The online gambling industry came into existence in 1994 when the Liechtenstein International Lottery announced that it would start selling tickets to their draws over the internet. That same year, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, allowing this small island nation to morph into the world’s first internet gaming hot spot by forming a licensing body. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission sprung up two years later, and many other regulators have appeared since then. In 1996, there were only fifteen online gambling platforms, but their number quickly rose to two hundred in the following couple of years. As time has gone by, the figure of internet casinos has grown to be in the several thousand. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that anyone unfamiliar with this pastime that wishes to partake in it faces a few challenges concerning site selection. What follows is a review of all the aspects players need to consider when evaluating casinos not on GamStop and UKGC-regulated sites.
Regulatory Approval & Data Security
No one should play at an online casino not vetted by a top industry overseeing body. For Brits, such a watchdog is the UK Gambling Commission, founded in 2007, following the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act. It ranks among the strictest licensors in Europe, implementing many measures that offer heighten player protection while attempting to curb the addiction potential that betting on games of chance and sports inherently features. UK players also can enjoy non GamStop casinos, which are platforms that have gotten regulatory approval to operate from an international regulator such as the Malta Gaming Authority or eGaming Curacao. These two organizations are very credible and established, but they do not implement their measures with the same vigor as the UKGC.
Transaction Method Diversity
A trustworthy casino should team up with several reputable payment providers that any customer can recognize. These include brands like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Skrill, Paysafecard, and others. Payment variety is essential because even if many platforms may accept e-wallets, that does not necessarily mean that deposits made through them are eligible for bonuses. Therefore, it is beneficial for gamblers to have access to a wide range of methods they can switch back and forward from so they can get the most out of their gaming adventure.
Since March 2023, credit cards are no longer allowed at UKGC-licensed casinos. However, they are still an option at gambling sites not on GamStop. Debit cards are an accessible option, but withdrawals requested through them may take three days to complete. As a rule of thumb, e-wallets are usually the fastest options available, facilitating transfers in less than 24 hours. Still, it is wise to play at a site that also offers pre-paid solutions and bank wire transactions, as no one can predict what scenarios can develop down the road. Wire transfers are a slow but super-secure option, that while may be out of style, is nice to have on hand.
Bonuses are the backbone of the online gambling sector. So, no one should register with a site that has a shortage of them. The goal should always be for players to seek to attain as many perks as possible. That includes getting ridiculous amounts of free-play funds upon sign-up via a welcome package that matches a member’s first few deposits. Free spins and cashback are two other standard promos that everyone should hope for and expect.
Loyalty schemes are currently dominating the marketing world as its chief customer retention ploy. Gambling operators are no strangers to them, as they also utilize them to their full potential. Most gaming platforms today incorporate point-collecting systems. These lead users up through a multiple-tiered system, where each level offers different rewards. Such programs act as an incentive for everyone to stay and play.
Vast Product Libraries
A vast catalog of gaming products can be the crucial factor that makes the difference in ranking a platform as an average or excellent online casino. Per the most recent sector estimates, there are over eighteen thousand games of chance on the internet that gambling enthusiasts can bet on using real money. Most of these are slots, and it is par the course for exceptional sites to feature more than a couple thousand reel-spinners from many different providers. A pro tip is to only register with operators that are 100% transparent about the specifications of the products they are offering. Meaning, they list the variance and RTP/house edge of all the gaming options they supply.
Live dealer games are slowly catching up to slots as the industry’s premium betting pick. However, they are still mainly favored by experienced gamblers who understand the intricacy of casino classics. Companies like Evolution Gaming are endeavoring to make this genre more appealing to newbies by developing game show products that implement Wheel of Fortune-like mechanics.
Responsible Gaming & User Support
Responsible gaming is a set of measures and initiatives pushed by governments, regulators, and gambling operators that aim to shed light on the harms associated with betting. Online casinos do their part to keep players in check by allowing them to set deposit/loss limits and self-exclude.
Customer support can aid players suffering from a compulsion towards wagering by directing them to organizations specializing in this field like GamCare and BeGambleAware. Nowadays, 24/7 live help is mandatory. Yet, for more complicated issues that require the attachment of documents, players should use email. In both instances, responses should arrive swiftly, featuring in-depth explanations. Gamblers should not settle for anything less. They should also require that every site they play at has a robust FAQ section that may assist them in resolving their problems with contacting a platform representative.
UK Casinos vs. Sites Non on GamStop
The current gambling climate in Britain has made the UKGC bring forward new measures that limit the intensity of the online slot experience. These include the implementation of spin timers, lower max wager limits, and the removal of auto-play. That occurrence caused many Brits to turn to play at sites not on GamStop. These are credible foreign gambling platforms with no gameplay limitations, offer niche payment methods, and feature site-specific self-exclusion. That is different from the universal bans implemented via the GamStop network, which all UKGC online casinos tie into and function within.
Sports betting sites not on GamStop are also gaining traction with UK bettors due to providing a wide array of wagering markets and bonuses not on hand at UK sportsbooks.
To Sum Up
When a player is trying to pin down a gambling site to call home, the most crucial elements to look out for include licensing, encryption, game selection, customer support, and a wide variety of available payment methods for use. It is paramount that no one sign-up with an operator at a whim without first doing their research. Once they do and start betting, they should do so responsibly, not succumbing to the temptation of chasing losses.