The online casino industry is highly visible in the UK, although the country’s regulations are some of the strictest in the world for operators to adhere to. In short, any online casino in the UK needs to have a valid license to be allowed to offer their games to you, and even gambling operators outside the country are allowed to apply for a license. For British players wanting to play at casinos online in the UK, there are a wide range of possibilities. Since Great Britain is such a large market for gambling operators, you’re sure to find that casinos operated by some of the world’s finest brands have UKGC licenses.Of course, having a license is not a guarantee that a casino is excellent, and it’s especially not a guarantee that the casino in question is the type that will suit you! That’s why the experts here at GoodLuckMate have compiled a complete list of all the best online casinos in the UK so that you can easily find one that has all the right features for you.
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When checking out a specific gambling site, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind, and we’ve provided you with a list of things you should look for. Not having some of the options or features you need may make you decide to give even the most well-designed casino site a miss. At the same time, analyzing the sites more closely will reveal those that are worth your time. Taking the time to run through the checklist below will give you a good indication of how the casino you’re looking at stacks up:
If checking out the sites yourself seems like a lot of work, we’ll let you in on a hot tip: you can find the answers to all these questions without having to do any research whatsoever! Our experts at GoodLuckMate have already carefully reviewed all the best casinos online in the UK, and they’ve presented their findings in casino reviews on the site. Just head on over to our review section to find a casino you like.
The UK gambling regulations are overseen solely by the UK Gambling Commission, and all types of gambling fall under the Gambling Act of 2005. Any operator based locally or elsewhere can apply for a license to operate a casino business in the country for any type of games except lotteries. The National Lottery still has a monopoly on lottery games, with smaller charity lotteries operating under specific constraints.
From a player’s perspective, the regulations don’t restrict players from playing wherever they want. This means it‘s not punishable by law to play at a UK casino online that isn’t licensed in the UK. That said, unlicensed casinos do pose a higher risk for you as a player, as you may not have the same legal protection should you run into problems. Because there’s such a high number of UKGC-licensed operators today, we recommend first and foremost that you play at these.
Operators in the United Kingdom will either have a ‘remote’ or ‘non-remote’ license, which means that they’re allowed to operate as either a bricks-and-mortar casino or an online casino. When it comes to land-based casinos in the UK, there are over 100 different ones to choose from. Aside from actual casinos, betting shops, bingo halls, and arcade centers are all licensed and open to the public. The minimum age to enter any land-based casino in the UK is 18, and you might be required to show ID if you look younger than 21.
It’s safe to say that the UK has a long-established gambling market that draws some of the most renowned and best online casinos to want to set up shop there, despite the strict regulations they have to abide by. As a result, you can easily pick and choose from a vast selection of operators offering excellent UK online casino products.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.