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Mar 13, 2014

A Bettor’s Guide to Online Betting Sites

Online betting sites in Great Britain are regulated by the Gambling Commission, which was established in 2005. Last October 2013, the organisation was assigned the task of overseeing the National Lottery as well. From April 2012 to March 2013, the gross gambling yield (GGY) reported by the Gambling Commission amounted to over L6.3 billion and although 51% were from offline transactions, the growth of online betting sites, also known as remote sites, is fast gaining traction.

The Scope of the Gambling Commission on Remote Betting Sites

Remote betting sites are required to have a gambling license issued by the Gambling Commission, which has an office in Birmingham. The fees charged to the betting sites form part of the funds used by the Commission to run a confidential intelligence line. Thus, anyone interested in participating in online betting sites are assured of protection provided they sign up with licensed sites.

The Commission guarantees a crime-free, fair, and private betting environment for adults and ensures that no minor is allowed to join and play on the sites. They also oversee the gambling software used by online betting sites which should provide prospective gamblers with the assurance they seek to start playing in sports betting sites or signing up with the best betting sites in the country.

Beyond The Scope of the Gambling Commission for Betting Sites

The Gambling Commission does not cover all grounds or situations with regards to online gambling. For example, the organisation will not entertain or help resolve consumer complaints whether from U.K. players or players from around the world. If you want to file a dispute with a betting site, you will have to work personally with the online betting site. This puts some responsibility on the part of the player to sign up and play only with the best betting sites that are independently accredited with an exemplary reputation and operating under the very highest industry standards.

The Commission will also never dispense legal advice to players, online betting sites, or anyone involved with gambling. However, they will publish general information about the Gambling Act and be transparent about their operations. For remote gambling, the agency in charge of regulating spread betting and other specific transactions are the Financial Conduct Authority and local licensing authorities. The Gambling Commission strongly advices potential online U.K. gamblers to verify who the regulators for online betting transactions are before signing up. This is critical because many betting sites have opted to operate from outside the U.K. to sidestep the tax levies imposed on U.K.-based gambling operations. Unfortunately, this also takes away the umbrella protection for U.K. gamblers. On the other hand, authorities are trying to pin down overseas betting sites with a 15% tax in the bill that should take effect December 2014, if approved. The monies to be collected from the overseas betting sites will be used to promote the industry, protect U.K. consumers, and add to the government coffers.