Everything You Wanted to Know About U.K. Online Gambling Sites but Were Afraid to Ask
A brief history, the social impact, economic impact and infrastructure analyzed, and a general overview of the types of gambling sites offered in the UK
Gambling has a long history throughout the world and it’s no different among the British although it hasn’t always been an amicable relationship. As long as there has been one person willing to place a wager against another there has been gambling.
In the British Navy there were regulations against gambling in the Kings Articles, but that didn’t stop sailors from sneaking ashore to visit a gaming house any chance they had. They even participated in some rather bizarre forms of gambling below decks, one of the most purported involved a sailor having his hands tied behind his back and attempt to break the backs of as many rats as he could with only his teeth, all within a certain amount of time.
Rats were specifically caught on board the ship for this purpose and there is little doubt this practice increased the number of rodent borne diseases
That being said, not all of England’s history with gambling is so ignoble as that. The first instances of gambling in Britain involved a game called ‘Housie’ that was made popular by the armed forces in the WWII. The Betting and gaming act of 1960 brought bingo halls into being a commercial venture, first established as clubs where members that got their portion of profits from membership charges and fees rather than garnering a portion of the fee of entry.
This same policy extended to casinos, which the number of gambling machines they were able to have was limited to 10. The Port Talbot Casino Club is thought to be the first legal British casino, situated in Wales. In 1968 there was a gambling act that opened up the possibility of more legal casinos as a commercial venture. It wasn’t until 2005 that the resort casinos were able to be built, though the number that were permitted to be built in any given year was strictly controlled.
In 2006 the percentage of adults participating in online gambling was determined by a survey of 8000 people to be at approximately 7.2%, and has grown since to a total of 10.7% by 2010. The Gambling commission licenses all forms on online gambling, and is able by virtue of this to be provided under a license from said commission anywhere in the country. Offshore gambling has also been popular as an alternative, especially since winnings from these sources were not taxed in the UK.
Overall, you’ll find a much warmer and open experience for the gambler in the UK. The UK has taken pains to open the doors to Online Casinos, providing better options for depositing funds into your online casino account, and a myriad of options for withdrawing the same. The welcoming stance the UK has towards the online casino industry has also provided broader options for your online gambling experience.
Economic Impact of Gambling on the UK
On the positive impacts of gambling on the UK it can be said that a significant percentage of the take from many forms of gambling go to charitable organizations. Remote gambling, or online casinos, contribute quite a significant amount as indicated in this article. There are several forms of gambling that provide money to charity as part of their normal operations, included in these are gambling on sports, lottery, arcades, remote gambling, scratch cards, and bingo and casinos. It is a natural extension of the way that Britain handles its gambling houses and organizations that those that are particularly popular provide a great deal to charity.
With the online casinos generating quite a large amount of income, in part predicated on the sheer number of citizens of the United Kingdom that actually play, the online casinos are responsible for a non-trivial amount of money that goes to serve those charities to which they contribute. This has allowed many charitable organizations to perform degrees of work that would have been impossible without this influx of cash.
Payment from UK Casinos
There are a number of elements that are somewhat unique to the UK online gambling world. Among them are the sheer preponderance of deposit methods available. In most parts of the world, the US most notably, you are limited to a couple of forms of transactions where gambling sites are concerned. Transactions through any form of debit or credit card are of course possible, as you would expect them to be anywhere. However, you will also find no less than half a dozen other options. Among these are Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, ECO, Click2Pay, Instant Banking, Click and Buy, just to name a few. Deposits into the online gaming community are handled quickly and easily through any of these interfaces. There are some rather strict provisions, including a check to see if the name of the person depositing the cash is also the name of the person who owns the source of funding.
Another unusual features of many UK Casinos, is that there is a minimum balance you must be below before you can change the source of money. While it is possible to accomplish this goal, it requires contact with Customer service to make this happen. Otherwise there are restrictions on making that form of transfer. Outside of using a debit or credit card, one of the options which seems to be withheld is the ability to make a deposit with an ETF. However, it is possible to withdraw it in this fashion.
Those who are familiar with Online gaming in general will know that there are often restrictions on how much or when you can make a withdrawal from your winnings. These conditions are often based on the amount of money you have wagered through, and how you have done with things like gaining bonuses and the like. In the UK you can always withdraw your funds, but the bonus money is removed if you haven’t met certain requirements. So while you can make those withdrawal without any playthrough requirements, you are going to lose the bonuses and such you gathered if you don’t play to a certain amount.
There are just as many options for withdrawing your money from a UK Online Casino as there is for depositing it, and we’ll be going through some of these options below.
NETeller – This form of account is an amazing option for the online gambler, as it will enable you to deposit and withdraw money from online casinos instantly. Those casinos servicing UK players offer NETeller, and no fees are charged to those UK players that use it at those casinos.
Paypal – Yet another commonly used form of online currency transaction, Paypal is unfortunately not accepted at a lot of UK Casinos. At those who do offer this service, it is one of the best methods to use for your UK Gambling needs.
Instadebit – This is a well-known ewallet solution, as it is accepted almost everywhere. This form of currency transaction is instant and free, and comes with high withdrawal limits, permitting to withdraw all your winnings unless you’re a truly high roller.
Skrill – Skrill is such a keynote of the industry, with such an amazing reputation that it is generally considered a mark of a casinos quality. Almost every online casino out there accepts skrill, and the standing rule is that if a casino you’re considering doesn’t? Find a new casino. On top of this, the sheer panorama of options you have for paying/withdrawing from Skrill are simply too numerous to list here, let’s just say the scope is about the broad as the casinos that accept them.
Crediting your credit card – This is an amazing option for those funding your endeavours with your credit card. Rather than withdrawing your winnings to a bank account and then paying your credit card, you can just straight up credit it back to your credit card, eliminating the middle man. There are few if any fees associated with this service.
Click2Pay – This is another form of ewallet that is available the world over, just like Paypal. However, also like paypal, the ability to deposit and withdraw money from this ewallet is limited only to those outside the US. It runs into the same legal tangles as Paypal in the US, making it unavailable for their use in gambling.
Wire Transfers – This is an option for receiving your money, but it is far and away one of the worst options out there. Long process times, copious fees, and much lower withdrawal limits. Unless you truly have no other option, don’t use this one.
Check by Mail or Courier – Remember how we said Wire Transfers were among the worst possible options to receive your money? Well this is *THE* worst way to receive your money, the sheer time involved in making a withdrawal, as well as the foibles of the postal system makes this option the most lengthy, and chancy option available.
Types of Gambling in the UK
One of the things that stands out about gambling in the UK is the sheer preponderance of options and locations available to the intrepid gambler. While in most parts of the US and certain other countries you can only find things like slot machines in specific locations, in the UK this isn’t necessarily the case. For instance, slot machines can be found in amusement arcades, pubs, and other places you wouldn’t necessarily suspect. Below we’ll go into some of the other available forms of gambling that maybe unique to this area.
In the UK Lottery the lottery is fairly prevalent, with a number of different systems available for that. The three most prevalent are the National Lottery, Euromillions, and Thunderball. Like most lotteries these involve the purchasing of tickets, and the drawings are taken on different day of the week. However, like most lotteries, this isn’t the best form of gambling to participate in if you are hoping to win it big. The likelihood of winning is not exaggerated at being something less than that of being hit by lightning.
Scratch cards are a pretty standard form of gambling, common throughout the world. In the UK it is even possible to get access to online forms of this game, where you can buy cards in various denominations with different payouts. The forms of cards one can buy are as prevalent as the ones one can purchase from any convenience store. There is a promised ratio of payout, in the case of scratch.co.uk it promises that 1 in 3 cards will pay out. The mount the card will pay out of course is not guaranteed. The usual forms of incentive are available for this site, though slightly modified to be relevant to this form of gambling.
Poker is a very popular form of gambling on UK sites, partially due to the overall acceptance of online poker as a valid and legal form of gambling. As such you will find a vast variety of these forms of sites available for the intrepid card shark. The forms of incentives on these sites are fairly standard in the world industry, including a sign-up bonus, and a first deposit match. In the case of of the average website, this match goes up to 100% of your first £500,and is available for all platforms, including PC, Mac, and Android operating systems. Texas hold-em is a stand-by favorite for these sites, but one can find Omaha and other forms of poker as well.
Along with the ever popular Poker sites, it isn’t uncommon to see Blackjack being an offered form of gambling on many sites. It doesn’t seem to be nearly as popular as poker or even scratch cards, but it still has a strong representation. Don’t expect to see as many incentives aimed at it, but if this is your game, there’s a prevalence of them out there.
Pachinko is a game that originated in Japan, and is quite popular in both UK physical and online casinos. Often enjoyed by those who enjoy slot machines, pachinko involves dropping small metal balls down through a pinball machine style set up, where it bounces around until reaching one of several catches at the bottom. The player fires the ball into the machine, and in some cases rather than simply going into a basket, the can be caught to be refired, or even release a cascade of balls that create free chances to score.
Many online casinos offer the opportunity to place bets on sports. Functioning much like real world bookies, these websites take bets based on calculated odds. The intrepid sports gambler will find much familiar in this process.
Selecting an Online UK Casino
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when choosing an online casino, and where in the world it’s located is just one element of this decision. As you have already learned, there are implications to where a casino is located based on what forms of transactions, and even games, these online venues are allowed to offer. In this section we’re going to discuss the best methods by which to select a casino, starting with what kinds of bonuses they offer.
Welcome Offers: Generally speaking even the worst in online casinos offer you a sign on bonus, so this is a minimum barrier of entry for anyone looking at getting into online gaming. If there are no welcome bonuses offer, it would be a very hard sell to any serious online gambler. There are a few major types of welcome offers, including a match-pay, where they will a percentage of your opening deposit up to a certain dollar amount. Free chips is another option, but comes with the peril of not being able to withdraw them or any money earned by gambling with them. The last one is the no deposit bonus, where you are given a certain amount to play with just for signing up. But don’t be sucked in by that last one, you have to consider the playthrough.
Reload Offers: These bonuses are offered for ongoing players who choose to redeposit to keep playing. These are usually offered on a monthly basis, and reward the loyal player with a bonus on top of their normal deposit. These are a good sign that the casino is invested in keeping you as a player, and will offer good and ongoing rewards for those who stick around.
Cash Back: This offer is one you hope a casino to have, and dearly hope you never have to use. This bonus is predicated on the idea that you have sat, wagered, and lost a certain amount of money. Should you meet this requirement *AND* your balance with the casino is zero, they will compensate you back a certain amount. Nice if you’re having a very bad day, but not a bonus any casino goer wants to have to use.
Loyalty Bonuses: This system is fairly straight forward. As part of a loyalty program you accumulate points. Those points come from the amount you wager, and build up over time giving you access to better and better loyalty rewards. In this system, loyalty rewards are spent as another form of currency for things like cash to play with, reload offers, or bits of swag the casino may offer, usually of the sort that bears its casinos logo.
High Roller: This is another one that is pretty much what it says on the tin. If you are betting large amounts of money, or making deposits in excess of 500$, you may find yourself subject to special offers and bonus promotions. Not one that’s useful for a lot of people but for the serious gambler this can be a draw.
Details to consider
While looking at the above bonuses, you’re going to want to look at the fine print. The better a set of given offers, the closer you’re going to want to look. There are unexpected pitfalls to online gambling, and most of them determine how much you’re going to be able to withdraw at once, and at what point you’re actually allowed to withdraw money.
Remember when looking at casinos, that eventually you’re likely to want to withdraw your winnings. Paying attention to just how much you’re allowed to withdraw at once is important. After all, the $100,000 dollar jackpot may be an amazing windfall, but its utility is limited if you’re only able to withdraw $1,000 a week. This is rarely openly advertised, so you’re going to want to pay attention to what the fine print says about it.
This is the other sneaky aspect of payouts, a playthrough determines at what point you are actually allowed to withdraw money from the casino. The way it is set up is a certain multiple of your initial deposit is required to have been wagered before you can make a withdrawal of any amount. For instance, if you deposited $100, you may be required to wager $1000 or more before you are allowed to withdraw. These wagers can be of any amount, as they are incrementing a total wagered amount towards this playthrough minimum. Some of the less scrupulous casinos require you to bet up to 50x your initial wager, meaning you’re almost certainly unlikely to see that withdrawal amount anytime soon.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to playing in UK casinos, but do be warned that the majority of them only apply if you hail from somewhere other than the USA. The open armed approached to online casinos has created an interesting and dynamic casino industry in the United Kingdom, waiting for intrepid gamblers like yourself to take advantage of it. With Pachinko, sports gambling, poker, blackjack, slots, and even scratch cards, there’s a gambling opportunity to scratch every itch. Good gambling mate!