The UK White List and How It Works

In the UK all online bingo sites are required to be on the Gambling Commission’s ‘white list’ of approved licensing jurisdictions. Online bingo sites and casinos must meet the stringent licensing requirements to be on the white list. Only bingo and gaming licensed in the UK or white list jurisdictions may advertise their services in the United Kingdom.  The approved licensing jurisdictions are Alderney, Antigua,   Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Malta,  Tasmania and the United Kingdom. White list nations must meet very stringent ethical standards. The rules are in place to ensure fairness and honestly run games.

The UK gambling commission constantly monitors online gambling sites through its ‘mystery shopper’ program. According to the commission’s website they conduct a program of mystery shopping to ensure compliance with UK rules and regulations regarding eGaming. The program includes gaming operators regulated offshore that advertise their services in the United Kingdom. The program looks at many aspects of social responsibility. According to the commission’s official website the program looks at; whether advice on social responsibility measures is easily accessible; whether self exclusion is available and clearly signposted; whether customers can set their own financial limits; and whether operators prevent people under 18 years of age from gambling and withdrawing winnings.  According to the website a majority of online bingo and gaming operators are in compliance with UK gambling laws and social responsibility expectations.

If and when deficiencies are noticed the Gambling Commission notifies the site operator and the regulatory body where the site is licensed. Once the deficiencies have been corrected the site is re tested by the commission. In addition to monitoring offshore operations the Gambling Commission is also responsible for licensing gaming operation in the UK. The commission investigates ownership and all those involved in the business. Finances relevant to the operation are also investigated to make sure the business is properly capitalized. The commission also investigated the integrity, competence and background of all involved in the gaming operation. Background checks are thorough.

Recently changes have been proposed to current law. Many gaming sites in the UK are subject to heavy taxation unlike offshore operations that pay much lower rates in their licensing jurisdictions. There are many in Parliament who want to require all offshore gaming sites to obtain a gaming license in the UK and also pay taxes in the UK.  For large online bingo and gaming operations this will probably not be a problem but industry observers say the move will put several small operations out of business. Currently the issue has not been resolved.

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