UK Gambling Commission Review

For online gamblers there are few more reassuring signs of a casino’s reliability than the fact that it has been licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) one of the world’s foremost gambling regulators and perhaps the most prestigious.

By Amelia Smith - Updated 16/04/2024 - Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

Table of contents

UK Gambling Commission Review

Choose casino

Choose a great NZ casino

  1. 1
    NeonVegas Since 2020
    More Information
    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  2. 2
    Wildz casino
    Wildz casino Since 2019
    More Information
    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  3. 3
    Viggoslots Since 2017
    More Information
    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  4. 4
    iBet casino
    iBet casino Since 2021
    More Information
    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  5. 5
    SkyCity Casino
    SkyCity Casino Since 2019
    More Information
    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
History icon

History of the UKGC

The UKGC was created by the Gambling Act of 2005 and took up its full powers two years later, replacing the Gaming Board for Great Britain. It is funded by the UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport and has a wide range of responsibilities including the regulation of arcades, bingo, casinos, slots machine and lotteries.

Its remit was significantly extended in 2014. Prior to this date, it had not been responsible for monitoring and regulating online betting based outside the UK, but instead produced a white list of jurisdictions that were considered reputable.

That changed with the 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act which saw the UKGC become a major player in the online casino regulating industry. The 2014 Act allowed the UK government to tax online gambling operators for any activity generated by players based in the UK, which meant that the UKGC were given the task of deciding which operators would be allowed to advertise gambling to UK players and issuing licences. The UKGC also took on the task of ensuring that licensed operators adhered to the stringent standards of the UKGC license.

Requirements icon

Licensing Requirements

One of the reasons for the excellent reputation of the UK gambling commission is the high technical, legal and financial standards that it requires of any operator before they can earn a license. These standards are among the most robust you will find anywhere in the world, which is why the approval of the UKGC on any online casino site in the UK gambling industry is considered a mark of quality.

You can get some idea of how stringently the UK gambling commission administers the online casino market by the sheer amount of evidence that applicants have to provide. Gambling businesses applying for a UK Gambling Commission license have to provide the following paperwork:

  • A comprehensive gambling company structure detailing all significant shareholders.
  • Full details of how the online business will be funded, including supporting evidence. This is done by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission to prevent money laundering failures and other illegal gambling activities.
  • Three years worth of projections along with supporting assumptions, and, where the business is already operating, audited accounts covering the last three years.
  • A full gambling business plan covering every aspect of how the gambling business will operate.
  • Details of policies and procedures, including social responsibility policies, anti-money procedures and plans for proceeds of crime issues.

When assessing whether an operator will be granted a UKGC licence, the organisation also considers whether the business is able to fulfil the licensing requirements. To do so, operators have to provide the UKGC with the following information:

  • Evidence of identity and ownership for all the people involved in making the application
  • Financial details of everyone involved in the application, including evidence that the company will have access to sufficient resources to meet their licensing obligations.
  • Proof that the people making the application are honest and trustworthy
  • Evidence of experience and qualifications for running an online casino business
  • The UKGC will also carry out a criminal record check on all of the people making the application. The applicant's criminal record is checked to ensure that only respected individuals will be given the operating license to run the company.

In granting licenses, the UKGC does not require operators to be based in a particular location, unlike other jurisdictions such as Malta and Gibraltar, but under the Gambling Act 2005, any company licensed by the UKGC has to provide a UK address. This need not be a head office or registered office, but should be at least a correspondence address of the gambling business, with a consistent staff presence and has to be kept operational throughout the life of the licence.


As you can see, the UK Gambling Commission lays down some extremely stringent requirements for any operator hoping to gain the much-desired UK Gambling Commission licence. As a result, licenses tend to be issued only to the online casino industry's major players. This in itself helps to keep player complaints and disputes to a minimum, though it does not eliminate them completely.

Unlike some other European gambling jurisdictions, the UK Gambling Commission does not deal with player complaints itself. Instead, it passes them on to an outsourced provider from a list of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) companies. This is significant for online players as different online operators with UK Gambling Commission licenses can use different ADR services so the way that complaints are dealt with can vary from case to case.

Some players who have used ADR services after complaining about an operator to the UK Gambling Commission have found that the quality of their treatment fell short of what they had expected, though in theory all ADR companies have to adhere to the same standards. This can effectively mean that the value of using an online casino with a UK Gambling Commission license is not the same for all players, depending on which casino they opt for. That said, the variance in dispute resolution quality does not ultimately undermine the advantage of choosing a UK Gambling Commission approved site.

Summary icon


As the online casino gaming market in New Zealand has grown, there have been one or two unscrupulous operators who have attempted to take advantage of players' enthusiasm for remote gambling. As a result, players have become more adept at spotting which sites are reputable and which are not, and checking for the site's license details is one quick and easy way to reassure yourself that the site is fair.

Of all the various gambling jurisdictions, the UK is one of the most stringent and if an online casino operator has been able to meet its rigorous standards, then you can be assured that it is a legitimate operation. For that reason, the UK Gambling Commission license remains the gold standard for casino and gambling companies operating in New Zealand and around the world. But mind, to operate in NZ the casino can't use its UKGC license but needs to have a international license like Malta or Gibraltar.

Frequently Asked Questions About the UK Gambling Commission

What is the role of the UK Gambling Commission?

The UK Gambling Commission is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing gambling businesses in the United Kingdom. Their main objective is to ensure that gambling operations are conducted fairly, transparently, and with the protection of players.

How does the UK Gambling Commission regulate the gambling industry?

The UK Gambling Commission sets and enforces strict gambling regulations that govern various aspects of the industry. These regulations cover areas such as licensing, advertising gambling, and preventing illegal activities.

Does the UK Gambling Commission oversee the National Lottery?

No, the UK Gambling Commission does not oversee the National Lottery. The National Lottery falls under the jurisdiction of the National Lottery Commission.

How can gambling operators obtain a UK Gambling Commission operating license?

To obtain an operating license from the UK Gambling Commission, gambling operators must go through a thorough application process. This process includes meeting certain criteria, paying the required fees, and adhering to the rules and regulations.

What are the consequences of not complying with the UK Gambling Commission regulations?

Failure to comply with the regulations set by the Commission can result in severe penalties for gambling companies. These penalties may include fines, the suspension or revocation of operating licenses, and legal action.

Author: Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith knows a lot about different areas of gambling. She's been our main writer for most things since 2019. She spoke at a big conference in London in 2022 and has been recognized at several industry events.

contact AmeliaLinkedin Amelia

Article published 17/09/2018

Since 2017, has been a top casino portal in New Zealand. Our team of two professionals, including a former casino operator, keeps the site fresh and updated.

Choose a casino from our website, and we promise the best offers and experiences for New Zealand players. If you have any questions about online gambling, don't hesitate to reach out to us – we're always here to help!

© 2018-2024 All rights reserved -

Address: 6 Johnsonville Road, Suite 11308, 6037 Wellington, New Zealand


Phone: +64 (03) 669 3211