating gambling activities in the UK, this article explains what this entails.

News release by Acroud Media

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon London, United Kingdom | December 21, 2023 04:00 AM Eastern Standard Time


Under the Gambling Act 2005, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission was established to enforce the new laws and keep UK-based gambling businesses in line.

The UKGC is a non-departmental public body, which means it isn’t a part of the UK government. However, it is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


What does the UKGC do?

Most notably, the UKGC distributes gambling licences, which businesses must operate from within the UK. It offers different licences depending on the gambling activity being run. As such, if a business plans to hold multiple forms of gambling, they will need multiple licences.

The UKGC offers dozens of licences depending on the gambling category and whether the business is remote or land-based. Here are just a few of the licences awarded by the UKGC:

  • Non-remote general betting standard operating licence

  • Remote pool betting licence

  • Remote bingo game host operating licence

  • Non-remote 2005 Act casino operating licence

  • Remote gambling software licence

  • Remote society lottery licence

The UKGC is also concerned with the well-being of UK gamblers, in line with the aims of the 2005 Gambling Act. The distribution of licences and enforcement of gambling regulations are in service of the UKGC’s primary goals:

  • Protecting minors and vulnerable people from harm

  • Removing criminality from gambling businesses

  • Enforcing fairness standards

  • Promoting responsible gambling and minimising problem gambling

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Why is it important for online casinos to obtain a licence from the UKGC?

There is one core reason an online casino should obtain a UKGC licence: if they want to operate on UK soil. This is the only reason an online casino would require one, as the UKGC allows select offshore businesses to advertise in the UK, provided they’re run from and regulated by an approved jurisdiction such as EEA countries, Gibraltar or Alderney. These regulators are recognised to hold licences to the same or higher standards as the UKGC.

For online casinos that want to work out of the UK, a UKGC licence is mandatory. They ensure that these gambling services operate within the guidelines of the Gambling Act 2005, and any business found to be in breach will have their licence revoked and could face serious legal action.

Holding a UKGC licence may benefit an online casino more than just granting them access to the UK market, however. Thanks to the high standards of the UKGC, holding one of their licences looks good when advertising elsewhere, too. It proves that the online casino is trustworthy and free of criminality.


How to obtain a UKGC licence

It is very difficult to obtain a UKGC licence; it’s considered one of the strictest licencing bodies in the world. While conducting business in the UK can be challenging, obtaining a licence can be a stamp of legitimacy in more jurisdictions than just the UK.

Businesses (and the people running them) applying for a UKGC licence are judged on many different points, including:

  • Identity and ownership — who owns the company? What is their background?

  • Finances — where is money going and coming from? Can an online casino afford to carry out its services?

  • Integrity — what is the company’s history with honesty and fairness? What about the people running it?

  • Competence — what is the collective experience of the company? Does it have a history of good service? What sort of expertise does the staff boast?

  • Criminality — does the company, or any of the people running it, have a criminal record or past ties to criminal groups?

These standards are all held to ensure that a gambling business operating within the UK can live up to the parameters of the Gambling Act 2005. This means following the licencing objectives, understanding the legislature, and adhering to the social responsibility requirements.

Finally, like all other licencing bodies, the UKGC charges a licence fee. This fee changes depending on the licence, and failure to pay it will result in revoking a licence.


How do players benefit from the UKGC?

By now, you’ve probably gathered that the UKGC is mainly concerned with the protection of players. These strict regulations are in service of the customer and social responsibility. But what does this mean specifically? How do you benefit from this as an eager gambler?

Here are some of the things you benefit from when you play at a UKGC-licenced online casino (or any other gambling service, for that matter):

  • You can be sure the site you’re playing with can afford to pay out your winnings

  • You know the site is upheld to legal social responsibility standards

  • The site will protect your financial and personal data

  • You know the site isn’t connected to crime

  • There are plenty of responsible gambling tools like GAMSTOP available

  • If any of these things fail, you have a direct line of complaint and legal protection

Due to its top tier security casinos with licencing from the UKGC are able to offer the best casino bonuses, read more here.



The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the top authority for gambling services in the UK, aimed to keep crime out of gambling and to protect the vulnerable from dangerous gambling behaviours. While qualifying for a UKGC licence is a tough hurdle, it allows players like you to rest easy knowing that the online casino you’re playing at is legitimate and fair.

If you find any problems with a UKGC licence or have further questions, visit the Gambling Commission website for more information.


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