For any gambling establishment wishing to carry out their operations in the United Kingdom (UK) and be added to the UK licensed Casinos list, there is a process of licensing that needs to be adhered to.
Whether the casino is a brick and mortar or online gambling casino, they must fulfill all conditions laid down by the approved supervisory, regulatory, and licensing authority in the UK.
However, before 2005, gambling in the UK was not properly regulated. Today betting and gambling in the United Kingdom is not only one of the safest in the world, but also one of the most lucrative.
UK Licensed Casinos are those professional betting and gambling companies that have fulfilled all the strict requirements for operation as a casino in the UK.
The laws for regulating casinos in the UK are in place in order to protect UK customers of the gambling services that are provided by these casinos whether they operate online or offline (brick and mortar casinos).
The Gambling Commission of UK
The regulatory authority in the UK which has the power to license casinos is the Gambling Commission of UK or UKGC. The UKGC supervises, regulates, and licences casino operators in the UK. They are an arm of the UK department of Culture, Media and Sport and operate under the Gambling act of 2005. The UKGC regulates most casinos, gambling and betting services apart from spread and index betting.
Any casino wishing to start operations in the UK would first have to apply for both operating and personal licences with the UKGC.
A registration and licensing fee would have to be paidin addition to the submission of application forms and accompanying documents.
Application forms can be obtained either in hard or soft copies which can be downloaded directly from the official UKGC website.
A casino operating licence is a one-off fee while annual fees would have to be paid for each of the operating and personal licences.
The amount of money paid in licensing fees will depend on gambling services the casino intends providing. However, the cost of a personal management licence is £330 while the cost of a personal functional licence is £165. There is another fee which casinos wishing to operate in the UK would have to pay once in every five (5) years.
After the submission of the application forms and supporting documents, it takes approximately 16 weeks for the processing of a casino gambling licence application by the UKGC.
In a situation where there are supporting documents that were not submitted by the applicant, the UKGC would reject the application.
However, the registration fee paid by the applicant would be refunded along with a letter stating the reason behind the application denial.
With a complete set of documentation, the applicant can then reapply for a licence and pay the application fees once again.
Types of UKGC Licences
The UKGC provides two different types of registration and licencing. However, there is a third licence which is issued by the local licencing body that regulates the intended UK Licensed Casino.
The local licensing body would also issue permits for the operation of clubs, pubs or local gambling houses. Any establishment or facility where low-level betting and gambling takes place, would have to obtain a permit from local licensing authorities.
UK Licensed Casinos would have to apply and register for one or all three of the following licences.
- A Personal Management Licence,
- a Personal Functional Licence, and
- a Premises Licence.
Licensed Betting and Gambling Services
UK Licensed Casinos offering the following betting and gambling services can expect to apply for licensing from the UKGC.
- Gaming Machines, and
- Gambling Softwares.
Online casinos wishing to attract customers from the UK would need a licence from UKGC, if they intend advertising to potential UK based customers.
However, an application for a UKGC licence would not be required by those casinos that do not wish to attract potential customers from the UK and do not advertise to UK based gamblers.
A Remote Casino Operational Licence
Online casinos or any casino that intends providing betting and gambling services to customers from Britain through the use of TV or mobile phone would have to apply for a “Remote Casino Operating Licence” from UKGC.
Online casinos providing casino gambling game services, such as; video slot, table, card, video poker, and live casino games that customers can access directly, would be required to obtain a remote casino operating licence.
How do you Sustain a Licence from UKGC?
UK Licensed Casinos can sustain the validity of their license issued by the UKGC by paying an annual licensing fee.
The amount of licensing fees that a casino would be required to pay yearly would be dependent on several factors. Some of these factors include; the type and number of facilities established by the casino, their yearly gross receipts, and so on.
Licences obtained from the UKGC can be revoked or suspended for a number of reasons, for example; corruption and bankruptcy.