There haven’t been any massive changes in UK law with regards to gambling since The Gambling Act was passed in 2005. However, along with this legislation, the UK Gambling Commission was set up, which now regulates bookmakers online.
In the 21st century, a raft of online gambling providers flooded the market, offering an endless choice for consumers. For punters, it was easier than ever to place bets, or play casino games, online and it’s only gotten easier. These days, the most popular online games come in the form of live casinos, such as the one found at novibet.co.uk/live-casino.
The 2005 Act, and the subsequent creation of the UK Gambling Commission, was brought in as the government recognised that the boom in online bookmakers presented a wide range of potential legal and regulatory issues. The Gambling Commission’s role within the UK gambling sector is to ensure that all online gambling providers adhere to the rules and regulations set out in the Act.
While there hasn’t been any major change in the gambling laws of the UK since 2005, there have been plenty of recent changes in the regulations that the Gambling Commission have imposed upon bookmakers and online gaming providers. We’ll run you through some of the latest changes and explain why they were introduced.
Combating underage gambling in the UK
The year 2020 has been a big one for the Gambling Commission. They were aware that something had to be done about the rising number of underage gamblers in the UK, who had found ways to “cheat the system” and place bets online. The Gambling Commission now instructs online bookmakers that a customer’s age must be verified before they can gamble with their own money, place any free bets, or transfer funds into their account. The amount of time bookmakers have to verify a customer’s age has also been reduced, in an attempt to manage the amount of complaints received about winnings being “held”.
Credit cards can no longer be used
In January 2020, the Gambling Commission announced that they would be changing their regulations to make it illegal for any UK resident to place a bet with a bookmaker using a credit card. This came as research, conducted by the Commission, indicated that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble were classed as ‘problem gamblers’. Multiple reports also suggested more and more people were getting themselves in extraordinary amounts of debt gambling online with their credit cards.
PayPal, the world’s most popular ‘e-wallet’ provider, also announced that they would be contacting customers to make them aware of the new regulatory changes, and that those using credit cards, via their PayPal account, to gamble online would have to register a valid debit card instead.
The new regulation came into effect on 14th April 2020 and although it is anticipated to hit online bookmakers’ profits quite significantly, the Commission has made it clear that its priorities at this moment in time lie with providing the best possible protection to consumers.
More changes unlikely to come soon
It seems highly unlikely that the Gambling Commission will introduce any further regulatory changes in the coming months, or even years. The changes discussed above are colossal and it will take time for bookmakers to adapt to ensure they adhere to each one.