UK gambling watchdog reveals online casino players rights

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Online gambling is no longer a taboo in this world. If anything, it has become more popular in the United Kingdom.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals are reportedly playing in online casinos. This is most especially the case after the latter allowed them to play without restrictions. In other words, people can play anywhere and anytime. Apparently, the rise of online gambling even went further following the never-ending popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices.

The only catch here, however, is that not all online casino players are aware of their rights and obligations. What is worse, they have no concrete knowledge of where to run in case of being succumbed to compulsive gambling. This is why the country’s very own Gambling Commission has decided to jump in and regulate the sector in an attempt to battle the negative impact online gambling brings to the lives of players.

Online Casino Players’ Rights

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reportedly set some rules that will require all online gambling businesses to guarantee certain rights to their players.

The goal is to implement transparency and fairness of results, as well as protecting players’ banking transactions and privacy. For instance, a player performs a money transaction by playing sports betting with a gambling business. He/she automatically enters into a contract that, according to the watchdog, should protect his/her rights.

The commission further suggests that these rights, which are protected under Consumer Law, must be exercised by all iGambling businesses, including all recommended UK bookmakers. So regardless of whether the transaction is engaged in online betting or gambling, operators must design their contracts in a way it promotes the aforementioned goal.

Transparency and Fairness of Results Explained

Interestingly, the above-mentioned law (aka Consumer Rights Act 2015) also protects these operators by making sure that no unfair advantage simply because a controversial contractual wording exists.

Apparently, contractual wording is deemed and required to be both transparent and fair. In other words, players must be able to perform informed decisions – be it creating an account with an operator or not. Even more so, the law guarantees that no part of the contract either hides or proves an advantage to these operators.

As far as the so-called “fairness of results” is concerned, the UK Gambling Commission claims that each and every online casino is required to guarantee that the games being offered are run by RNGs or random number generators.

Only by doing so are the results randomized, especially if no dealer is involved. To make sure that this is being practiced, the country’s commission has started testing software utilized by online gambling operators – all licensed and regulated – through the help of competent authorities.

These checks are said to be often performed by independent third-party auditors, including, but not limited to, iTechLabs, Technical Systems Testing (TST), and ECOGRA.

These auditors will run a number of different testing evaluations, from game to mathematic checks. Also, they will test an operator’s process in involving sportsbook, betting exchange, RNG, poker system, pari-mutuel system, and lottery, among others.

If the operator passes this series of evaluations from the auditors, it will obtain a special certificate and a badge that prove their games are “fair.” Moreover, the approval suggests that the operator’s machines are able to meet the minimum payout percentages the country’s gambling regulator has established under its license requirements.

Banking Transactions and Privacy Protection

According to the UK Gambling Commission, online casinos are required to give their players detailed information relating to their account and money transactions. This is where players must be keen to review the operator’s explanation as to how it can protect his/her identity.

More importantly, the operator must detail how its security system works in achieving this goal. The commission suggests that this is a very crucial part since players tend to provide their bank account and personal details before they can perform deposits and play.

These rules, on the other hand, are under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which officially launched last May 25. Under them, all online casinos must be able to exercise all necessary technical and organizational measures to guarantee proper implementation of main data protection principles.

And since, by essence, they are processors of personal information, it makes total sense for them to be required to disclose what data they gather or store. In line with the commission’s new rules, they are going to explain the purpose and even legal basis of their attempt to process data.

The GDPR also gives players the ability to ask operators a portable copy of all data obtained and/or stored. And if they decide to erase all the collected data, they have the power to do so by requesting it from the operator.

It is safe to say that the UK Gambling Commission is giving the industry a stricter format, which safeguards the interest of players. Although these rules are mostly for participants, the commission has not failed in protecting the industry operators as well.


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