The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced it will allow licensed online-gambling companies to begin accepting virtual currencies as a payment medium as of October 31, 2106. Virtual currencies, by definition, include Bitcoin and other digital offerings.
The change in conditions was added via an update to the UKGC’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. It explains that operators must implement policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents to avoid money laundering. The anonymity, which is one of the main features of virtual currencies, means that additional steps are likely to be taken to ensure strict KYC controls.
The actual wording from the report states:“Licensees, as part of their internal controls and financial accounting systems, must implement appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents (eg bankers drafts, cheques and debit cards and digital currencies) by customers, designed to minimize the risk of crimes such as money laundering, to avoid the giving of illicit credit to customers and to provide assurance that gambling activities are being conducted in a manner which promotes the licensing objectives.”
The UK Gambling Commission is the first significant gambling commission to grant approval for virtual currency. Others around the world are expected to follow the same fashion in the near future.