UKGC Responsible Gambling
If you are even remotely familiar with online gambling then chances are you already know about the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), arguably the most respectable gambling authority on the planet. Due to its reputation for uncompromising and strict implementation of rules and regulations, in order for a casino to receive the stamp of approval by the Commission it simply has to be on the top of its game. Especially considering that the UKGC is a fierce advocate for responsible gambling and safer play, where the well-being of the players is their top priority.
As a leading authority in the world of iGaming, the UKGC takes a list of preventive measures to ensure that gambling enthusiasts are protected. In fact, we can go as far as to say that the UKGC is so dedicated to player protection that it operates just like the leading responsible gambling organizations that you can find on the internet. From life-saving guides to tools for responsible gambling and partnerships with responsible gambling advocates, the UKGC is all about fostering healthy gambling habits, surpassing pretty much every other gambling regulator in this regard.
In this article, we will take a look at the tools, guides, partnerships, and overall policy of the UK Gambling Commission toward the responsible gambling aspect of iGaming and gambling in general.
There are currently six guides available on the official page of the UKGC specifically created to assist gamblers. Each of the six guides represents a different facet of the gambling process. Depending on your personal needs, all you need to do is click on one of the dedicated links and you will be presented with an answer to your inquiry.
What to look at before you gamble
The first guide, “What to look at before you gamble”, is specifically for newbies or players who are yet to make a deposit into their account. Here, the UKGC advises you to check several key points before you transfer funds to your account. These include life-saving tips such as:
- Whether the operator has a UKGC license
- Potential restrictions on bonuses
- Visibility of the address, current license status, website domain names, and trading names of the operator
- Checking the Terms & Conditions for each gambling product
There is even an option to check whether the business is in the public register of the Commission, which can be done by a simple click on the UKGC license badge in the footer of the operator.
Ways to stay safe when gambling
Being that the UKGC’s main goal is to ensure the well-being and safety of the players, they have created the “Ways to stay safe when gambling” guide specifically to assist anyone who is struggling with problem gambling. Here you can find various guides and advice on how to stay safe, such as:
- Links to responsible gambling organizations
- Talk to someone if you are overwhelmed
- Think about why you are gambling
- Monitor how often you are gambling
- Set limits on your spending
- Take time-outs from gambling
- Always read the Terms & Conditions
- Make sure that the operator is properly licensed
- Don’t share personal information with third parties
Gambling and young people
This one really doesn’t need much of an introduction, considering that underage gambling is illegal at pretty much every licensed operator out there. Due to the meticulous approach of the UKGC to responsible gambling, the Commission makes sure to battle this illegal activity by imposing colossal fines and tight regulations on anyone who allows minors to gamble. This refers to both online and physical gambling establishments, as well as gambling activities like:
- Certain types of arcade
- All betting shops
- Bingo halls
- Casinos and Online Casinos
- Race Tracks
This is why all gambling operators that are regulated by the UKGC must follow certain guidelines that ensure the prevention of underage gambling. These include:
- Updated policies and procedures to prevent underage gambling
- Warnings that underage gambling is illegal
- A proof that the customers are over 18 to gamble
Controlling gambling-related content on Twitter
This guide is all about helping players limit their exposure to gambling ads and gambling-related content on Twitter. Considering the liberal algorithm of Twitter that allows content regardless of its nature just to enable “freedom of speech”, many gambling operators take to this platform to promote their business.
As a result, the UKGC created a detailed guide where by implementing certain tips you can obtain full control over your Twitter experience and choose manually what you see, thus protecting yourself from potentially harmful ads and/or products.
- Unfollow accounts that feature gambling content
- Manage your interests in your profile
- Control promoted Tweets
- Use the mute feature
- Block accounts
Controlling gambling-related content on Facebook
Similar to Twitter, gambling ads and products on Facebook can also be harmful and entice you to gamble. However, just like Twitter, you can also use a number of tools specifically created to control the ads that you see in your Newsfeed.
- Control the ads that you see – unfollow pages, hide ads
- Use the “Ad Preferences” tool
- Manage how third parties use your data for ads on Facebook
There is a detailed PDF file that you can download on the official UKGC website specifically for controlling gambling-related content on Facebook which is 100% free of charge.
How to opt out of seeing gambling-related ads on YouTube
YouTube is yet another platform where you can be exposed to gambling-related ads and products, but it is nothing that you cannot control, similar to Twitter and Facebook. The only “requirement” in order to be able to limit the gambling ads you see on YouTube is for you to have a Google account.
Simply go to the Google Ad settings on your Google account, find the “Ad Personalization” heading, and switch it off. Only make sure to leave “Ad Personalization” on, being that this is how you can control the types of ads that you see.
Below is also the section “How your ads are personalized”, where you can see all of your interests that are the most responsible for the content you are seeing. Simply remove the interests you believe are contributing to you seeing gambling ads. While there is no guarantee that you won’t see any gambling ads in the future, their frequency will be drastically diminished.
Similar to the guides, the UKGC also has several useful responsible gambling tools specifically created for individuals who are battling with gambling addiction.
Block gambling payments with your bank
Thankfully, today there are many banks that offer the option to limit your gambling expenditures. The way that the banks do this is by either blocking your bank account whenever you wish to make a gambling payment or by blocking the debit card that you use for making gambling transactions.
Moreover, the UKGC has listed all of the banks that have the gambling blocking service. They include:
- Bank of Scotland
- Lloyds Bank
- Royal Bank of Scotland
Control the time and money you spend on gambling
It is absolutely crucial to control both the time that you spend gambling and the amount you spend when gambling in order to ensure that you are gambling responsibly. This is why the UKGC gives you several tips that you can use to ensure that you are always in control of your gambling activity. There are even designated apps for responsible gambling that help you remain in control as well.
- Reality Check
- Time trackers
- Machine limits
- Membership cards
- View playing history and restrict or block gambling activity
Another crucial aspect of your gambling is to monitor the gambling activity of your account at the casino, which is why all online casinos that work with the Commission have to provide you with the account history tool.
This is because by having access to this information you can improve your decision-making, spot and repetitive patterns in your gambling activity, and see exactly how much you spend.
The self-exclusion tool is perfect if you feel that you are spending too much money and time on gambling. The best part about this tool is that it is available in both online and physical gambling establishments, meaning that you can be self-excluded regardless of the type of premises.
However, self-exclusion requires collaboration from both the gambling operator and the player, meaning that it is a tool for those who need support in order to stop gambling. Moreover, you can also request assistance for self-exclusion from responsible gambling organizations, use blocking software, or follow designated guidelines specifically for self-exclusion.
If you request self-exclusion from a certain gambling business, but you change your mind and wish to gamble again, it is the responsibility of the said operator to take all of the necessary measures to prevent this situation from happening.
This is why if an operator fails to prevent you from gambling, you can always contact the UKGC and provide them with all of the details regarding this violation so that the Commission can take the appropriate response and decide whether to enforce regulatory action.
Checks you can do to stay safe
Due to the sensitive and volatile nature of gambling, gambling operators are required to possess open, fair, and transparent complaints procedures and policies. In addition, they also must have certain arrangements in place so that you can refer your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution, especially if they are not able to resolve the issue within eight weeks of receiving the complaint.
Some of the ways you can check whether you are safe gambling at a certain gambling operator include:
- Check whether the gambling operator is licensed
- Check the Terms & Conditions to see whether your funds are protected
The responsible gambling policies by the UKGC exist to help anyone who is battling with gambling addiction. Regardless of which part of the world you are visiting, the official page of the UKGC is full of life-saving advice that can help you become a more conscious player, and consequently nurture safer gambling practices. Staying safe when gambling should be your top priority.
Thanks to the advancements in the responsible gambling realm, today, there are a plethora of guides, tools, and organizations that you can use to be in control of your gambling activity. We hope that this responsible gambling policy by the UKGC can help you if you are concerned about your relationship with gambling. Good luck, and always gamble responsibly!