Online gambling is not a new industry. It got created in 1994 when Antigua and Barbuda decided to pass the Free Trade and Processing Act, which allowed this small island nation to supply operators with internet gaming licenses. Soon after, other international regulators appeared on the scene, and the sector began to take off at a drastic pace.
Today, there are over 3,000 gambling sites, generating revenues of $90 billion per year. Projections are that the global market will expand to a size of $158 billion in the next seven years. Therefore, with this industry so rapidly growing, it has become laborious to weed out reliable gambling sites from untrustworthy ones. What follows below are a few indicators that will aid anyone that plans on partaking in this pastime, no matter if they are going to do so at UKGC platforms or at non GamStop casinos that allow Brits.
Internet Gambling Regulation
Online gambling licensors play a pivotal role in player safety. Contingent on a country’s legislation, a region can have its regulator and home-based sites, or its residents can play at foreign platforms that get overseen by international licensing bodies. The UKGC is Britain’s gambling regulator, active since 2007. It boasts a reputation as one of the firmest overseers in this industry, offering unmatched player support.
However, international organizations such as Curacao’s four master license holders, the Gambling Control Board of Panama, and Malta’s Gaming Authority implement licensing and regulation measures similar to the UKGC. The importance of these organizations lies in that they ensure that all their licensees are financially stable, provide adequate data ciphering technology, and have proper dispute resolution measures in place.
Payment Options & Fees
Everyone that has won a prize while playing games of chance over the internet knows that quick and hassle-free withdrawals are crucial for player satisfaction. Operators can facilitate such transfers by offering a wide range of payment methods and automatically processing all transactions.
Unfortunately, since early-2020, UK players can no longer use credit cards at UKGC-licensed platforms. However, they are still free to utilize this method at gambling sites, not on GameStop, which also boast a robust selection of altcoins or cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.
All online gamblers should look into a site’s terms and conditions and banking page to get familiar with the fees affiliated with each transaction option a given platform provides and their processing times. In general, all deposits should go through immediately. Nevertheless, that is not the case with withdrawals. That procedure’s timeframe can vary substantially depending on the chosen method. At most casinos not on GameSpot and UK ones, e-wallets and cryptos will facilitate the fastest transfers, while card options and bank wire the slowest.
Bonuses & Loyalty Schemes
In all honesty, most gambling sites feature similar product libraries. The live table side of things in this industry gets dominated by Riga-based Evolution Gaming, while the highest quality slots come from a dozen or so reel-spinning providers. Naturally, other companies supply games, but most top-end operators like to stick to tried-and-tested options. So, bonuses are where online casinos truly differ. Promotions are the backbone of this sector, and they play the most crucial role in players picking one site over all others.
Because of this reality, UK sites and casinos not on GamStop look to offer enticing welcome packages that are a mix of free spins paired with a percentage match up to a specific amount. In recent times, they have also focused on cultivating loyalty programs that aim to have players stay and play. These are schemes that involve point-collection based on wagering activity. The more players bet, the more points they collect, and the better prizes they attain for their patronage.
As mentioned, when it comes to live table action and slots, most online casinos host the same products. That said, that does not mean that all game of chance platforms are equal in title selection. Some aim to provide a more varied gaming library, including specialty games like Slingo, keno, fish shooters, video poker, and other atypical gambling options.
Yes, having many games to choose from is important. Yet, what is also paramount is having a guarantee that all those products are fair. Players can find this information out by looking for a logo of an RNG testing agency such as iTech Labs, eCOGRA, and TST in the homepage footer of the casino they are considering. These reputable brands ensure that there is no foul play afoot via regular random audits. Any site with a credible gaming license will cooperate with one of the mentioned agencies.
Player Help & Problem Gambling Support
All online casinos these days must have live chat support. It is a small window in the bottom right corner of a user’s screen. It allows instant access to a site representative, who should answer all pressing questions. The next best thing is email support, which should produce a response in less than 24-hours. However, to help players resolve their issues by themselves, lessening the burden carried by the support staff, a quality platform should also boast a decent FAQ page. These three, live chat, email, and an FAQ section are the golden trifecta in online gambling support.
It is also worth noting that gambling sites look after players by assisting them to get help regarding their compulsion for betting on games of chance and sports. All UK casinos participate in the mandatory self-exclusion program called GamStop. They also provide links to services like GamCare and BeGambleAware. Gambling sites not on GamStop also promote responsible gambling. They have site-specific self-exclusion and allow players the option to set deposit/loss limits.
UK Casinos vs. Non GamStop Casinos
In late 2020, a public discourse started regarding problem gambling in the UK. That conversation got spurred on by a YouGov research that claimed that a little more than 2.4% of adult Brits have problems controlling themselves when it comes to wagering of any sort. Thus, the UKGC decided to implement new measures that would make the online slot experience less intense, thereby lowering the incidence of gambling addiction in Britain. These new restrictions have caused many Brits to seek out non GamStop casinos for UK players. Such sites feature fewer limitations regarding online slot gameplay.
The benefits of casinos and bingo sites not on GamStop are that they allow credit cards, have no spin timers, boast perk-rich loyalty schemes, and still allow auto/turbo-play functions. They also house games unavailable on UKGC platforms.
To Sum Up
As touched upon above, the internet is now swarming with online casinos. So, it is growing more strenuous to discover which sites are options worth exploring and what are platforms to avoid. Players must do considerable research regarding any casino they are thinking about joining before they hit the sign-up button. Moreover, everyone who decides to get into this hobby should know that having proper impulse control when betting is paramount. Winning and losing money on interactive games can cause some people to get carried away. Thus, everyone should budget wisely and have the mental fortitude not to wager more than they can afford to lose. Gambling should always be an entertaining activity. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Having the right mindset when engaging in it is essential.