Online casinos came into existence in 1996, when former Dublin-based software company CryptoLogic developed its internet payment system and founded InterCasino. From that point on, the number of gambling sites has grown tremendously year on year. According to the American Gaming Association, in 2018, there were approximately 2,800 digital platforms that offered online betting services. Today, that number has likely gone over the 3,000-mark. Thus, it is becoming growingly harder to weed out safe UK online casinos and trustworthy betting sites not on GamStop. Below an elaboration follows concerning the things game of chance enthusiasts should look out for when selecting their gaming home.
Gaming License & Security Protocols
All credible operators working within the interactive gaming space should have a license from an established regulator. Online casinos that operate from within the UK must attain approval to do so by the country’s Gambling Commission, the UKGC. It is the regulatory body that oversees all gambling in Brittan and works with the self-exclusion system GamStop. UK residents can also opt to play at sites not covered by GamStop, platforms based in other countries with gaming licenses from international overseeing organizations like the Malta Gaming Authority, or one of the four Curacao master license holders.
Regardless of if users choose non GamStop casinos or UKGC-regulated ones, their selected platform must feature advanced SSL encryption and follow established data handling procedures. When it comes to the first, 128-bit SSL encryption is the industry standard. Though, some operators go a step further and offer data ciphering of the 256-bit variety. All credible gaming sites should also follow the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or another legal document that ensures that an operator controls all player information appropriately.
Diverse Payment Options
Payment processing can make or break the gaming experience. Thus, it is always wise to look for platforms with a substantial variety of payment methods on offer. Know that since April of 2020, UKGC-licensed sites no longer allow the use of credit cards, while most casinos not using GamStop still do. Though cards are an accessible option, their main downside lies in that they feature processing times that are far longer than most other methods, except for bank wire transfers (up to seven working days).
E-wallets are the preferred deposit/withdrawal choice from most players due to their swiftness. Funds deposited via this method should land in a user’s casino balance instantly. Withdrawals may also happen immediately, or up to 48 hours at most. It is not only the chosen method that affects the speed with which these transfers happen. The operator also plays a massive role in this process, as he can process transactions automatically or manually.
Bonuses are the cornerstone of online gambling marketing, as welcome offers are the primary tool in any iGaming marketer’s toolbox. It is how they hook new players. Therefore, it is essential to look for quality welcome packages and locate ones with lax terms. A bonus’s terms and conditions can hide fine print that makes a deal far less attractive than what it may seem like at first sight. These offers usually consist of a deposit match, often coupled with free spins on a high variance slot, which is a game that pays out large prizes rarely.
Besides welcome deals, interested parties should also pay attention to an operators’ loyalty scheme, also known as a VIP program. If it has one, and what kind of perks does it offer. Most of these system feature levels which players ascend via their betting activity en route to attaining better benefits. More luxurious brands even offer holidays at tourist hot spots to loyal high rollers. Therefore, more can get gained from these programs other than cashback and a few complimentary reel rotations on specified slots.
Having access to a quality game library packed with titles from established providers makes the difference between playing at a high-end and a mediocre online casino. The game selection at most sites divides into several categories. These are slots, live tables, RNG tables, video poker, and specialty games. When it comes to reel-spinners, it is crucial to know that licensed operators only feature titles with a set minimum return to player percentage. That holds for UK sites as well as non GameStop casinos. For example, the MGA has a 92% minimum RTP for all slots offered by their licensees. Furthermore, regulated platforms must have contracts with third-party testers who ensure that all their offered products are fair.
Riga-based Evolution Gaming is the industry leader in live tables, and players are most likely to come across their offerings at gambling sites. However, other quality providers that operate in this field include Playtech, Pragmatic Play Live, Vivo Gaming, Ezugi, and Authentic Gaming. For a provider to partner with a gambling brand, it first must attain approval from its licensor.
Customer Support & Responsible Gambling
A reliable platform should have an in-depth FAQ page and offer at least two methods of contact. The most sought-after option is a live chat window that is available 24/7. However, to reduce costs, many operators either offer this support during working hours or until midnight. Both variants are acceptable, as long as there are next day replies to questions sent via email. Nowadays, telephone support only gets provided by big-name brands.
Also, a quality casino should feature links to services that aim to help problem gamblers such as GamCare and BeGambleAware. Pretty much all UKGC-approved casinos do so. Websites not on GamStop promote responsible gambling and have their self-exclusion systems.
Non UK Casinos & Betting Sites Not on GamStop
Recent public outcry regarding the side effects of betting on sports and games of chance caused the UKGC to enforce new restrictions regarding this activity in the digital sphere. Many players find fresh measures such as spin timers, no auto-play, and smaller max bet limits unfavorable. Casinos not on GameStop operate outside the reach of the UKGC, and they do not feature such restrictions, but they also lack the strict oversight this body provides.
Interested bettors can easily find a list of Non-UK casinos like no Gamestop betting at non-gamstop-casinos.com to enjoy. However, they should remember that while these sites have their self-exclusion systems, those are only valid for the platform in question. Whereas, once a player self-excludes from a GamStop casino, he/she can no longer sign up at any other UKGC operator. So, only people that can practice impulse control should consider betting sites not on GamStop.
To Sum Up
There is a myriad of things to pay attention to when selecting a gambling home. First and foremost, a proper license and adequate security are a must. Then the brand should provide a vast range of payment methods as well as a sizeable game catalog. An underwhelming welcome package can also be a deal-breaker. Thus, it is best to find a platform that offers decent promotions that allow some free gambling. Lastly, players should only use casinos that have deposit/loss limits and let users self-exclude.