When you go in search of an online casino in the UK, you need to be aware that not all UK online casinos are the same. Some are big and some are small in terms of customers and revenue. Some casinos are heavily regulated and some are not. Some casinos are operating out of the UK while a lot of other online casinos are based out of other jurisdictions.
Based on your wants and needs, it’s up to you to pick the kind of online casino that will serve you well. One of the things you need to consider would be the risk associated with any choice you might make. With that in mind, you need to know that independent casinos would probably qualify as one of the riskier options.
In the following sections, the discussion will target defining independent casinos and how they can affect the way you play online casino games of chance for real cash.
What is an Independent Casino?
Defining an independent casino is not difficult. It’s an online casino that operates outside of the rules of any regulatory body. In other words, independent casinos are not licensed by any regulatory body. In some cases, it could be said they are operating illegally. That is not to be confused with any notion that they are behaving as rogue operators. The simple truth is the management of these casinos has decided not to seek a licence in any jurisdiction.
Why would a viable online casino not want to secure a licence to operate? There are three primary reasons why an online casino operator might not want to apply for a licence:
- Fear that something in ownership’s past/present might result in denial of a licence
- Casino is too small and can’t afford the costs related to compliance
- Casino ownership finds the regulations of certain regulatory bodies to be too restrictive, interfering with their right to operate freely
Why You Might Want to Choose an Independent Casino
As an online casino gambler, you have to decide how much protection you feel you need from regulators like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). If you fear rogue operators and feel you might need the UKGC to help you resolve issues, you want a regulated casino. If you want certain assurances that games have been properly tested and casino operators are not using predatory marketing practices, you want a regulated casino. If you want access to certain responsible gambling resources, you also want a registered casino.
If you just want the freedom to play online casino games with a high level of assurance you’ll get paid, an independent casino might well be your best option. In fact, there is one circumstance under which an independent casino might be one of your very few online casino options. If you are registered with the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme, you can’t use licensed UK online casinos that are subscribed to GamStop. What you can do is align yourself with an independent casino.
Reminder: GamStop is a voluntary self-exclusion program allowing UK online gamblers to get assistance with possible online gambling issues. They can register to enter the GamStop database and effectively block themselves from using UK-licensed online gambling sites. Best of all, the registered gamblers get to decide how long they want to be self-excluded.
For what it’s worth, it’s not hard to find reputable and safe independent casinos in the UK if you are willing to do a little research. In fact, you can find viable independent casino sites at www.nongamstopodds.com.
Things to Look for With an Independent Casino
As was indicated above, there is a little bit of extra risk associated with using an independent online casino that is not regulated. If you are willing to accept that risk, you stand a very good chance of locating a safe and reputable independent casino with which to gamble.
As for the things you should look for, you should try to learn a little something about each independent operator’s reputation. You can do that by reading customer reviews and visiting online casino review sites that act independently in terms of reviewing casino sites.
If a website’s good reputation is solid, the next thing you might want to consider is what kinds of games each operator is offering. In the UK, UK online casino gamblers tend to prefer online casinos that offer thousands of games from dozens of the best software developers in the industry. If you can find an independent online casino that offers hundreds of games from the likes of Microgaming, Netent, and Playtech, you have landed on a viable online casino alternative.
Finally, casino players are entitled to look for the most value they can get from their wagering dollars. That is done by finding online casinos that offer great bonus packages, especially welcome bonus packages. Hint: The best welcome bonuses are not always the ones that flash the biggest dollars. The best ones are the ones that offer the biggest bonus amounts with reasonable terms and conditions.