How the UKGC Regulatory Changes in the UK Changed Welcome Bonuses

The recent regulatory changes in the UK have greatly impacted online casinos, particularly concerning welcome bonuses. Previously, online casinos in the UK were allowed to offer free spins and other types of welcome bonuses to new players.

However, with the new regulations, these offers are no longer permitted under some circumstances. This is because the regulators believe that such bonuses amount to unfair business practices. Instead, online casinos must clearly stipulate their terms and conditions for all their incentives.

This article expounds on the consequences of these new rules and regulations in the UK casino and gambling scene.

The Regulations Affecting Casino Operators

The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is the principal agency that checks for competition and consumerism issues. This agency discovered that most online casinos and gambling platforms offer unfair promotions and bonuses to get the attention and entice new members.

The CMA stated that these bonuses and promotions do not have clear terms and conditions for playing and wagering. All this leads to confusion for the users. Gamblers often end up joining the promotions that they have no understanding of.

With these confusing and vague terms, gamblers are tricked into signing up and making uninformed decisions. Most of them regret it as soon as they get these promotions and bonuses.

Regulations by CMA on Bonuses and Promotions

Here are some of the regulations as outlined by the CMA.

  • Every gambling establishment must give clear details on the terms and conditions of any promotion, free spin, bonus, or any free bet provided to the gamblers. Failure to do so attracts punishment from the UK Gambling Commission.
  • All gambling sites and casinos should not force gamblers to participate in public stunts that aim to promote the bookmakers’ or casinos’ platforms to get their winnings after wagering the provided bonuses or promotions.
  • All the UK online casinos and gambling establishments must precisely state the restrictions, rules, and limitations imposed on their free bonuses and promotions. These casinos will also not withhold the player’s money based on any unclear and confusing terms, conditions, or requirements on these bonuses.
  • Any casino that does not adhere to these new regulations risks facing punitive disciplinary actions from the UK Gambling Commission.

As expected, these rules have immensely affected gambling activities in the UK. Besides these regulations, there have also been new laws on taxation of these bonuses. Casinos have been forced to devise new strategies of operations to stay afloat.

The gambling establishments have reduced their promotions and bonuses to reduce the tax burdens per the new rules. Additionally, these casinos are spending less on advertising their free bonuses, promotions, and free bets.

All these were crucial tools in attracting new players. With the reduced advertisements and enticements, the casinos are experiencing fewer new players, hence lower earnings.

As stated by most casino platforms, these regulations have made it harder for these establishments to expand and thrive. The advancing burden of tax on the gambling industry means that these businesses would stagnate as they re-strategise for profits and continuity.

These casinos also began adjusting their terms and conditions so that they were all clear and detailed in a way that players understood. It hugely improved the gambling scene as gamblers no longer had confusion about promotions and bonuses on their selected platforms.

The Players

These laws are in place to help gamblers in the UK casino scene. These amendments enhance their safety playing and improve their gambling experience. This is because the bonuses and promotions now have more defined terms and instructions that gamblers need to follow when gambling. They are aware of the terms and conditions of these incentives before they sign up and play in the casinos.

While the reduced promotion activities have made it harder for players with little or no understanding of gambling games and betting strategies to win big from them, it is all for the good of the gambling industry in the UK.


The regulatory changes in the UK that came into effect in 2018 have radically impacted how online casinos welcome bonuses. Overall, these changes made it harder for online casinos to offer large welcome bonuses, as they needed to find other clear ways of enticing customers into their platforms. Other sites like Lucky Clover Spins have come up with clever welcome offers where players can win up to 500 free spins on a spin of a wheel to combat the changes.

Other sites have focused on more supplemental offers and promotions with clear terms of operations. This has hugely benefited players as they can now enjoy gambling without being hoodwinked by casinos and other gambling institutions.