Online Gambling Law – Operators Must Disclose Information About Customer Identity and Location
Online gambling is any type of gambling conducted over the internet with no direct face-to-face interaction. This includes online poker, online casinos and sports gambling. As with conventional gambling, online gambling can take many forms, such as bingo, video poker and slot machines. The first online gambling site opened to the public, was lottery ticketing for the first Liechtenstein International Online Poker Tournament in October 1994. Since then there have been many sites dedicated to online gambling, from small up-and-coming companies offering games of chance to multinational corporate structures which manage entire online gambling platforms.
Most online casinos offer both free and paid games and there are hundreds of websites operating a number of these sites at the same time. There is a fast growing area of the industry known as online casinos, these are operated by private operators usually located in different countries but have an office or premises in the UK. These operators form a legal grey area as they fall outside the auspices of the Law Crime and Regulation Act 2021. The Law Society has outlined a code of ethics for operators of online gambling businesses, these operators must ensure that all of their transactions and dealings are in accordance to these ethical guidelines. As with conventional casinos, operators cannot run a business from their own premises, instead they must use an office or premises provided by licensed gambling operators.
To comply with consumer protection laws and the Law, online gambling businesses must not only operate in an authorized casino approved area, but also in areas where they have consent from the relevant government authorities. Many operators do not have the means to meet these requirements and so some have had to move into countries which do allow online gambling. These include Seychelles, Mauritius, Macau and Seychelles. This new development has had a positive effect on the industry in terms of the amount of regulation and the level of consumer protection, however problems remain. These problems include corruption and money laundering, these issues are still very real problems and despite being covered by the law, online gambling is not completely free of these risks.