With the UK Gambling Commission clamping down on the sector in recent years, punters are increasingly interested in finding a non-UK licensed casinos. Increased regulations at home have seen the addition of bet limits, spin timers and a ban on credit card funding as the UKGC looks to stamp out problem gambling. GamStop was another feature of the regulatory strategy, and the group enforces a lengthy self-exclusion scheme for vulnerable punters.
For those who are more comfortable in their betting habits, there are opportunities to gamble at casinos that do not have to follow the strict UKGC rules. Our guide will help you to understand the process of finding a reputable casino site.
Security and Licensing
It is important to start you search with security in mind- with the platform and user deposits.
It is important to seek out a betting platform that uses the latest security measures and one of the basics is SSL encryption. This was designed to provide privacy, authentication, and data integrity on the internet. Sites utilizing this feature are highlighting that they value customer safety and data security. Firewalls are another important security feature, and this can prevent the hacking of consumer data.
To protect your casino deposits, it is important to find an online casino that is regulated by a gaming authority in their own country. For UK gamblers, the first choice would be the UK Gambling Commission. British citizens are given a higher standard of security and support in their home country, but some punters have been increasingly looking overseas to non-UK casino sites. Malta and Cyprus are examples of European countries that provide a home to many betting companies. These sites have their own regulatory body, such as the Malta Gaming Authority and are subject to EU money laundering rules and KYC measures, so they are a good starting point when looking for reputable sites.
More recently, there has been a rise in South American destinations which offer gambling services, with Curacao and Costa Rica being two examples that will welcome UK punters. These countries usually have lighter regulation with little-to-no consumer protection for British punters, so they should be treated with care. However, in the case of Costa Rica it is a popular home for US retirees and uses the US dollar, so the banking system is of a higher standard than many countries.
One of the important measures introduced by the UKGC has been the GamStop scheme, which is a non-profit group used to apply a strict self-exclusion scheme to British gamblers. Those who have suffered from problem gambling can apply to the scheme and have their accounts blocked from sites for the period of their choosing. This can be for a period of up to five years and is irreversible. A similar organisation being used in the UK is Gamban, which is a for-profit private enterprise that will block gambling sites from mobile devices and PCs. One benefit of Gamban is that the software can be enforced by family members, and this is helpful for gamblers who may be in denial of their problems. It is important that vulnerable gamblers do not see overseas sites as a method to avoid the GamStop rules.
Variety of Payment Methods
Looking for a good casino site will also require reputable and varied payment methods.
The standard for online payments is always debit and credit cards, but one of the measures introduced by the UKGC was a ban on credit cards at British sites. This is another reason why punters have increasingly moved to sites overseas. Consumers often use credit cards to separate betting transactions from their bank statements. This can help to avoid stigma when they apply for a mortgage or a loan. For withdrawals, UK betting sites will provide wire transfers and payment wallets, but overseas sites also provide these and many are now offering support for cryptocurrencies.
Consumers should look at the terms and conditions for withdrawals to ensure that fees and times are satisfactory.
Bonuses and Promotions
One of the exciting parts of joining a new casino is finding generous welcome bonuses and promotions.
Another issue with the UKGC restrictions has been regulations applied to the marketing of UK companies. There have even been calls for an outright ban on gambling marketing in the country. Bonuses and promotions tend to be better at the non-UK registered casinos, where welcome rewards can be 100% or more, with sign-up rewards being matched up to £500 in many cases.
A strong selection of game titles is something to look for in overseas sites. Reputable site will have a solid platform with good graphics, sound, and a wide range of game titles.
The most popular games are slots, live dealer roulette and poker. Punters who are doing their own research on new sites will need to look for a company that provides transparency in their game statistics. If the payout ratios are at an acceptable industry standard, and are vetted by the gaming authority, it shows they value fairness.
Customer Support and Responsible Gaming
Customer support is another area to consider when looking for an enjoyable online experience.
Many users do not use customer assistance but it’s important to know that it is available. Reputable sites will usually offer access to 24/7 chat support and will provide other contact options such as phone, email, and a good FAQ section. Larger corporations, such as those in the UK, will also have smoother customer service due to larger staff numbers and this is an area where UK sites have an advantage.
Gamblers Looking at Non-UK Casinos
The British gambling scene has started to migrate to non-UK gambling sites like those available on websites like this as the UKGC and mental health lobbyist groups pressure the government to apply increasingly strict regulations and rules on the market.
It is important that they tackle problem gambling, but the measures can also be very restrictive for those who are comfortable in their gambling habits. The new rules have expanded to the in-game casino experience, with measures such as spin timers and the high-profile limit on FOBT bet size limits.
If you have some previous gambling experience, then a little background research with our advice will put you on the right track to finding a reputable casino overseas.
The UKGC is the preferred regulatory body for British consumers because of the increased consumer protection and support for problem gambling, but the European casino sites would be the next best option to consider. These sites can also be a good starting point for finding a reputable Non-UK casino.