In May this year, the gambling commission officially changed the rules into keeping tabs on casinos (both remote and physical) and how they handle customer funds.
Any casino which stores customer funds in the form of a wallet system, was subject to these new rules. In August, the Gambling commission has updated its rules even further, to increase the protection between your funds and the casino that holds them.
How Was The Gambling Commission Protecting My Money Before?
In May, the commission made it a rule that all casinos had to demonstrate that at certain points in time, a selection of their customer's funds hadn't been moved from their account. If you have a wallet with a casino that holds funds for you to gamble with, then it is held under the control of the casino. Unfortunately, this didn't solve the problem completely.
Casinos aren't banks remember, and until recently, didn't necessarily have any specific legislation which put their handling of customer funds under surveillance.
The new powers were bought in as a way to officially keep track of customer's funds throughout the time that they are contained as a fund with the casino.
This was a good move and especially good for the consumer, because it meant someone could keep track of their money and prove it was doing what it should; waiting for the customer. Before this, the customer would have no knowledge of what was happening with their money behind their back. If anything went wrong, they'd have a hard time proving it, since the casino controlled all the records.
The old system was effectively leaving your money in the control of groups who had complete freedom to revoke it or spend your money themselves, without any third party involved.
Why Would I Need To Worry About My Money?
With no formal checks and the casino holding your money directly as a first party, this wasn't the best system. In fact it goes completely in the face of how many other industries handle deposit security.
The rental industry, for instance, keep deposits safe under the watch of an unbiased third party, so that landlords can't spend any of the deposit on what may be fraudulent expenses.
Casinos have been found to spend customer funds in varying ways:
- Cover business costs with old accounts e.g salary and expenses
- Going bankrupt and shutting down business, making the customer unable to reach their funds
- Fraud – moving money to their own accounts to improve the appearance of profits for shareholders
With no check ups and no third party to protect customer funds, many more scrupulous casinos were quite able to do this at any time they wanted. Granted, much of the time customers would be none the wiser if the casino simply moved money around or just stole from old accounts; but it was still happening nonetheless.
In August, the commission has greatly increased the amount that they can check on accounts. In basic terms they can now:
- Check whenever they want
- Check more frequently
- Have a record of longer periods of time
- Check more accounts
Since May, the commission have been able to check customer fund accounts on a regular basis, but these were only limited checks. They were simply precursors to the now stronger rules.
- They were only able to check one day periods at a time
- They had to declare their plan to check accounts in advance
The problem with these earlier rules are clear. Firstly, declaring that they wanted to check funds made it very simple for casinos to cover their tracks, as they had warning in advance. Secondly, in checking only single days, it gave the commission a very limited perspective of the activity on the account.
After all, there's nothing stopping a casino moving money out of a customer's wallet, then back in for the day of the check up, then back out again.
Now, the commission can avoid these issues, keep tabs on the account for a longer period of time, whilst keeping tabs on even more accounts than before; all without a long warning period.
This means more consumers can look forward to even greater security.
The Best Casinos To Visit
The Gambling Commission also have made it so casinos now have to state explicitly where customer funds are held, using a rating system.
This rating system ranges from stating that the customer funds are stored with the casino assets, which could lead to the above issues.
All the way to customer funds being held with a third party.
All remote and online casinos must comply with the latter.
They must express this information before you even deposit. So whenever you make a deposit, make sure to look out for this rating system and check how your money is being looked after.
Any casino you check should also be registered with the Gambling Commission, which will usually be found in the footer of the casino's website, along with all their other sponsor and licence information. Casinos that want to be trusted will usually display this information very publicly.
Always remember, if it's hidden, they're probably hiding something