UKGC Improves Player Protections with New Guidelines

November 19th, 2014 | by Greg Shaun
UKGC improves its security policies

UK online poker players will now know exactly how their funds are being held, thanks to the UKGC’s new regulatory guidelines. (Image: wallpapersdesign.net)

The UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) efforts to make all regulated sites in the UK as player-friendly as possible took another step forward recently after it published new guidelines on fund segregation.

Published on the regulatory body’s website earlier this week, the new rules are designed to show customers how a particular site intends to protect its funds.

In contrast to the early days of online poker when sites such as Full Tilt didn’t protect players’ bankrolls at all, sites are now required to keep their operating capital separate from their player funds.

Each site applying for a license with the UKGC was made aware of these guidelines before the new gaming laws came into effect on November 1, but as 2015 gets underway, each site will now be required to publish exactly how it handles fund separation.

In total, there are three levels of protection, Basic, Medium, and High and eventually, each site will have to display its policy before a player can complete his or her deposits.

 UKGC Deadlines for Change

In order to comply with the UKGC’s regulations, all online poker rooms in the UK must include the level of segregation they plan to use in their terms and conditions by December 31.

Following this, all regulated sites must then make the same information available to players at the point of depositing by February 25, 2015. Only by complying with these above conditions will a site be allowed to operate legally in the UK under the jurisdiction of the UKGC.

Ratings Categories Outlined by the UKGC:

Basic – Segregation of customer funds – Customer funds are kept in accounts separate from business accounts, but they would form part of the assets of the business in the event of insolvency. These accounts may include bank accounts, investment accounts, and other accounts.

MediumQuistclose or equivalent – Customer funds are kept in accounts separate from business accounts; and arrangements have been made to ensure assets in the customer accounts are distributed to customers in the event of insolvency. The arrangements falling in the medium category include Quistclose accounts and insurance arrangements.

High – Independent trust account – Customer funds are held in a trust account which is verified and subject to controls by an independent trustee.

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