Did you know that there are laws for UK casinos about what information they have to give you before they let you play? Knowing these laws will help you know when casinos are safe and when they’re not.
As gamblers, we’re lucky in the UK because we’re very well protected. The laws tend to favour the rights of gamblers over the rights of the casinos. That’s a good thing!
It means our casinos are safe and that we’re unlikely to lose as much money as we would playing at less safe casinos. That’s not to say that you can’t lose money, though. You can! Be careful when you play, and if you are struggling, get help. This brings us nicely to the first item in our list…
1: UK Casinos have to provide information about getting help for problem gambling
You might have noticed that on the side of every page, our site has links to Be Gamble Aware. They are a UK charity that helps people overcome gambling problems. We have to include these links by law, and so do UK casinos.
2: UK Casinos have to declare that they have a Gambling Commission-issued gambling licence
Any casino that wants to operate legally in the UK must have a Gambling Commission (GC) licence. As well as that, they have to state that they have a licence on every page that you can gamble on. They also have to have a link to the GC website from each page you can gamble on.
For example, if you’re playing a slot machine and it doesn’t say somewhere on the screen that the casino has a GC licence and/or doesn’t link to the GC, they are breaking the law and you can report them.
Clearly, some casinos may forget to add this information. When you have 1000s of games, it’s easy to let one slip through the net, but it doesn’t matter because it’s still illegal even if they ‘forget’ to include it.
3: UK casinos must make sure their Ts & Cs are easy to find and easy to understand
Do you know what really gets my goat? Companies that have ridiculously long terms and conditions that no one ever reads. They make them long, boring, and hard to read so we don’t know that somewhere in the middle of the Ts & Cs we’ve promised to call our firstborn “Jackpot Nigel”.
Thankfully, UK casinos aren’t allowed to do that. Their Ts & Cs have to be fair and easy to understand.
If they update their Ts & Cs, they have to let you know about any significant changes.
4: UK Casinos have to provide you with the game rules
A casino (whether they’re an online or real-world casino) must provide game rules for every game they offer their customers. They must also offer guides about the house edge, explaining what it is and how it works.
Every gambling product must have a player’s guide explaining how to play the game.
5: UK Casinos have to tell you if and how they protect your money against their insolvency
Insolvency happens when a business can’t meet its financial obligations. It doesn’t have enough money to pay the bills and it’s not due to a cashflow problem.
In the past, if you had money with a casino and it went insolvent, the insolvency company would take your money as if it belonged to the business. It’s in the business’s account, therefore it belongs to the business, and it goes towards paying off their bills.
However, UK casinos now have to secure your money in a separate account and tell you if your funds are protected against insolvency. They need to explain to you whether they protect your money and how they protect your money in the event of insolvency.
They also have to tell you the degree of risk that your money has. There are 3 tiers:
- Your money is in a business account that, if the business goes bust, will count as the business’s money and not yours.
- Your money is in a business account as above, but the casino has insurance that protects your funds in the case of insolvency.
- A third-party looks after your money and it is legally and practically separate from the business so that if it goes bust, your money is safe.
Casinos don’t HAVE to offer you a protection scheme, but they DO HAVE to tell you if they do or don’t. You can then make an informed choice whether to play with that casino or not.
Summing It Up
Clearly, the above isn’t an exhaustive list of the laws that govern UK casinos. However, knowing these basics will help you to make good decisions about your choice of casino.