UK Online Casinos
Gambling has always played a big part in the culture of the UK – with many of the biggest online gambling brands originating there. Despite law changes in 2014, which would reduce the number of sites that residents could enjoy, UK online casino users are still some of the best served. Depositing and cashing out is quick and easy. British casinos are very well regulated, with any site offering their services to United Kingdom players requiring a separate license from the UK Gambling Commission.
This page gives you an overview of the legal and practical aspects of enjoying online casinos from the UK. First below you’ll find an overview of the regulatory environment. After this some
In this guide I start by looking at the legal situation surrounding online casino gaming, before moving onto deposits and withdrawals, other online gaming and bricks and mortar casinos, before finishing with some considerations on choosing an online casino.
Legal Environment for Online Casinos in the UK
Over the years casino fans in the United Kingdom have enjoyed relatively relaxed rules and regulations when it comes to online gambling, while also enjoying the added bonus that any wins at the sites are tax free. Both online and bricks and mortar gambling (all except sports betting) in the UK is under the control of the UK Gambling Commission which was formed in 2005. Until recently many large gambling businesses from the UK had moved offshore to avoid taxation, but a recent law change in 2014 saw a ‘Point of Consumption’ tax introduced. This means that gambling operators would pay a 15% tax on any gambling profits derived from British residents. This law change did mean that some smaller online casinos left the UK market. The size and value of the online gambling market in the UK ensured that the biggest and best brands sought licenses and continue to welcome British players.
The UK Gambling Commission acts as an ombudsman as well as a taxation authority. This provides a legitimate avenue for dispute for players who encounter issues with online casino operators. The commission also ensure that gambling addiction is taken seriously by all operators and that player protection measures such as self-exclusion is offered.
Many of the biggest UK casino brands are listed on the London Stock Exchange. This brings their finances under the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Authority. With a requirement to report any material change to their financial position as well as the gambling specific regulations – this adds an extra layer of security for players. Of course, these brands operate globally, and will have licenses in places like Malta or Gibraltar too.
Making Real Money Deposits to Online Casinos in the UK
UK casino players enjoy a large number of deposit options in GBP (Great Britain Pounds)and will not encounter any restrictions. The most popular deposit method is via a debit card linked to your current account. This is used in exactly the same way as making any online purchase, and with the money hitting your account right away. Credit cards are another popular option, while eWallets like PayPal and Neteller can also be used to load your accounts. Other deposit options include prepaid cards (for example PaySafeCard), bank wires and transfers and even the old fashioned check.
Withdrawals will usually be made back to the same method you used to deposit, so a withdrawal after winning with your PayPal deposit will see the same account credited. UK casinos are also subject to KYC (‘know your customer’) regulations and will require Id documentation from players.
Other Real Money Gambling in the UK
Bookmakers in the United Kingdom / Britian have a long history of sports betting, with horse racing and greyhound racing traditionally the most popular. This continued when sports betting went online, while online football betting grows in popularity year on year. Online poker is played by many at a number of sites, while online bingo is also very prominent in the UK. Tickets for the UK national lottery can also be bought online.
Choosing the Right Online Casino
Online casino users in the UK won’t have too many worries about the safety of their money and the fairness in the gaming. This is because any operators who want to offer online casino gaming to UK customers have to apply for a license through the UK Gambling Commission, which will make sure that operators abide by their rules and regulations. I still recommend players do their own checks, as you never know when even a reliable casino will start to experience issues. Remember that brands which are listed on the London Stock Exchange have additional financial reporting requirements above and beyond the Gambling Commission rules. This adds one more layer of trust for many players.