Online gambling is everyone’s new favorite pastime, or so it seems, as the number of people indulging in this hobby over the internet is not only more substantial than ever, but it is growing at a rapid pace. Per the latest stats, companies providing online gambling services should start pulling in annual revenues of over $92 billion by 2023, and this figure will likely surpass $158 billion by 2027. That should be proof enough of how fast this sphere is expanding. Thus, as it grows, so do the number of online casinos available on the World Wide Web. That includes UKGC-licensed sites and casinos not on GamStop. Hence, it is growing more strenuous for parties interesting in getting into this pastime to figure out which platform they should join. What follows below is a review of the most vital criteria involved used in the selection of a reliable gambling site, regardless of whether it is a UK-based platform or a non GamStop casino.
Credible Regulation & Advanced Encryption
It is never a wise move to play at an unlicensed casino. While some players may think that online gaming regulation is a joke, that is not so. Interactive gaming licensors/overseeing bodies ensure that the operators carrying their seal of approval have gotten vetted for financial stability. Furthermore, they mandate that their licensees have proper safety measures in place that guarantee a player’s protection. The most famous is SSL encryption that ciphers all the data users and operators share with an unhackable key.
Naturally, the UKGC is Europe’s premium regulator regarding putting players first. However, international licensing bodies like Curacao eGaming and the Malta Gaming Authority, which approve and monitor companies that offer their services globally, implement many of the same measures as the UKGC. Other reputable entities that validate gambling sites include Gaming Curacao, Antillephone NV, Panama’s Gaming Control Board, and the Costa Rican government.
Multiple Payment Methods
A quality online casino will provide users multiple choices about how they wish to fund their gaming balance. Single-method sites are a thing of the past. Nowadays, a platform must offer several options. These should include popular credit/debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid solutions, cryptocurrencies, and bank transfers. When it comes to credit cards, they have gotten banned from UKGC-regulated sites since April 2020, as Britain’s regulator decided to do away with debt accumulation payment options. However, they still are on hand at casinos not registered with GamStop, the UKGC mandatory self-exclusion scheme.
In general, fiat money gamblers should always opt to use e-wallets for deposits and withdrawals. That is so because they incur the fastest processing times. Most casinos send players their requested funds to their specific e-wallet in less than 24-hours. Card options incur wait times of three to five banking days, while wire transfers can take longer than seven. Cryptos are the fastest pick, but they are not available everywhere.
Virtually everyone that has spent a considerable time browsing the internet knows that online casino promotions are the backbone of this sector. They are the thing that most sets apart digital gaming venues from their physical counterparts.
The most common online bonus is a deposit match. It provides on-the-house gambling funds that match those players’ place in their casino balance. They do so using a specific percentage up to a predefined max amount. For example, a deposit match of 100% up to $100 will yield $100 in bonus cash for a deposit of $100. Another super popular promo that internet gambling operators often supply is free spins. These are complimentary reel rotations on a distinct slot. They can be a standalone deal, or they can get paired with a deposit match. Cashback schemes are also a sector favorite, and they often get featured in a platform’s VIP scheme.
The more promotions a site has listed, the better. As a rule of thumb, sites not on GamStop are more generous concerning offering casino deals.
Extensive Game Library
People join online casinos to test their luck on games of chance. Thus, it is a no-brainer that a quality interactive gaming hub will house hundreds if not thousands of gambling products. Naturally, the most popular genre in this sector is slots. They are simple to play games that can produce wins in the millions. That mainly applies to progressive jackpot titles.
Live dealer games have gotten massive traction in recent years, and they have branched off from classic table games into innovative TV game show-like products with a presenter and multiple bonus rounds. Nevertheless, classics such as blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are still available to play against software at most sites. What is essential is that an operator chooses to feature the specs of all its offered products transparently. Furthermore, it should also undergo regular fairness audits from an independent testing agency such as TST or iTech Labs.
Support & Responsible Gambling Features
Undoubtedly, everyone will run into issues when partaking in games on chance on their smartphone or desktop computer. Therefore, every platform must have someone on standby. Staff that will answer all questions a user may have and provide aid. The golden trifecta of online casino support is live chat, email, and FAQ. A platform can have two of these, but all three are preferable. Featuring all of them is a sign that an operator cares about its players.
Another sign that a company has its player’s best interest in mind is if it lets users set deposit/loss limits and self-exclude, such an option should be accessible via a player’s profile page. UKGC-licensed sites provide universal self-exclusion bans from all UKGC-regulated casinos. Non GamStop casinos only have site-specific restrictions.
UK Sites & Casinos Not on GamStop
In the past two years, the UK gambling market has substantially changed. Rising betting addiction rates have forced the UKGC to clamp down on operators, making them implement new measures that make the online slot experience less engaging. According to this website, examples of such new guidelines are spin timers, removing auto-play, and lowered max-bet limits. These have caused more and more Brits to navigate to casinos not on GamStop, searching for less restrictive gameplay.
Aside from offering more liberating gameplay, the average non GamStop casino is appealing to British online gamblers because it allows niche payment methods, hosts more games than its UK counterparts, and usually implements a richer VIP program.
When considering which gambling platform to call home, it is paramount that all interested parties keep in mind the things discussed above. However, what is of even greater importance, is that everyone that chooses to bet on events with uncertain outcomes does so responsibly, only wagering what they have in their pockets, sums that they can go about their day without.
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