As the online gambling industry grows by the day throughout the world, new laws and regulations are put in place. While some may question why strict laws are needed, it's no secret that many of these regulations are enforced to protect those who participate in online gambling and the providers who give users access to casino games.
These laws also ensure that countries receive a due share of tax and therefore can financially justify allowing online casinos at all.
One of the largest and most lucrative online gambling countries in the world is the United Kingdom. UK casinos are on the rise and each of these establishments is governed by the UK Gambling Commission.
The laws and statutes surrounding online gambling are always being scrutinised and revised, making it extremely important for players to know exactly what remains legal or what is not.
First and foremost, the laws in any country should promote responsible gambling practices. This is another important reason for gambling laws to exist.
Let's take a closer look at what you need to know about online gambling and casinos in the UK.
UK Gambling Commission
The UKGC is the foremost authority on gambling in Great Britain. Set up under the Gambling Act 2005, the UKGC regulates commercial gambling as well as the National Lottery.
As stated above, the UKGC works to protect players from any illegal companies that may attempt to take money without paying out winnings as well as ensuring that all online gambling is fair and open. It's vital that players with the UK only choose online casinos that are verified by the UKGC, that way any unfair or illegal activity can be dealt with by the correct authorities.
In order for any new online casinos to legally advertise and allow players to access their sites, the UK Gambling Commission has to be consulted and a Remote Gaming Permit must be granted.
Legal Online Gambling Age
The legal gambling age for any online casino customers is 18 years within the UK. Anyone who signs up for an online casino account and is under the age of 18 will have any winnings voided and their accounts will be closed.
Thanks to a strict age-verification process, it's exceedingly difficult for players to "trick the system" and sign up when not of legal age to do so.
The process of finding out a player's age and address is referred to as KYC, which means 'Know Your Customer'. Online casinos find out this information by checking polling registers or requesting that identity documents are provided. This is a requirement of the UKGC.
Legal Casino Games
A wide variety of casino games are available at the many online casinos operating in the United Kingdom. These games vary from video slots, to table games such as poker, roulette, and baccarat, to fruit machines, and many more. Generally the casino games you'll find in a land-based casino can be found online depending on the casino you've chosen to play at.
If you're simply interested in experiencing online casino games without having to deal with legal issues or signing up for an account, free-to-play games are available at many online casinos. These free-to-play casino games are completely legal under UK online gambling laws.
Taxing Online Gambling Winnings
In the past, taxation on winnings was a law that claimed a portion of any cash winnings as it was seen as an income. That law has since been discarded which means that any and all online gambling winnings belong entirely to the lucky player.
This law is not only for online casinos, but also any form of online gambling such as bingo or poker.
The only taxation surrounding online casinos is that which is paid by online casino operators and companies who run gambling websites. The tax paid by these companies ensures that your money remains your own, no matter how high the number may be.
Fair Online Gambling
Thanks to the laws and regulations enforced by the UK Gambling Commission, one of the many requirements for online casinos is that the available games be fair. The UKGC ensures that games are fair and payouts are random by requiring online casinos to have random number generators and often third-party companies are hired to check that these laws are upheld too.
Playing at a fully-licensed online casino means that you have the UKGC's guarantee and support if something were to go awry. It may not seem like much while you're spinning and winning on your favourite casino games, but should anything ever be unlawful, your money and your rights are held intact by the UK Gambling Commission.
Big Winning Possibilities
The laws and regulations in the United Kingdom do not restrict winnings or how much you can cash out of your online casino account. Thanks to many casino games that boast a progressive jackpot, it's entirely possible to win large sums of cash which will remain yours to do with as you please, tax free.
Responsible Online Gambling
The main aim of the many laws that surround online gambling in the UK are to protect players from the dangers of gambling. It's important to contact a support group or helpline if you ever experience any signs of online gambling addiction.
Gambling online is a fun and enjoyable pass time that should remain exactly that - Fun. There are many organisations (such as GamCare) who work to help those in need of direction or help when they need it most. These services are often free and completely confidential giving you the freedom you need to receive help.
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