The UK was one of the forerunners when it came to regulating and licensing of online casino and poker sites, and it is once again looking to be ahead of the curve when it comes to making changes to make online gambling more safe and secure for players.
For years the licensing and regulation side of online gambling was somewhat taken for granted, with little attention paid by players and industry insiders alike as far as the fine print of what was required in various jurisdictions that issue licenses to online gambling site.
That's changed dramatically since April, however, as the US government's crackdown on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker has put regulation efforts back in the spotlight.
Full Tilt has served as a prime example of the importance of licensing, as its license from Alderney didn't require it to keep the necessary funds to refund all player deposits on hand, which Full Tilt customers found out the hard way when the site first closed its doors to US players without refunding them a penny and then later shut down completely and stranded funds for all players when its gaming license was suspended.
PokerStars, on the other hand, was licensed in the Isle of Man, which required funs to always be available and enabled PokerStars to refund more than $100 million to US players in just a few weeks.
UK casino guidelines that are currently being reviewed by the Culture, Media and Sports department in the UK include modifications aimed at implementing stricter accounting rules, adopting stronger safeguards to protect against fraud and theft, and possibly limiting sponsorships and advertising of sports teams by online sites.
While these efforts were underway before the US began its campaign against US casino and poker sites, they've gained momentum in light of recent developments, with some believing that the new guidelines for online casinos licensed in the UK could be unveiled within the next few months.