UK Online Gambling Legalities
The Gambling Act of 2005 made it perfectly legal for UK citizens to gamble online. Casino providers are allowed to operate within the country but must conform fully to the strict regulations provided to them by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC has the notorious reputation of being the strictest gambling regulatory board in the world, which means that as a player, you can guarantee that someone has your back.
There is full recourse, should you feel that you are being treated unfairly by any online casino in the UK. The UKGC has very stringent rules for casinos to adhere to before they will give out licenses (which are mandatory to trade within the borders of the country).
The UKGC strictly monitors:
- Casino Software: They will test the software to ensure that it performs within the parameters of the legal standard, which means that it will be of the highest quality.
- Casino Advertising: The advertising cannot seem to target minors at all, even to the degree that childlike cartoon characters are not allowed on adverts. No misleading bait and switch tactics may be used in UK marketing; if the promo states that you will get free credits, you can bet your bottom dollar that the credits will be genuinely free. The UK’s largest gambling companies agreed to halt all TV and radio advertisements during the current lockdown period. Existing gambling advertisements will be replaced by messages promoting gambling safety. This decision was taken to try and limit any potential increase in ‘problem gambling’, demonstrating how serious gambling organisations are in ensuring safe and fair gambling environment for their customers.
- Money Management and crime: The UKGC is ever looking to weed out corrupt vendors, who are in the business for money laundering and other corrupt reasons.
- Casino Code of conduct: The UKGC wants to know that the casino is able to offer the best customer service to the market (those over 18 years old) and that the vendors are sensitive to customer habits and will do their utmost not to feed gambling addictions in players.
To learn more about the gambling regulations in the UK and all updated regularly, check out our guide on gambling regulations in the UK.
The main characteristics of a top UK Online Casino
When frequenting an online casino, there are certain things that you should look out for. Here at CasinoWow, we will guide you in the right direction when choosing from the top gambling sites. These characteristics are what one should expect from the best online casinos in the United Kingdom:
1. Language, currency and bonuses
It is vitally important that UK casinos offer British English as a playable language, as it is the main spoken language throughout the country. But, for those foreigners who would like to play in their own tongue, top casinos will offer most of the main languages spoken in the world, like German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and a host of others.
It's vitally important that you understand terms, conditions, bonus requirements, and other playthrough rules, before playing at a casino, so that you are not caught out by any surprises.
Playing in your own currency is vital to good bankroll management, as there is nothing worse than having to work out the exchange rate with a calculator every time you make a deposit or place a wager. It’s a good thing that all top UK casinos offer betting in GBP. It also means that you will not have to pay hefty foreign exchange costs when drawing your wins, either.
To benefit the most from the currency you are playing in, be on the look-out for exclusive casino bonuses, tailor-made for British players playing in GBP. The leading online casinos will offer players top UK bonuses, often matching deposits, and even in some cases will grant you ‘NO deposit bonuses’ on sign up, to afford you free credits to be used to get familiar with the new casino environment.
2. Great customer service
As stated earlier, the UK Gambling Commission pulls no punches with online casino vendors. This means that they are always kept on their toes to ensure that you as a customer are treated in the fairest way possible. Top UK casinos vetted by CasinoWow will always offer the finest customer service available in the industry.
Should you want to get in touch with a professional customer service representative, you will be able to telephone, email, or live chat with a rep 24/7.
3. Safe and speedy Payment Methods
All top casinos pride themselves in the speed at which the payout, as well as the ease in which you can deposit cash. But, this itself is not enough. The best online casinos will offer a number of different payment methods to meet your chosen requirements. Often these methods are run by third-party companies that guarantee you a faster and safer way of depositing and withdrawing money from casinos than that which your standard wire transfers and EFT’s will give you.
Below are some of the more popular payment methods used by UK players:
- E-Wallets: Electronic wallets are among the most popularly used payment methods by patrons at online casinos. The main reasons are because they are extremely safe, due to the fact that the wallet acts as a ‘middleman’ between you and the casino. This means that your sensitive banking information is kept safe by them and held far away from the casino and its database. The second reason is the rate of transfer, as e-wallets offer the fastest consistent transfer time of any other ‘real money’ service. Payments and withdrawals are generally instant at top casinos. Popular names in this genre of the method are Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, and ecoPayz.
- Pre-paid Cards and Vouchers: These can be bought at your local general dealer or retailer, where they are topped up with cash in the store. When logging into your favourite UK casino, you need just complete your deposit by using the voucher number to redeem your credits immediately. Options of this variety include Paysafecard and UKash.
- Credit Cards: Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted at all top casinos in the UK. American Express is not generally accepted due to their exorbitant transactional fees levied upon the casino vendors. This form of payment and withdrawal system is extremely popular, despite its cost and lengthy withdrawal clearance times.
- Wire Transfers and EFT’s: These are direct money transfers made from bank to bank. While casinos love this type of transfer due to the low costs involved on their side, it can be more risky and slower than other methods.
- Instant Transfer: Trustly offers the service of guaranteeing funds on your behalf to a casino provider. They make the funds available in real-time so that you can waste no time in playing while waiting to recoup funds from your bank when the bank transfer clears (often 24 – 72 hours later.
- Cryptocurrency Wallet: In this day and age, it is nothing spectacular to own a cryptocurrency wallet. Certain casinos will accept this virtual currency as legal tender and can even pay out your winnings in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and LiteCoin. Crypto wallet exchanges are faster than e-wallets and safer as well. This is saying much, as e-wallets have a reputation for being the fastest form of real money transfer.
Credit Card Payments❗️
As of the 14th April 2020, casino operators can no longer accept the use of credit cards as payment for gambling, as well as payments made by credit card through an e-wallet. The ban extends to both online and offline gambling products, except for non-remote (or land-based lotteries). The UKGC introduced this measure to curb the rising number of ‘problem gamblers’ excessively using their credit cards to gamble, effectively putting them into further debt.
VIPs and verifications❗️
As of October 2020, casino operators in the UK are required to execute user verification and set monthly limits. The UKGC also released strict guidelines for all VIP customers. Operators have to ensure the reliability of the customer and their identity, occupation, and source of funds before declaring one as a VIP.
Safer gambling measures❗️
As of September 2021, new measures were applied and there is a strict implementation of a maximum deposit limit of £500 (€583/$692) for any players under the age of 25.
UK Online Casinos Summary
In closing, you will be happy to know that the best names in the business have UK licenses and come loaded with online entertainment value especially for you. The big 5 online casinos are all available to UK players and include names like Casumo, Leo Vegas Casino, and more.
In seeing the degree of service and entertainment offered by top online casinos, such as those above, you can deposit your bankroll without any fear and get yourself ready for fun, fast and fair casino entertainment in a top UK online casino at a cursor near you.