UKGC teams up with the UK government to reduce access to unlicensed casinos

Casino games are a well-liked form of entertainment all over the globe. Customers can choose from many casino services, including card games, slots, roulette, or even sports betting

Even if it may seem that casino games and activities have just recently become popular, once the internet took over, that’s not the case. 

Casinos have been around for centuries, and casino games have been around for even longer. Some researchers even believe card games emerged in eastern Asia, where China is today, as far back as the 11th or 12th century.

Casino games remain popular

Since their beginning, and until now, casino games have remained popular, even though they have undergone numerous transformations. There are reasons for this; the first represents their accessibility and easy rules.

For example, to play a video game, you’ll need to buy the video game, a suitable device, maybe a keyboard or a controller, create an account, and afterwards learn everything that’s necessary about commands, gameplay, and general rules.

This doesn’t generally apply to casino games. They are easy to learn and adaptable to many settings and platforms, and players don’t need to invest much time to understand the rules.

Casinos and the legal frame

Just like any other activity, casinos need to be regulated. This happens for numerous reasons, many related to customers’ safety. When a customer agrees to use their money at a casino, whether it’s an online platform or a brick-and-mortar location, they must have the certainty that they’re not exposed to fraud or scams.

What’s more, all the customers’ rights must be respected, just as it happens in other types of businesses, whether it’s restaurants or retail shops.

Casinos also have to pay taxes in the countries where they operate, whether online or physically. Businesses from all fields pay different taxes to state authorities, which happens all over the globe.

The legal frame in the casino industry is also necessary because this field is prone to be part of money laundering schemes. Money obtained from illegal activities can be used in casinos and casino games, with the final purpose of declaring legit income. That is when local and national rules and legislation are much needed to prevent these issues.  

Illegal gambling

Illegal gambling and unlicensed casinos are not new problems on the market. Back in the day, when brick-and-mortar casinos were prevalent, illegal poker rooms or casinos disguised as other businesses threatened the industry’s legality.

Nowadays, unlicensed online casinos constitute the majority of illegal gambling cases. In a report conducted by KingCasinoBonus, an online platform dedicated to casino comparisons, it was revealed that more than 1000 British citizens each month create accounts on unregulated gambling platforms.

The same report shows that the number of gamblers who choose unlicensed casinos has grown over the years. In 2019, only 500 British people chose unregulated online casinos, while by 2025, the numbers are expected to rise again, reaching over 2000 British gamblers preferring unlicensed casinos every month.

Part of a global problem

Illegal gambling, meaning unlicensed casinos, offshore gambling, and the incapacity to provide fair, transparent, and safe gambling services doesn’t affect only the UK. Illegal gambling happens all over the globe, from Asia and the Americas to Europe and Australia.

In an open letter to the Wall Street Journal, Ben Miller, CEO of the US American Gaming Association, described how illegal gambling affects the industry:

“AML commitments have grown along with the industry, and include programs to monitor for financial anomalies, rigorous background investigations to obtain and retain a gaming license, highly trained compliance professionals, and millions of dollars spent on technology that enhances Know Your Customer efforts.

The same can’t be said for illegal, offshore operators that openly violate U.S. laws. They’re an open door for criminals, and there is no place for a predatory, unregulated gambling market in the U.S. Legal gaming aggressively combats financial crime and helps law enforcement prosecute offenders. Every year, gaming operators aid investigations by filing tens of thousands of “suspicious activity reports” with the Treasury Department.”  

How the industry responds to unlicensed casinos

The UK’s Gambling Commission, or UKGC, and the UK Government, aim to reduce access to unlicensed online casinos, thus reducing the incidence of illegal gambling. In a statement posted on its website, the UKGC said it would use disruption techniques, the necessary software solutions, and its online investigation capacity to tackle the problem of unlicensed casinos.

For customers, it’s essential always to choose licensed operators, as they provide a solid guarantee for the customers’ safety while using their services. Choosing a legit gambling operator means personal data stays safe, and the risk for fraud and scams is minimal. Moreover, legitimate providers don’t engage in criminal behaviour like money laundering.   

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