How to Verify a UK Gambling License in the Right Way
The UK gambling license is the gold standard in the industry, I guess nobody will argue. The commission are doing a very good job (especially in comparison with other jurisdictions) not only in terms of protection of players, but also regarding their services in general. Thus they have introduced such cool features like centralized self-blocking service for addicted gamblers and license verification service.
Why is it so important to verify a UK gambling license? Being the world-wide recognized leader in the gambling regulations also makes them the main target for counterfeiting. Casino players trust the UK gambling license (for a good reason, for sure), so it becomes very appealing for all sorts of frauds to fake the UK gambling license to trick people in their clearly scam casinos.
As I have mentioned, the UK gambling commission have implemented verification service so that everybody can verify the casino’s license on the official website by themselves. It is a cool feature, don't get me wrong, though the verification must be performed in the right way (this part is always missed). Otherwise it is absolutely useless at best, and actually rather harmful, since some of you may get wrecked by false positives.
With that being said, let’s learn about these two things:
How to verify a UK gambling license (all 3 possible scenarios)
Two super important precautions you must take each time you verify the UK gambling license
How to verify the UK gambling license (all 3 possible scenarios)
At the moment the article has been written, the UK gambling commission do not require online casinos to have a license seal (as, for example, Curacao do). Hence, depending on a particular online casino, there can be 3 possible ways how the verification can go.
Important. After you are done with how to verify the license, read the section about the precautions. Otherwise the verification is not 100% reliable.
Scenario 1 (the most convenient for players)
An online casino (usually on the bottom of the casino’s website) provide the UK gambling license number, but not only that, it also make the number clickable. So that if you give it a casual left-button click it is going to send you on the UK gambling commission’s website, specifically to the page devoted to this particular casino, where you can see that it has got a valid license.
Here’s how it can look like.
On the bottom of the website, where the casino provide information about its gambling licenses, find the paragraph devoted to the UK and click on its number (5-digits number).
The official verification web service is very convenient, and here you can get all the information about this particular online casino along with its license validity.
Here an online casino just provide you with its account number (which is basically a license number), and you are supposed to verify it manually on the UK gambling commission’s website.
To do so, visit the validator webpage: https://secure.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PublicRegister/Search
In the search field enter the license number and press the “search” button. Leave the other fields empty, it is not necessary to fill them out.
Please notice. It must be exclusively a 5 digit number, for example, 39483. Not a 6 digit number as some online casinos prefix it with “0”, for example, 039483. Just leave out “0” in that case, because the service is not going to recognize the license in 6-digits format.
The record devoting to this particular casino is going to be displayed to you. Then click on the “view” link to access the complete record profile.
If you have not managed to find the casino’s account number (license number can also be found in Terms and Conditions), don’t worry, as you can still enter its name in the search box. Exactly as it is shown in the 2nd scenario, but instead of numbers enter the casino’s name (I have typed “rizk” as I was trying to verify its license).
Then click on the “view” section (the same as it is shown in the 2nd scenarion).
Here we can make sure that the casino has got an active UK gambling license.
Two super crucial precautions while verifying a UK gambling license
The verification procedure is pretty much simple, though I don’t get why, but the most important part is ignored by basically everybody. It is a little bit more complicated (though not a rocket science at all), but you have to go through it to become 100% confident.
Before moving to the point here is some information which is going to help you to grasp the topic much better.
Each website on the internet has got its own unique address which is called a domain name. A domain name is displayed on the top of your web browser, and it can not be forged. How do scammers work around? In domain names each symbol matters (not only letters and digits, but also dashes and periods). Hence, frauds change only one symbol making the domain name look very similar to the legit one.
The legit UK gambling commission domain name: gamblingcommission.gov.uk
Possible fakes: gambling-commission.gov.uk, gamblingcommissions.gov.uk, gamblingcommissiongov.uk, gamblingcommission-gov.uk (any other variations, except for the only one legit, are fake)
But how can somebody impersonate the whole website? Everybody with at least some web development experience can confirm that it is not a challenge at all, and it can be done with relatively small investments. Hence, there are definitely many scammers around who take advantage of these loopholes.
So to speak, there are 2 possible vectors of attacks:
the UK gambling commission’s website can be completely forged
the website of a legit online casino with valid UK license can be also forged
Let’s elaborate on, and I am going to explain how to avoid being scammed.
The precaution regarding the UK gambling commission’s website
Whenever you have been sent to the UK gambling commission’s verification page, you have to establish that the domain name includes exactly this record: gamblingcommission.gov.uk
There will be some prefixes (https://secure.) and suffixes (particular web page's address). But the core part of the domain name must stay intact, no matter what. Precisely for this reason all modern web browsers make this part of the domain name bold as it is shown in the screenshot.
Online casinos with a fake UK gambling license usually redirect players (when you click on the number) to a fake verification website where there is one symbol changed in the domain name. They bet that you won’t tell the difference, and many people actually fall for it.
The precaution regarding an online casino’s website with a valid UK license
Any legit online casino’s website with a valid UK gambling license can also be easily forged. To fight it back, you need to play only on official listed domain names. For example, according to license verification webpage, the official domain name of Rizk casino is www.rizk.com
Hence, you have to verify each time you are on whitelisted domain names. Exactly the same as we did for the UK commission itself (on the top of the web browser).
Please notice, even though it says that the official domain name for the casino is www.rizk.com, only rizk.com part is immutable. For example, https://rizk.com, https://www.rizk.com are the same. So don’t worry if you end up on one of those, they are also legit.
Hopefully you have learned something useful throughout the article, and from now on scammers have zero chances with you.
Though it won’t be excessive to remind the last time that we have to not only go through the verification procedure, but also make sure we are on official websites (both casino and gabmling commission).
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