About Online Gambling in the UK
Online gambling has been a favourite pastime for a few decades now, with the market growing each year. The UK gambling industry is different from that of online gambling in other regions. All UK gaming sites must be fully licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This means there are strict online gambling laws in place to make sure it’s safe for players to gamble online. There are many reputable online gambling sites in the UK, with more betting sites entering the industry every year.
Types of Gambling
There are many forms of online gambling in the UK. As a nation, we love a bet, and the internet has opened up the opportunity to place bets whenever we please. We no longer have to walk to the local shop or casino; we can do it straight from our desktop or mobile device. Here are the different types of gambling sites you can find in the UK.
Online casino gambling is the most popular form of betting in the UK. The online casino market is very congested, with the best online casino gambling sites offering huge libraries of slot games, virtual tables, big jackpots, live dealer games, and many more. You can also expect to find exciting tournaments, bonuses, and plenty of promotions. Online casinos give you the thrill of betting at a casino without having to leave your home.
The online sports betting industry is only second to casino gambling. These online sites allow punters to place bets on the top sports betting events from around the world, such as football, golf, racing, MMA, eSports, and horse racing. You can explore hundreds of betting markets and even place bets in play as the event plays out. Some sports betting sites even stream the event directly from the betting platform.
Daily Fantasy Betting
Fantasy sports is another betting vertical that has been on the rise in recent years. This allows you to wager against other sports fans in a fantasy sports league, whether that be football, the NFL, or another sport. You simply pick the players that you feel will perform the best and earn points based on their weekly performances, with the top players winning a share of the prize pool.
Online Bingo Gambling
Bingo was widely enjoyed in bingo halls across the United Kingdom, and nowadays, bingo can be enjoyed straight from the comfort of your own home. The bingo games you find at top gambling sites offer a variety of tournaments with different buy-ins to suit all budgets. These bingo games also include an in-game chat feature where you can get social and enjoy a bit of banter with other bingo enthusiasts. Online bingo can be enjoyed at many gaming websites, with many online casinos offering bingo rooms. Playing bingo online is a great way to enjoy a cheeky bet without having to worry about big losses. These games are cheap to enter and offer a lot of fun. You can even find many free-to-enter bingo rooms, so you can enjoy some free bets.
Poker is another widely popular gambling pastime. Some of the top UK gambling sites feature a fully loaded poker lobby where you can enter all manner of tournaments with huge prize pots to play for. These tournaments include Play’n GO, Sateliterres, free to enter, and many others. Playing online poker games puts you up against other players from around the world, so you’re not playing against the house. Online poker is a hugely popular recreational activity because it combines elements of skill and luck, so you have an input on the outcome of the result. When picking a new online poker site, you want to consider the number of tournaments, the active player base, the prize pools, and the mobile platform.
Playing the lottery is the most popular bet in the UK. The UK has many lotteries that are regulated by the UKGC, such as the UK Lotto and the Euro Millions. You can also find regulated gambling sites that allow UK players to bet on US lotteries, such as Powerball or Mega Millions. There are benefits to playing the lottery online as opposed to buying a lottery ticket at a shop. First, you’ll never lose your ticket because it’s saved to your account. The results will be checked automatically, and you can buy tickets with little effort.
How to Pick an Online Gambling Site
With so many options when it comes to gambling online, there are some areas you should pay special attention to when picking a sports betting platform, a casino, bingo, or another gambling platform. These are what set apart the standard gambling sites from the best gambling sites online.
When you pick a new gaming destination from a wide variety of online gambling websites, the first thing that comes to mind is the choice of games. You should be considering the size of the game’s portfolio, with a wide and varied selection from the most respected developers. You should look out for top names like NetEnt, Microgaming, Red Tiger, Play’n GO, and Yggdrasil Gaming. These are some of the best studios in the business. It’s worth checking out the game categories, so you know the operator features the best online slot games, lots of tables, jackpots, live dealer games, and more.
Deposit & Withdrawal Options
Getting money in and out of your real money balance should be a comfortable and secure process. The best UK online gambling sites offer a convenient array of trusted and secure payment options. These casinos allow you to transfer funds through all Visa and Mastercard debit card payments and many popular e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. The top casinos will have a dedicated payments page where you can check out the full breakdown of payment options, transaction limits, and whether or not the casino has processing fees.
Nobody wants to wait for their well-earned winnings to land back in their account. The top-rated gambling sites will process withdrawal transactions right away. However, the time it takes to get your winnings back will depend on the payment option in question. If you prefer to withdraw using your Trusty debit card, you can expect to wait up to five working days, while e-wallets complete the transaction within two days.
The top gambling sites will provide players with bonus offers to keep them playing. The online gambling industry is very congested, and therefore, gambling websites compete through promotional offerings. The bonus offers are designed to increase your balance and are usually dished out based on the amount of your deposit. Casino bonuses and sports betting bonuses are different, with certain terms to consider with each bonus offer. Online gambling operators will serve up some generous welcome bonuses in a bid to get new players to sign up. It’s always worth checking out the other bonus offers and promotions too. Always read through the terms and conditions before committing to a gaming bonus.
Legislation & Licensing
There are many gambling licenses out there; some are far more reputable than others. The top gaming licenses are considered to be the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority, while a Curacao license is mid-range, and licenses from Panama or Costa Rica are considered less reputable.
To operate in the UK, a gambling site must hold a license from the Gambling Commission of Great Britain. To attain such a prestigious license, the gambling site must adhere to strict rules and regulations that are in place to protect players and keep them safe from harm. The UKGC is very strict in monitoring gaming operators. If the gambling site fails to follow the rules, the operator could receive a huge fine or even lose its operating license.
Reviews and Ratings
In the busy online gambling industry, there’s a choice in abundance. There are lots to consider when choosing from the best gambling sites, so it’s always worth doing your research. You should check out the reviews and ratings of the best gambling sites before you sign up. Reading the reviews is a good way to get an overview of all the areas of the gambling site, such as the games, bonuses, VIP rewards, support, banking, and more.
The best sites for online gambling will be equipped with round-the-clock customer support. It’s always important to feel comfortable and at ease when you gamble online, so a top-notch support team is required. The support agents should be reachable through instant live chat, email, and sometimes by phone. There should also be a comprehensive set of FAQs available to check out, and a social media presence is also commendable.
The best online gambling sites are built on robust platforms that utilise the latest encryption and firewall technologies. This ensures that all your payments and sensitive personal information are shielded from any online threats. What’s more, any gambling site licensed under the UKGC or MGA will never share your private information with other third-party companies.
How to Sign up for a New Gambling Sites
Getting started at the best online gaming sites is easy and only requires a few steps before you’re enjoying sports betting online casino games or another form of gambling. Here are the steps:
- Find your gambling site.
- Sign up by registering your details.
- Verify your account.
- Make a deposit.
- Place your bets.
Online Gambling Deposit and Withdrawals
You can get your account funded and ready for bets safely and securely at the best gambling sites in the UK. You can pick from a choice of popular payment options, enter a few details, and safely move money in and out of your balance. It’s worth noting that some online gambling sites will add transaction fees to deposits and withdrawals. Here are the payment options you can expect to find at the best gambling sites.
- Debit cards: The trusty debit card is the most popular way to make online payments. Any respectable gambling site will accept all manner of debit cards. However, any gambling site licensed under the UKGC cannot accept credit card payments. This is to protect players from gambling online with money they cannot afford. Additionally, debit card withdrawals can be timely and take a few working days for the bank to complete the full transaction.
- E-wallets: The best online gambling sites will offer a variety of e-wallet services, such as Skrill, Neteller, and ecoPayz. These nifty payment wallets offer enhanced security and faster cash-out times. You will not need to go through the process of entering all your bank details when you transact through one of the e-wallet services. You simply load money into your wallet using your bank card, and then you’re free to transfer funds as you please. It works like a middleman but with obvious benefits. However, it’s worth noting that it’s not uncommon for a gambling site to restrict e-wallet deposits from claiming bonuses.
- Prepaid voucher cards: Another payment option you often find at a top online gambling site is the prepaid voucher, such as Paysafecard. This payment method is designed to keep the transaction offline. You will need to head to one of the designated shops and top up the voucher. Then the money will be transferred to your gaming site, so you’re all ready to gamble online. However, you will not be able to make any withdrawals using this option.
- Apple Pay / Google Pay: Another popular payment method you’ll find amongst top betting sites is Apple Pay and Google Pay. This advanced payment option acts as a gateway between your bank account and the best gambling site. You simply input the amount you wish to deposit, and the payment option will confirm the transaction using your phone’s facial recognition technology or touch ID. However, this is another payment service that is not eligible for withdrawals.
- Bank transfer: Another option you will find at many gaming sites in the UK is the traditional bank transfer. This payment method is very much a manual process and, therefore, can take up to seven days for a deposit or withdrawal to be completed. It’s certainly not the payment option for those who are looking for instant deposits or quick cashouts. The bank transfer option is safe but requires human interaction, which is why it takes days for the money to move from one place to another.
UK Gambling Sites Pros and Cons
There are plenty of pros and cons to consider before you get started on a gaming platform. Even the best site for online gambling will have some cons to be aware of. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of playing at a UK gaming site.
- Strict rules and regulations are in place to protect players
- Large game portfolios with slots, tables, and live dealer games
- Convenient and trusted payment options
- Excellent online security
- Regular bonuses and rewards
- Only available to those based in the UK
- Must go through a strict verification process
Best UK Casino Bonuses
Taking advantage of a casino bonus is a great way to get more bang for your buck. These bonus offers boost your balance and allow you to stretch out your gambling fun. There are many exciting casino bonuses to grab; let’s take a look at the different types of bonuses you can expect to find.
First Deposit Bonuses
The welcome bonus is what casinos use to entice new players to sign up. This is usually the most generous bonus offer that the casino will dish out. The first deposit bonus will vary from casino to casino, but you can usually expect a bonus amount and some free spins. It’s always worth checking out different welcome packages and finding the one that suits you. These bonus offers are very competitive and give you a good opportunity to explore the gaming content with some more bang for your buck. Some casinos will have lower wagering requirements on the first deposit bonus, but other bonus offers will have the casino’s standard wagering requirements.
No Deposit Bonuses
The no deposit bonus is the most sought-after casino bonus. This is because you do not need to take any risks. This risk-free bonus offer is designed to get players to sign up to the casino in the hope that the player will make a real money deposit later on. These bonuses allow you to place free bets with the chance of cashing out a profit without making a deposit. You can use the no deposit bonus to place free bets across slots, tables, and live games. However, these risk-free bonus offers come with terms such as a max win amount to protect the casino from giving away money made from free bets.
The free spins bonus is one of the most popular offers you will find at online casinos. This gives you a number of free rounds to play on selected slot games. These free spins can vary in value and usually come in batches of between 10 and 100. Online betting sites offer free spins to players to get them to re-engage with the site. These spins are usually issued on a slot game that has low volatility.
The reload bonus is also known as a match bonus. This is a regular bonus offer where the gaming site will match your deposit amount with a bonus, usually double, which would be a 100% bonus. The reload bonus is widely offered across sports betting sites and online casinos. You can win real money with these reload bonuses, but there will be terms attached, such as wagering requirements and expiry.
Cashback is another form of bonus that many sports betting sites and casinos offer their players. This bonus offer gives you a cut of your losses back as real money, usually around 10%. Some sites will attach wagering requirements to their cashback bonuses. This means you will not be able to withdraw your cashback until you have fulfilled the wagering terms. However, the wagering terms are usually quite low, at around three times the cashback amount.
Many online casinos will offer a high-roller bonus to appeal to those with VIP-sized budgets. These reload bonuses are much larger than your regular reload bonus. A popular high-roller bonus is a 100% bonus up to £1,000. These bonus offers will also have higher minimum deposit amounts, so instead of the standard £10 minimum deposit, you will need to deposit £50 or more to claim a high-roller bonus.
Licensing and Legislation to Look Out For at Gambling Sites
There are multiple governing bodies in the gambling industry. These regulatory authorities are in place to protect players and encourage responsible gambling. There are some gambling licenses that are highly reputable and some that are not so much. You can usually find out what gaming license the gambling platform is regulated in the footer of the website. We’re going to run through the gambling regulatory bodies you can trust to look after your best interests when betting online. Please gamble responsibly.
UK Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission of Great Britain is widely considered the most prestigious governing body in the industry. The UKGC is very active in setting out its aims for the industry, with a focus on reducing gambling harm. This governing body has taken many steps in the past to encourage safer gambling, prevent underage gambling, and stop gambling operators from taking advantage of their players. This has included credit card deposits in the UK, no use of cartoon imagery that could appeal to children, full checks for player income before they are deemed a VIP, and the casino is not allowed to actively pursue players who are losing a lot of money. If a gambling site is found to break these rules, it can be fined millions and even lose its operating license. There have been many industry-leading gambling brands that have been fined and even lost their license.
Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority is only second to that the UKGC when it comes to prestige and respect. This governing body regulates most European online gambling sites. The MGA shares many of the aims as its UK counterpart, with the aim of protecting minors and those who are vulnerable in the gambling domain. The regulatory authority is active in safeguarding players’ rights and promoting responsible gaming. Again, if any operator is found to break the rules, they will receive a sizable fine that has the potential to bankrupt the business. This is why gaming platforms put a big focus on legal compliance and make sure all rules are adhered to.
Government of Gibraltar
The Government of Gibraltar can also issue licenses to online gambling sites. This gaming authority is cheaper to obtain, but the focus on player protection is not as strong as the MGA and UKGC. To obtain a license from the Government of Gibraltar, the gambling hub has to pass a few financial and tax rules. The governing body enforces safe gaming laws, but the backing behind the license is not as strong as other regulatory bodies, so the laws are a little more lenient.
Gambling online should always be considered a fun pastime and not a way to make money. However, a small group of players loses control and fall victim to problem gambling. This could lead to serious consequences and damage your life. In fact, problem gambling has been a big issue in the UK and is one of the reasons why the UKGC is getting stricter and stricter with its rules. There are many reputable and highly regarded organisations that specialise in helping problem gamblers. If you are gambling over your budget, chasing losses, or displaying any sort of negative gambling pattern, you should strongly consider reaching out to one of the below organisations. Please gamble responsibly.
GamCare is one of the leading services in providing help and support to those who are suffering from a gambling problem. The service has been operating for over 25 years and provides a help plan to get problem gamblers back on the right track. GamCare has developed a tool kit to encourage problem gamblers to stay away from any sort of betting activity. The service also provides support to people who are well-versed in the area and can offer help and encouragement whenever needed. You can reach out to the GamCare service through phone, live chat, or WhatsApp. There are also group chats and forums that provide a useful platform for support.
GAMSTOP provides a gambling prevention service to those who are based in the UK. When you sign up for GAMSTOP, you will receive a support package with tools and information that are designed to encourage you to stay away from gambling activities. There is also a full support service that can be contacted around the clock. GAMSTOP’s main service is the gambling blocker that will stop you from gambling at online gambling companies licensed in Great Britain for a period of 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years. If you wish to resume gambling after the set time period is up, you will need to call GAMSTOP and request for the block to be removed. The service works in conjunction with the UKGC to prevent problem gambling in the United Kingdom.
UK Bonus Terms & Conditions
All gambling bonuses are attached to terms and conditions. These terms are enforced to make sure the gaming operator does not sustain big losses from giving out bonus offers. There are many different terms and conditions to get familiar with. These terms are what determine the value of the bonus offer and ultimately let you know if the bonus is worth claiming or not. Once you understand what the terms mean and how they work, you will be in a better position when choosing your bonus offer and getting the most value out of it. We’re going to run through the top terms and conditions you should be aware of when claiming a bonus in the UK.
- Wagering requirements: The playthrough requirements are the most important term to consider. This is the term that lets you know how hard or easy it will be to withdraw any winnings from the bonus offer. The wagering requirements are the number of times you need to play through the bonus funds before it converts to real money and can be withdrawn as cash. Without a wagering requirement in place, the player could simply deposit, claim the bonus money, and cash out without taking any risk. For example, when you make a deposit of £100 and claim a 100% bonus worth up to £100, with an industry-standard 35x playthrough requirement. You will need to wager through a total of £3,500 (100×35) before any bonus winnings can be withdrawn.
- Max bet limit: The max bet condition refers to the highest bet amount you can place that will contribute towards the wagering terms. This term is in place to discourage players from wagering large single bets, which can bring in larger wins and make it quick and easy to complete the wagering. The max bet limit across most sites sits around the £5 mark. Any bet placed over the max bet limit will not contribute towards the wagering terms and will be deemed a standard real money bet. You should always look out for the max bet in the terms and conditions, so you know what bets will chip away at the wagering requirements.
- Winning cap and maximum withdrawal: Certain bonus offers, such as free spins or a no deposit bonus will have a maximum win amount. This is the most you can cash out from the bonus offer. This term is to prevent players from taking advantage of generous offers and cashing out huge wins without taking much risk. The most you can cash out will vary across different sites, but usually, it is around the £100 mark.
- Time-related limit: All bonus offers will have an expiry time attached. This is how long you have to complete the bonus wagering before the bonus, and any winnings from the bonus are voided. You will also find that there is a time limit on how long the bonus is available. For example, if you don’t claim the welcome bonus within seven days of signing up, the bonus will no longer be available.
Games restrictions: The game restriction term also relates to the wagering requirements. These are the games that don’t contribute towards any wagering terms. This condition is placed on bonus offers because not all games are built the same, and some games are more prone to big payouts than others. You will usually find a list of volatile slot games that are restricted by the wagering terms. The different types of games will also have a different contribution level. Usually, slots contribute 100% towards the wagering, while tables and live dealer games only contribute around 10%. This means that if you wager on tables while you have an active bonus, only 10% of your wagers will count towards the set wagering requirements.