The rise in technology over the last decade or so, has seen casinos moving from bricks and mortar establishments to the comfort of homes and mobile devices. With appealing interfaces, smooth graphics, and exciting promotions, the online casino offers an exciting gambling experience. With the number of gambling opportunities on the rise, the temptation of gambling is also higher, while safety and security are still paramount issues. There are many reputable casinos available that want to provide high levels of security and a happy customer experience. However, the reality as with many other industries, is that there is always the danger of using a less than reputable firm.
Finding a safe and reliable online casino requires some initial background research and we have done the groundwork to highlight some of the most important decisions that you need to make when looking for a UK or Non-UK casino.
Security and Licensing
Two of the more important requirements for a safe online casino experience are the security of the platform and of players’ funds.
For the platform, it is important to find a site that provides the latest security measures. SSL encryption was designed to offer privacy, authentication, and data integrity across all internet communications and sites with this feature are showing that they value customer safety and data security. Firewalls are another important measure to avoid hacking and to provide a high standard of data protection.
The next issue to consider is the regulation of online gaming providers and it is important to find one that is regulated by a gaming authority in the country in which they operate. For UK consumers the most recommended authority would be the UK Gambling Commission, but punters are increasingly looking overseas for casinos not on GamStop. These are being used as an option to avoid increasing regulations in the UK scene. Malta and Costa Rica are two examples of countries outside of the UK that are regulating gaming sites and enticing British gamblers. The UKGC has been working in tandem with the GamStop non-profit scheme which applies a strict self-exclusion scheme for UK punters with an experience of problem gambling. The scheme removes users from all gambling sites for a set period of time and can’t be reversed.
Variety of Payment Methods
Finding a suitable casino site will also require one that provides a variety of payment methods and withdrawal methods.
The standard for online payments is usually debit and credit cards, but the UKGC also recently moved to ban the use of credit cards at gambling sites. This is another reason that some are moving to overseas sites as some consumers prefer to keep betting transactions off their transactions list to avoid stigma. For withdrawals, UK betting sites will offer wire transfers and payment wallet options, but the overseas sites will provide these, and also offer payment in cryptocurrencies which is becoming more common.
Consumers opting to use these overseas casinos should also consider the terms and conditions for withdrawals to ensure that fees and times are suitable. Withdrawals are usually instant for e-wallets, around 1-3 days for cards, and up to 5 business days for wire transfers.
Bonuses and Promotions
One of the exciting parts of choosing a new casino are the welcome bonuses and promotions.
Another outcome from the UKGC restrictions has been restrictions on the marketing ability of UK companies. There is even a movement for an outright ban on all gambling marketing. This is another reason why punters are feeling restricted by the UK gaming experience. Bonuses and promotions are usually more generous outside of the UK sites, with welcome rewards of up to 100% or more and sign-up rewards matched up to £500 in some cases.
Catalogue of Games
Another element that new players will look for in choosing a new site is the selection of game titles available. Casino slots and games will range in quality, time and gameplay, which can make this a key difference between an enjoyable and a mediocre gaming experience.
Some of the more popular games available are slots, live dealer roulette and poker. Those who are conducting some initial research on new sites should also ensure that the company provides access to game statistics that are certified by their respective gaming authority. This will ensure that the casino values transparency and fairness, with payout ratios at an acceptable level.
Using non-GamStop casinos will often provide access to a much larger range of game titles, and that also comes down to the marketing issue in the UK.
Customer Support and Responsible Gaming
Customer support is another important factor when seeking an enjoyable experience at the online gambling tables.
Sites will usually offer access to 24/7 chat support, and they also provide other contact options available such as phone, email, and a good FAQ section. Larger companies will provide smoother customer service due to increased staffing levels and this is where the UK companies can have an advantage for UK consumers. If using an overseas site in the likes of South America, it is important to check in advance that English is a supported language for customer service staff and also to consider the time zone difference.
Reputable sites will have a commitment to responsible gambling and provide options for self-exclusion if required. The UK sites also have an advantage here with GamStop exclusion program and links to support from third-party organisations such as gambleaware.
Non-UK Casinos and Casinos not on GamStop
The gaming scene in the UK has been forced to apply increasingly strict regulations over the last few years after pressure from the government and social groups over a rise in problem gambling.
Although it is important to stamp out the problem gambling issue, the measures being put in place can also punish those who are more comfortable with their gaming habits. The new UK rules have expanded into the actual gameplay, with measures such as spin timers and bet sizing limits being applied.
Using non-GamStop casinos through platforms like casinonotongamstop.net is an increasingly popular option for some players, but it should not be seen as a means to evade the GamStop regulations, and there are drawbacks compared to the larger UK corporations.
If you are an experienced gambler then it is possible to conduct a little background research in order to find a safe and reliable online casino in the UK or abroad.
The UK Gambling Commission is the preferred regulatory option for UK consumers because of the access to third-party dispute resolution and problem gambling support. The problem for many is that the rules are getting so strict that it ruins the gaming experience and many consumers are increasingly moving to sites not on GamStop.
It is important for users to find a casino that is regulated by a reputable gaming authority and that can take away a lot of the uncertainty in finding a reliable site. Transparency, security and good customer support are necessary and there are many suitable options available, at home or abroad.