How Does UKGC Regulate Online and Offline Poker Rooms?

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The law of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission places poker in the category of games of chance as it is a card game exploring the invisible hands of skill and chance to bring out results. This card game comes in different varieties even though we are considering the equal chance poker in this text.

How it works here mostly is that players will place their bets or opt for progressive stakes in a kitty or pot that will be used by every player to pool these bets. Whoever becomes the winner by holding the best hand when the game is over, walks away with the pooled bets.

It is a different tale when it concerns non-equal chance poker. In this kind of poker game, the dealer or banker is a participant who sells an arithmetical advantage over the rest of the players. This kind of poker is played only in casinos with the required license.

The game of poker can be played in different ways and places. The list given below is the only legally recognized way the game of poker is to be played.

  • It can be played in casinos (those under provisional use notices are not excluded)
  • Poker can be played as exempt gaming in clubs and other places with alcohol licensing.
  • It can be likewise be played when there is a club gaming license
  • You can play poker as a non-commercial gaming activity
  • Finally, you can play the game privately as well.

Online Poker Rules

In a bid to ensure that the sanctity of this card game is maintained, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has taken due steps to set rules and regulations to guide the activities in poker games on different platforms. This section of the text will look into the rules the commission has enacted to govern the way poker games will be played online. These rules are binding on every gaming operator with poker gaming services available for play online. Failure to adhere to the rules will attract consequences. 

  • Online casinos can provide the poker game for play on their sites, as long as they have received licensing from the gambling commission.
  • A licensed online casino has been permitted to offer two kinds of poker (the equal chance and the unequal chance poker) There is an exception when the provision of such poker game is under a TUN. When that is the situation, equal chance poker is the only kind that is permitted.
  • In a case where there is the involvement of a third party organization in a poker game hosted in any non GamStop poker site such as, the entire responsibility of such a game rests on the shoulders of the player.

NOTE: Most of these rules similarly apply to offline casino operators as well.

Offline Poker Rules

As we have mentioned earlier, almost all of the rules given to an online casino willing to offer poker games to its customers likewise apply to the running of poker games on offline platforms. Offline platforms for playing poker include:

  • offline casinos;
  • clubs and other places with alcohol licensing;
  • non-commercial gaming venues (including charity events);
  • private gaming venues.

When a poker competition is held at any of these venues, the rules that apply are very similar to those given to remote casinos. And just like those (online poker rules), these rules are binding on every offline gaming operator.

  • For instance, when an offline gaming operator has received a license from the gambling commission (even if it’s temporary), such offline gaming operator is permitted to host both equal chance and non-equal chance poker at their venues.
  • Similarly, when any third party is brought in to host a poker competition in any offline poker room, the offline operator that plays host here is saddled with the entire responsibility of such competitions.

Private Poker Gaming

According to the dictates of the UKGC, any poker game provided in places where the public is not allowed entry would be regarded as private gaming or domestic gaming. This kind of poker game can be hosted even in a workplace, a private residence, and venues where no money is paid as charges for the game. In these cases, the poker game is not for profit-making in any way.

For private poker gaming, the rules affect the body that organizes such a game. The gameplay process and activities must be in line with the rules the commission has set out for them.

  • For instance, there must be no levy collected from participants. It doesn’t matter if such a levy is compulsory or voluntary.
  • There must be close and thorough scrutiny of whoever is allowed access to these private poker games. The organizers must ascertain their credibility before they are allowed to play.

There are other rules applicable to private poker gaming aside from these two we have mentioned here.

Poker Advertising

The rules of the commission recently gave guidelines on the advertising procedures for remote and non-remote gambling operators offering poker games. These rules apply even up to the point of how hyperlinks are used to direct game lovers to a site offering poker games.

In this new rule, any advert placed for poker games must be licensed by the commission. So also, permission has been given to advertisers to promote non-remote poker games hosted in foreign countries.

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