With the UK Gambling Commission’s latest changes to its License Conditions and Codes of Practice, people can expect some of the world’s best Bitcoin casinos will be based out of the UK. Released at the end of July, the update will take into effect on Oct. 1 of this year.
The UKGC’s Codes of Practice are what licensees need to observe if they want to keep operating in UK. This means that a lot of both online and offline gambling operators will be taking heed of it. The critical change can be found in section 5.1 of the text which is as follows:
“Licensees, as part of their internal controls and financial accounting systems, must implement appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents (eg bankers drafts, cheques and debit cards and digital currencies) by customers, designed to minimise the risk of crimes such as money laundering, to avoid the giving of illicit credit to customers and to provide assurance that gambling activities are being conducted in a manner which promotes the licensing objectives.”
The mention of “digital currencies” means that the UKGC acknowledges digital currencies as a legitimate cash equivalent. This change was mostly aimed at ensuring that players would be more protected from fraud if they are ever scammed, as well as ensuring that digital currencies are not used for money laundering.
The addition of this language seriously affects how casinos can operate in the UK. The biggest change is the fact that it allows Bitcoin and other digital currencies into the online gambling market. However, it is just a suggestion.
In the UK, the operator is presented with the LCCP and just need to uphold it. The language does not require casinos to start using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. It just means that if they are used, sufficient policies and procedures are in place to minimize the risk of crime.
The change in language, however, is a strong inducement for operators to adopt cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the most recognizable of the bunch, but there are a lot of other cryptocurrencies out there and people can expect that casinos will start accepting them as well. People can expect to see a boom in licenses as many online gambling sites—as well as online casinos with Bitcoin—may seek to get a UK license for further legitimacy and access to the UK gambling market.