What does a casino regulator actually do?

Casinos are generally regulated by bodies known as gaming or gambling control boards, gaming commissions, or casino control boards.

These regulators are government or public bodies with jurisdictions over a particular area, either regional or national, and they are responsible for enforcing gaming laws in that area as well as granting or revoking licenses to casinos, ensuring that they meet the necessary requirements for operation, and investigating and potentially prosecuting breaches of regulations.

Casino regulators may investigate the owners and operators of casinos, as well as employees, to ensure that they are fair and honest, and a lot of personal information may be audited in the process of deciding whether or not to grant a gaming license to a company or establishment.

As gaming law is not a tightly defined legal area itself, but more an overlap of different aspects of law including criminal, constitutional, administrative, company and contract law, specific regulations can be nuanced and vary quite widely in different areas.

Since 2014 in the UK, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has regulated both the offline and online casino market.

There are additional commissions in Alderney and the Isle of Man, respectively the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.

The UKGC is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, but is itself a non-departmental public body. It is responsible for assessing, granting, and revoking licenses to casinos and other gaming establishments and companies, enforcing regulations and issuing fines where necessary.

It also advises the government on possible policy decisions related to gambling, and investigates and prosecutes illegal gambling.

The stated aim of the UKGC is “to keep crime out of gambling, to ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly, and to protect children and vulnerable people”.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is entirely independent and non-political and specifically regulates only online casino games, including monitoring software used and sources of funding for online gambling, to prevent criminal activity in the industry.

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission regulates land-based and online casinos, amusements and slot machines, betting, and lotteries in its territory, in line with the Online Gambling Regulation Act (2001).

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