Gaming Operators Take Note - Here Is The UKGC Stance On Bitcoins!By: Harper Whitefield
With the ongoing use of Bitcoins making their way further into the online casino arena, the UKGC stance on Bitcoins has recently come under the spotlight.
Bitcoins form what is known as a Cryptocurrency, that is to say a digital currency where encryption techniques get used in regulating the currency unit generated. The transfer of these Bitcoin funds is regulated, although minus the involvement of any central bank.The UK Gambling Commission - What They Have To Say
In 2013, the UK Government said Bitcoins would not be treated as money however Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs viewed it differently. As a result, The UKGC stance on Bitcoins is naturally one of compliance with the laws of the country and they have warned all the various Bitcoin gaming websites that any gambling offerings that are made to UK residents will require a license. This is regardless whether conducted through the use of Sterling or an alternative currency.
One of the questions on the UKGC website under their FAQ section asks the question as to why the gambling commission has gone to the lengths of writing to casinos who accept the use of Bitcoins. They responded by expressing their concern regarding illegal gaming operators making their services available to UK gamblers.
The UKGC goes on to insist that all operators regardless of where they are situated in the world need to be fully licensed if they intend to do business and provide their gaming facilities for gambling residents of Great Britain.
The commission goes on to say that it pinpointed a number of casino operators who had been offering "prizes of money or money's worth to gamblers". This was a case of a global offering also being made to residents of their country and as such would be deemed illegal unless already in possession of a UK operating license.
Jenny Williams CEO for the United Kingdom Gaming Commission stated they made contact in writing with operators who are either offering gambling products to the public illegally or involved in advertising gambling illegally, or both.
She went on to say that the UKGC stance on Bitcoins neither encourages nor prohibits bitcoins and they're only interested in maintaining correct and proper procedure, as they do for all gambling products consumed within their country.
She stated the currency was almost irrelevant as all operators had to concern themselves with fully meeting governmental requirements. Consumers had to be protected and any requirements with regards to keeping crime out of gambling were pre-eminent. The ball is now firmly in the other's court.