United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)

Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by Michael Shackleford

United Kingdom Gambling Commission

If there ever was a king among gambling authorities, the UKGC would be one for sure. This is because the rules they set affect not only their market but also the global gambling activity. Of course, responsible gaming is the goal of each entity that regulates gambling, but this one is your first association for it. Still, they are certainly not the favorite casino license issuer around. Their strict rules and high fees for violation, along with limitations for players, certainly affect their popularity.

Short History Of The UK Gambling Commission

Gambling has long roots in British history, but it got official in the 1960s. First, the land-based casino opened its doors to players, and many followed the lead afterward. However, by the 1970s, the state needed to address the notion and created a Gaming Act in 1968. Whether it was poker, roulette, or betting, the Act served as a regulation for the fairness and stability of the businesses. The next big thing was the Gambling Act of 2005. The major update concerned online gambling and any form of remote betting and gambling. After that, a taxation-related change meant that all gambling actions would be subject to tax for UK players.

Is Gambling In The UK Officially Allowed?

Put short – it is, and you can gamble across the country. The country is supporting operators and giving encouragement to businesses. They offer lower tax rates and fee reductions once you decide to start your work in the industry. Still, it doesn’t mean that you get to do whatever crosses your mind. The licensing system aims to ensure that gambling and betting are available on fair terms and under legal umbrellas. Each operator is legally responsible for its actions, and UKGC does its best to regulate the bad stuff around.

Industry Reputation

Their reputation precedes them. Obtaining a casino license from UK Gambling Commission is considered hard as getting a bank approval to do money processing. Whoever receives the permit from them wears it as a badge of honor (and puts it proudly on the website). Gambling without a credit card for UK citizens is entirely their invention. It did not sit well with the players, to say the least. Still, it was a move to tame down the sudden spike in betting and gambling activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Their guidelines might not be popular, but they sure are adequate, and no operator will joke about not following them. The Commission stands for a player protector and does everything to prevent fraud, to keep the game fair and funds safe. Operators find it hard to adjust to changes and notions, but the business runs well if everyone stands by their word.

Operators Under The UK Gambling Commission License

The UKGC’s casino license is hard to get. It is a fact because, unlike other regulators, they stay true to their approach. For protecting the players, the Commission will take operators on a tiresome but necessary verification process. Each needs to comply with a clearing, but strict set of rules, even and especially when it comes to player private data and advertising. The owner and the casino’s staff need to get permits as well. By that, we mean that the casino needs to have an operating casino license, which you all know about.

On top of that, they also need to have Personal Management and Personal Functional permits. These are authorizations for each casino’s staff, which they receive after a verification process, documents check, and similar stuff. Again, it might look trivial, but it is a form of protection of the players to ensure that anyone dealing with your data and money is trustworthy.

Status with players

Although it has excellent marks, UK Gambling Commission is not beloved by players. The reason for it – this casino license issuer is strict, and that means you don’t get to play with all the cards available (pun intended). Before the changes, which came into effect in April 2020, the regulator was viewed as a tough but righteous administrator. However, after they have forbidden from using credit cards due to the increase of gambling in the UK, they have received more backlash than usual.

However, as a player from a casino under UK’s Gambling Commission license, you can expect more filtered, controlled, and quality content. As a result, the user experience you will receive is by far the greatest in the industry. The design and the overall content, meaning offers, promotions, and games, are excellent.

Good stuff

It provides self-exclusion schemes, players protection, and other benefits. A casino with a license from UKGC will sure provide a safe experience, with a smooth business cruise through. The regulator will not permit work if the operator is not fit to work with players in the safest way possible.

All operators must follow strict policies and provide excellent service to each player, as mentioned above. Therefore, you will not be flooded with ads, bothered with bugs, or slow service. Data processing, verification, and other security steps are there to ensure that you don’t break a sweat when it comes to your funds.

UK players are accepted! This is no wonder since the country and media discourage gambling in other countries and under other regulators. Still, you will get the same fantastic treatment if you decide to register as a non-UK player.

Not so good stuff

You cannot use your credit card to gamble. It is a downer that makes a huge difference for most of the players. UK players use their CC for this purpose all the time, but it is not legal anymore. To prevent overspending and debt growth, the Commission made a ban in April 2020.

If you want to bet and gamble on the same website with a UK Gambling Commission license, you will be disappointed. Not because there are no operators who wish to offer more services, but because each of them requires a different permit.

Some games or bonuses might not be available for you if you are not from the UK. This is because the country and the Commission have strict rules for games and software makers who can do business with UK casinos.


To sum it up, casinos with UKGC casino licenses are not perfect. Still, they offer an excellent ratio of pros and cons. So if you wish to play safely on a very charted territory regulated by the highest industry standards, go for a UK Gambling Commission regulated casino. Make sure to check the payment method you will be using if you are a UK player. Of course, you can always use alternative payment options and enjoy playing as usual.

Other Licensing and Regulators Around The Globe

There are several other well respected gambling licenses around the globe you should look out for if you want to play at non UK casino sites.

Curacao Gambling License: This is the main license UK players look for if they want to play at off-shore casinos. Whilst technically Curacao licensed online casinos are not meant to accept players from the UK, they leave it up to the player to decide. Note that not all Curacao licensed casinos accept players from the UK, although there are a good amount, you can find a current list here.

Malta Gaming Authority: This is a license for casinos based in Malta. You will often find online casinos that hold both a Malta Gaming Authority license alongside a UK Gambling Commission License. UK players can play at MGA casinos which also hold a UKGC license, however they cannot play at a MGA licensed casino that only holds the single license.

It is thought by many that MGA licensed casinos can be used as an option for non Gamstop casino sites, this is not the case. We have certainly not come across any MGA casinos that allow UK players unless they hold a UKGC license. This would be due to the fact that the Malta Gaming Authority have close links with the UKGC.

Gibraltar Regulatory Authority: Again here some people assume that UK players can freely sigh up to casinos under the GRA license and again this is not true. Just like the MGA license you will find online casinos that hold both UKGC license and the GRA. In this case players from the UK can register.

Gambling Commission Objectives Over The Next Three Years.

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