In this article today, I will be discussing about a pretty interesting question that was surfaced to me recently in one of the online forums. The question was, “will the UKGC ever close down casinos not registered with gamstop?” Before I answer the question, there are a few underlying things embedded in the question that needs to be answered as well.
First and foremost, I will need to talk about UKGC and what gamstop is all about. Second, I will also need to talk about possible reasons why the UKGC will ever want to close down casinos not registered with gamstop. Finally, I go into answering the main question. This will be an interesting article and for those who are looking to my answers, do continue reading to find out more!
UKGC and Gamstop
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the main regulatory body in the UK for all online casinos. They are the ones issuing licenses and authorising online non UK casinos that wish to be registered as a UK business. gamstop is a self-exclusion scheme developed by the government that bans registered users from accessing online casinos sites registered and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
Players have to voluntarily be included in this program and they can then decide for themselves how long they want to be ban for from accessing gamstop online casino sites. While it appears that it is a good initiative for hardcore gambling addicts, it is not that ideal for regular or light gamblers who can control their gambling habits. Furthermore, there are ways to bypass gamstop, therefore, allowing problem gamblers to circumvent these restrictions.
Will UKGC close down casinos not registered with gamstop
My answer to this question is a straight no. This means that I do not think that the UKGC will ever ban online casino sites that are not registered with the UKGC to operate within the UK. There are a couple of reasons for my thoughts. Primarily, UKGC does not have oversight over the internet space and therefore, they cannot determine the sites that should be banned with the UK internet space.
Second, UKGC does not have jurisdiction over online casinos that are registered with foreign regulatory authorities such as in Malta or other places.
With that, they are not legally permitted to demand the closing down of these online casino sites. Third, even within the UK, there are UK licensed online casinos that are not registered with gamstop and yet these casinos continue to operate within the UK.
This goes to show how committed the UKGC is in enforcing the requirements of registering with gamstop. Fourth, the UKGC relies on the issuance of licenses to online casinos to generate revenue. Closing down casinos not registered with gamstop could result in a backlash on their reputation and therefore causing a reduction in revenue.
In conclusion, I have given my take on the question of why I think the UKGC will not close down casinos that are not registered with gamstop. Ultimately, the UKGC needs to play a larger role in ensuring that online casinos within the UK comply with this requirement first before they have the moral high ground to demand similar compliance from foreign online casinos.
Nevertheless, the fact that they rely on the issuance of licenses to these foreign online casinos would be counterproductive in their bid to ensure compliance since most online casinos do not want to be regulated. Without such enforcement, gamstop is at best a white elephant that cannot really prevent gamblers from accessing alternative sites that are not registered with gamstop.
As this continues, the social issue of problem gamblers will always be a perennial issue that is difficult to resolve.