What It Takes to Get an Online Casino License in the UK - The Redditch Standard

What It Takes to Get an Online Casino License in the UK

Redditch Editorial 10th Feb, 2023   0

The explosion of online casinos has meant that players worldwide have ample opportunity to get their gambling fix online. In the UK, this is no different, with the iGaming market taking off and becoming the highest earner in the industry for the last two years.

Unfortunately, many scam websites have also jumped on the online casino bandwagon to con innocent players out of their money. Any official casino operating in the UK must have an official gambling license to ensure this won’t happen.

Obtaining a gambling license is no small feat and certainly doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it is a lengthy process that costs tens of thousands of pounds. Thankfully, once received, the influx of customers who can see you are a fully licensed site will be well worth the effort and cost.

What Is a Gambling License?




A gambling license is an official acknowledgment that the relevant governing body has vetted your online casino and that it has met a series of benchmarks for offering services. This allows you to operate in a region legally and lets players know that your site can be trusted.

The UK Gambling Commission issues all gambling licenses in the UK. Touted as one of the most prestigious gambling licenses in the world, a stamp of approval from the UKGC can make the difference between a successful casino and a failure.


How to Apply

Applying for a license from the UKGC is a lengthy process and requires several steps. While licenses used to be approved within an average period of 16 weeks, the governing body has and still is experiencing delays. One reason for this is the massive expansion in the market and the numerous applications being received.

The application is simple enough to complete and can be done online via the official application portal on the UKGC website. However, you’ll need to have all your documentation and other requirements (discussed further below) ready before you apply. You will also need to pay an application fee when submitting your application.

Different License Types

Not all licenses are equal, and the type of license you may need depends on the services you plan on providing. For online casinos, the most essential kind of license required is the RNG-based games and betting products license.

This license allows you to offer bingo, casino games (including slots and table games like poker and roulette) and betting on virtual events. Alongside this, you will need to apply for additional licenses such as Gambling Software, a personal management license, and a General betting standard (real events) license if you want to offer activities like sports betting.

Aside from the different licenses, there are also many different license categories. These vary depending on the annual gross gambling yield (or GGY) that your casino will generate. The table below outlines the various categories and the GGY they represent:

Category –  Annual Gross Gambling Yield (GGY)

F1  – Less than £550,000

G1  – £550,000 or greater, up to but excluding £2 million

G2 – £2 million or greater, up to but excluding £5.5 million

H1 – £5.5 million or greater, up to but excluding £25 million

I1 – £25 million or greater, up to but excluding £100 million

J1 – £100 million or greater, up to but excluding £250 million

K1 – £250 million or greater, up to but excluding £550 million

L1 – £550 million or greater, up to but excluding £1 billion

M1 – £1 billion or greater

If you’re unsure exactly which licenses you’ll require, the UKGC website offers a helpful guide and even has consultants who can assist you. This will make it easier to ensure you simultaneously apply for all the necessary licenses.

Required Documentation

The documents you need to provide when applying will vary depending on how you operate. For sole traders, there is less required. However, the list is still extensive. The full list of documents needed to complete the application can be found on the UKGC website.

Applying with any of the required documents not attached will cause delays in processing your request. Therefore, it is always best to read over the list numerous times to ensure you have all the relevant information before applying.

Fees

While one may think applying for a license is cheap, nothing can be further from the truth. Fees for license applications depend entirely on the type of license you request. In our testing, we applied for the following licenses:

  • Gambling software (F1)
  • Gaming machine technical: software (F1)
  • General betting (standard) real events (F1)
  • RNG-based games and betting products (F1)
  • Personal management license

As of 2023, the fees applicable for this small number of licenses are as follows:

  • Application fee (payable upon application): £15,213.25
  • First-year annual fee (payable within 30 days of license issue): £26,161.50
  • Subsequent annual fee: £34,882.00

The above pricing means that the total required to apply for a license in the first year is £41,374.75. While this may seem like an outrageous sum of money, it is important to remember that it also

allows for sports betting and online casino applications. However, it doesn’t include all licenses available.

After Application

Once your application has been submitted, there is nothing to do except wait until you hear back from the UKGC. Hopefully, they will deem all your documents are in order, and you’ll soon be listed as one of the tremendous licensed casino sites offering services to players in the UK.

If, however, your application runs into any snags, the UKCG will contact you to let you know what the problem is. You can then rectify the issue to move things along.

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