How to Pick a Safe Online Casino – The Pros and Cons of UK and Non-UK Casinos

With the rise in technology over the last decade or two, casinos have moved from bricks and mortar establishments to the comfort of the home. With an appealing interface, fast processing speeds, exciting promotions, and more, the online casino offers an exciting gambling experience. While the temptation of gambling is on the rise, safety and security are still paramount issues. There are many reputable casinos that want to provide high levels of security and customer experience. However, the reality is that there is always the danger of finding a less than reputable firm.

Finding a good online casino requires some initial background research and we have provided a roundup of some the most important decisions that you need to make when looking for a reliable online UK or Non-UK casino.

Security and Licensing

Two of the most important requirements for a safe online betting experience are centered around the security of the platform and players’ funds.

On the technology front, it is important to find a site that delivers the latest security measures. SSL encryption was designed to ensure privacy, authentication, and data integrity in all Internet communications and sites with this feature are showing that they value customer safety and data security. Firewalls are also important to avoid the risk of hacking and to provide a high standard of data protection.

The next point to consider is the regulation of the site and it is important to find one that is regulated by a gaming authority in the country in which they operate. The most recommended authority for UK consumers would be the UK Gambling Commission, but punters are increasingly choosing overseas sites not on GamStop to avoid increasingly stringent rules in the UK scene. Malta or Curacao are two examples of countries outside of the UK that are regulating gaming sites. The UKGC has been working with the GamStop non-profit scheme which enforces a strict self-exclusion scheme for UK punters. This removes the user from all gambling sites for a set period of time if they have a history of problem gambling and have requested a ban.

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Variety of Payment Methods

Finding a good casino site will also require one that provides a good variety of payment methods.

The standard for payments is usually debit and credit cards, but the UK also recently banned the use of credit cards for gambling sites. This is another of the draws for moving to overseas sites as credit cards are still allowed there. UK sites will offer wire transfers and payment wallet options, but the overseas sites also offer payment in cryptocurrencies which is becoming more common these days. Punters often like to separate gambling payments from accounts which will be seen by their bank for mortgages to avoid stigma and this is a drawback for UK sites.

Consumers using these sites should also consider the terms and conditions for withdrawals to ensure that fees and withdrawal times are suitable. Withdrawals are usually instant for e-wallets, between 1-3 days for debit cards, and up to 5 business days for transfers.

Bonuses and Promotions

One of the more exciting features when choosing a new casino is the access to welcome bonuses and promotions.

The UK gambling scene has been forced to tone down the marketing side of their business and that is another reason why punters are becoming less than happy with the UK gaming experience. Bonuses and promotions are usually more generous outside of the UK sites. Welcome rewards of up to 100% or more are available and the sign-up rewards can be matched up to £500 in many cases.

Game Catalogues

Another element to consider when choosing a new site is the selection of casino game titles available. The quality of titles and gameplay can be the key difference between an enjoyable and a mediocre gaming experience.

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Some of the more popular games are slots, live dealer roulette and poker. Those who are doing the initial research on a site 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 is fair and that the payout ratio is at an acceptable level.

Using non-GamStop casinos will usually give you access to a larger range of game titles, and that also comes down to the UK’s strict policy on marketing.

Customer Support and Responsible Gaming

Customer support can be an important factor for an enjoyable experience at the online gambling tables.

Sites usually offer access to 24/7 chat support and there will be other contact options available such as phone, email, and a good FAQ section.

Reputable sites will also have a commitment to responsible gambling and will be a part of the GamStop rules in the UK, and also have links to support from third-party organisations such as BeGambleAware.

Non-UK Casinos and Casinos not on GamStop

According to casinonotongamstop.org, The gaming scene in the UK has seen an increase in tougher regulations over the last few years after pressure from government and social groups to clampdown on problem gambling.

Although it is important to tackle problem gambling, the measures in place can also be harsh for those who are more comfortable with their gaming habits. The restrictions in the UK have expanded into the actual gameplay, with measures such as spin timers and bet sizing limits

Using non-GamStop casinos has become a more popular option for some players, but it should not be seen as a means to evade the GamStop regulations.

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Conclusion

If you are an experienced gambler then a little bit of background research will help you to find a safe and reliable online casino in the UK or abroad.

The UK Gambling Commission is the preferred option for UK consumers because of the access to third-party dispute resolution, but after the tough crackdown on problem gambling, many consumers are increasingly moving to try out non-GamStop casinos.

It is important to find a casino that is regulated by a reputable gaming authority and that can be half of the battle in finding a company that respects customer data and online security. With a little bit of research, there are many suitable options to be found at home or abroad.

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