You’ve done your research, and you’re now ready to play your favourite game of roulette, slots, or blackjack online. That means you’ll be playing with real money, and perhaps not an insignificant amount. But how do you know you can trust your money with the online casino you’ve chosen?
Like all other commercial gambling operations in Great Britain, online gambling organisations are regulated by the Gambling Commission. As such, they are required to list with the ‘public register of licensees’.
An online gambling organisation called an “operator” in government lingo, must provide a link to the register of licensees on their website. If this link is not present, this gambling website may not be safe.
Here at Top5CasinoSites, we only include reputable online casinos holding appropriate licenses. However, you should always check the link to the licenses is present with any online casino you are about to join.
According to the Gambling Commission, the register provides important information like the operator’s address, website domain names, trading names and current license status.
As stated on the Commission’s official website www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk, “If an operator does not have a Commission license, they are acting illegally by offering gambling to consumers in Great Britain.”
Casinos that are not licensed will have their payment facilities locked, leading to customers not being able to deposit or withdraw, and eventually leading to the casinos ceasing to operate to this unlicensed online casino is that their MasterCard, PayPal and Visa payment facilities would be withdrawn, making it virtually impossible for them to operate
Casinos that want to serve the British public are required to apply and adhere to stringent and costly licencing requirements , if they are based in Great Britain.
Even for a moderate-sized operation grossing less than £5 million per year, annual fees can amount to more than £16,000. The one-time application fee is an additional £12,600, and the fees are much higher for larger gambling websites.
and according to the Commission, no operator’s licence is required if a website is based overseas and is not providing “facilities for remote gambling or advertising to consumers in Britain.”
–but also some more dubious ones.
Other licenses necessary for British-based gambling websites are various personal management licenses or PMLs, depending on the size of the operation. Annual fees for these licenses similarly range in the thousands of pounds.
Generally, the more an operator has at risk with regard to licencing and annual fees, the safer that gambling site is.
The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act of 2005 to regulate commercial gambling, and works in partnership with licensing authorities.
The Commission ensures that online casinos are properly operated, that online gambling is crime-free, is fair and open, and that children and vulnerable people are protected.
What the Commission doesn’t do is handle routine consumer complaints or money disputes. Instead, The Commission requires licensed online gambling sites to have procedures to handle such complaints.
If all avenues have been tried and exhausted with the licensee, though, the Commission will accept a consumer complaint against the operator.
You can check if your favourite online casino is licensed by visiting the Gambling Commission’s website at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk.
While gambling is risky no matter where you play, taking a few minutes to do some basic research can make for a safer, happier and more rewarding online gaming experience. And remember, we check that all online casinos featured on www.top5casinosites.co.uk have the necessary licenses to serve the British public.