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UKGC targets VIPs with new regulations

The impact of UKGC requirements on high rollers and VIPs as the Commission takes a broad-strokes approach to player regulation.


VIP players have been a mainstay of the casino industry for decades. With their large stakes and seemingly endless bankrolls, high roller players have garnered the respect due to them thanks to deep pockets and top tier lifestyle.

The United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC) has noticed a worrying trend where the source of these funds is unclear and, in an attempt to promote responsible gambling, made proof of income a requirement of every online casino account verification.

While many gamblers have accepted this new request without much fuss, high roller players who have inherited funds or who are captains of industry are less than pleased.

VIP verification

VIPs are familiar with special treatment at casinos which includes exclusive invitations and faster cash-out processes thanks to their status. Not only are they now not making the grade according to the latest UKGC rules announced in September and losing their special status, but also having to search for documents which prove the source of their funds.

European high rollers, in particular, may find themselves frustrated with this specification due to the large percentage of the aristocracy and generational wealth.

This high roller regulation will have an impact on gamers within the extended families of Belgium, Denmark, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Grand Duchy Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway and Spain who will need to reveal their association with the royal line.

Player retention?

Loyal rewards and VIP Programs have been a player retention strategy for many years and, by losing many high rollers due to this requirement, this may have a huge and unexpected impact on the longevity of online casinos.

Furthermore, the additional UKGC requirements that stipulate that players can also only deposit a certain amount per month and bet a specific amount on each game makes it even less tempting for gamers to seek out a licensed casino.

From a UKGC perspective, this regulation comes out of necessity after having to fine Betway for a litany of compliance failings, one of which was accepting bets placed using money from an unethical source.

Betway may have been the casino operator that was most robustly punished, however, other online casinos like 888 were also fined for similar transgressions.

The UKGC established that by verifying the source of player funds, casinos could be better equipped to put an end to money laundering and protect themselves from becoming unwittingly involved in organized crime.

Impact on German casinos

While it is illegal to host an online casino site in Germany, placing bets online is very unclear and, due to the lack of legal online options, citizens have resorted to playing games of chance through off-shore online casinos.

As these sites are mostly unregulated, residents are aware that, should they stumble across an unlicensed operator, placing bets using real money is at their own risk.

Given the extent of the aristocracy in the country in the late 1800s, there is still a large portion of gamblers who have inherited funds through family lines. As such, tracing the source of income may well be a lengthy and time-consuming process.

Niche market

This poses the question as to whether a niche online casino, specifically created for high rollers, has potential within the gaming market. Given the fact that the UKGC regulations paint everyone with the same brush, VIPs may flock to a casino that allows them to bet as they want.

Many would argue that the very restrictive rules put in place by the Commission take all the fun out of playing casino games online. An operator who could navigate around these specifications could gain a great deal of popularity in a very short time, and not just from former or future VIP players.

Only time will tell as to how much the UKGC VIP regulations will impact the online casino market. While the ruling comes from a good place, the stringent specifications may just be a step too far.

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