The gambling industry in the United Kingdom is massive. It is also highly competitive. Due to the competitiveness in the industry, nearly every UK online gambling site will have some sort of bonus system in play. The idea is that these small incentives, often taking the form of matched deposits, free spins on card registration, or other nifty little bonuses, are designed to encourage people to sign up to an online betting site and stick around for the long term. It works so well that an online site that doesn’t have any sort of bonus system in place likely wouldn’t be doing that much business at all.
Here, we take a little look at some of the nuances of the gambling industry. This way you can get a feel for the legality of gambling in the country, as well as get a couple of ideas on staying safe when betting online.
Is Online Gambling Legal in the UK?
Absolutely. In fact, you may be surprised to know this, but gambling in the UK is a huge industry. We aren’t just talking about online casinos where players can gamble their money. You may also be surprised to know that many of the top casino game developers are based in the United Kingdom too.
This means that the country is one of the top exporters in the gambling industry too. The only countries that come close would be Sweden and Malta. Sweden because they also play host to countless developers, and Malta because of the ease of obtaining an internationally recognised gambling licence for online sites.
The UK has very few limitations in place when it comes to gambling. The only real requirement is that if you want to offer gambling services to residents of the UK then you have to be registered with the UK Gambling Commission. This is essentially a governing body that regulates the gambling industry in order to ensure that it is fair and safe for gamblers.
Outside of this, beyond the typical ‘you have to be 18 to gamble’ and ‘you can’t money launder when gambling online, there are very, very few regulations related to online gambling in the UK. Well, at least on the player’s end. The casinos have a few limitations on what they can do. For example, in recent years, their games are not allowed to use brighter colours that may catch the attention of children, and there has to be very specific wording with regards to their bonuses. However, this isn’t really something that will impact the average player.
The only thing that really impacts the player when it comes to UK online gambling in recent years has been the ban on using credit cards to gamble. Again, not something that the player needs to worry about because if a player uses a credit card, the crime would have been committed by the online casino as opposed to the gambler.
What Are the Biggest Online Gambling Sites in the UK?
Due to the way in which the gambling industry works in the UK, it is surprisingly difficult to establish what the biggest gambling sites are. This is because many of the licensed gambling companies tend to have smaller websites operating under a singular licence as opposed to one main website. This allows them to focus on different markets.
The biggest online gambling sites in the UK are ones that you will likely already have heard of. This includes Sky Vegas, William Hill, Sun Vegas, BetFred, and 888 Casino. However, you also have plenty of smaller online casinos that are also great fun. This includes, of course, includes, Casushi, Betway, Casimba, and Mr Green. If you go through the various online casinos, you will probably notice that even the smaller sites you stumble across are under licence from some of the largest online casinos in the country.
Is Online Gambling Safe?
As long as you do your due diligence and gamble responsibly, then UK online gambling is perfectly safe. In fact, some would argue that it is typically safer than your average online transactions.
In the United Kingdom, every gambling site that wants to offer gambling services to residents of the country needs to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). if there is no licence in place, then the site cannot legally operate. It takes a huge amount of effort for an online gambling site to obtain one of these licences. It is also going to cost a huge amount of cash.
The UKGC heavily supports gamblers that have issues. They are not afraid to dish out fines if a UK gambling site operates outside of its licence. In fact, they are not afraid to dish out some rather substantial fines. We have seen major online casinos and bookmakers have to deal with fines totalling several million pounds for often the most minor of transgressions. Since most UK online gambling sites do not want to be fined millions of quid, they tend to try and stay in line, often to a fault.
The UKGC maintains a list of all licensed gambling sites and any upheld complaints about them. This means that if you stumble across somewhere new that you want to check-out, you can always consult the UKGC to see whether it is safe to gamble there. However, to be honest with you, with the difficulty of obtaining a gambling licence in the UK, if a site is actually registered with the UKGC, you are going to be safe anyway.
Why are UK Online Casino Sites So Popular?
The world of gambling is definitely changing, more and more people are enjoying gambling from the comfort of their own home rather than taking a trip to an actual casino. One of the main reasons why online casinos are soaring in popularity is because they open the world of gambling to a new wave of clients. There are many individuals who wouldn’t dream of setting foot in a casino.
Some find it intimidating and for others, it simply does not appeal to them. Nevertheless, online casinos provide a completely different experience. You can enjoy the best online slots from the comfort of your own home, and this appeals to a greater scope of people. This is particularly beneficial for those who are unable to keep their emotions under control when playing casino slots. After all, you can jump and down whenever you win, or have a sulk whenever you lose.
In addition to this, UK online casinos are much more convenient. You can sit and play slot games whilst lying in bed in your pyjamas if you really want to. You don’t have to get ready or take a trip to the nearest casino. Moreover, online slot games are available to play 24 hours of the day seven days a week. You aren’t restricted to opening and closing times as you would be if visiting an actual casino.
Online Casinos Offer Freebies Bonuses & Top Promotions
Here we take a look a some of the different types of casino welcome bonus offers that make online casinos so popular. If you are lucky enough to find any of these offers at other casinos online be sure that, like our Mega Reel Welcome offer, they are fair and abide by the UKGC terms of practice.
All of the best casinos online in the UK offer a welcome bonus or free spins. In essence, you will receive a bonus when you sign up with the casino in question. Companies use this as it is a great way of enticing customers. However, it also presents you with an opportunity to make sure you get the most from the company upon signing up.
Nine times out of ten the casino will offer to match your deposit. Therefore, once you sign up with the casino let’s say you deposit £15 to play with. The company will then gift you another £15 free of charge so that you have £30 to play with, in total. There is usually a limit, however. Therefore, don’t expect to deposit £100,000 and get another £100,000 back!
Best First Deposit Bonus Casino Offers
Aside from the casino bonuses online that have already been mentioned, another popular reward to look out for is a first deposit bonus. A lot of online casinos offer this deal.
Essentially, they offer to match the amount of money you deposit up to a certain amount. Therefore, if you deposit £20 they will also gift you another £20, meaning you have a total of £40 to play with. This is a bonus that is usually only offered to new players.
However, you may find casino companies that offer deposit bonuses for all players during a set period of time. Another popular way UK casino sites entice new players is by offering a number of no deposit free spins on selected slots games
UK Casino Bonuses with No Deposit Required
Sometimes there are instances whereby UK casino bonuses do not require you to deposit any money at all, like the £5 free no deposit bonus. These are known as a ‘no deposit bonus’. This is one of the most powerful marketing tools used by online casinos. But don’t worry; you aren’t being duped into using their services – they truly are giving you an incredible deal.
Essentially when you sign up with the casino they will gift you with a free £5 to play with for example. You will get this no matter whether you deposit any money or not. The aim of this bonus is that you will like playing slot games on the site so much that you deposit money and continue to use it anyway.
Other Types of Online Casino bonuses
In addition to this, you also have monthly bonuses. This type of bonus is different from the two just mentioned because it is a way of rewarding loyal customers rather than trying to entice new customers to join up. More often than not an online casino will use some sort of point system when it comes to their monthly bonus. Basically, this means that whenever you play you will be gifted with points and these points then translate to cash at the end of the month. This also gives individuals a reason to play as many games as possible.
Loyalty Bonus Rewards
In direct contrast to welcome bonuses, loyalty rewards are used to keep current customers happy, rather than entice new customers. These bonuses are extremely important for casino companies as it is crucial to keep loyal customers happy so they continue to use the website on a regular basis.
If you are planning on using online casinos a lot, this is a bonus you should definitely be looking out for, as you will get the most for your money over a longer period of time. Loyalty bonuses usually work as a point scheme, i.e. every time you play a game you will receive points and these can either be cashed in for a prize or real money.
The High Roller Casino Bonus
Finally, the last bonus worth mentioning is the high roller bonus. This is rarer than the others. Again it is used to reward loyal customers, however, this bonus is solely for big spenders. Understandably the casinos want to keep these customers and so they will offer them free entrance to big win slots, match their deposit or present them with free gifts. It can certainly pay to be a big spender in the world of online gambling!
Easy Online Casino Deposits
Placing deposits and requesting withdrawals also couldn’t be easier the best casino sites have the very best security measures in place to ensure your details are processed safely and securely. Transactions are fast, meaning your winnings can be within your bank account within a matter of hours or days. Along with the usual deposit methods, PayPal Casino deposits means even more safe & secure deposit options. Another reason why people prefer to play slots online is that they are able to manage their money better. Most online casinos give you the option of setting a daily deposit limit. For example, if you set your limit at £20, you will not be able to deposit more than £20 per day. This helps to guarantee you don’t spend more money than what you can afford.
UK online gambling is a massive industry. While there is a small amount of regulation in place, the UK remains one of the top countries in the world for those that fancy a flutter every now and then. If you live in the UK, you have your pick of a far greater selection of top online casinos than anywhere else around.