The United Kingdom has a very rich tradition when it comes to gambling. For centuries people invented and improved gambling games, involving more and more players. At some point the casinos appeared – the special places where gamblers could gather and enjoy their favorite types of games. At first (and this lasted for a really long time) there were only land based casinos that had certain sets of rules and high house edge. The casinos were not numerous and many gamblers could only afford to visit them several times a year. But the things changed when the Internet appeared and started developing rapidly. Starting from the 1990s the gamblers did not need to even leave their homes to play the gambling games they liked, because they could simply visit one of several online casinos.
The first form of gambling to really take off over the internet was online casinos. It happened back in 1994 the company called Microgaming was formed. This British company claims to have been the very first to provide the fully functional real money online casino, called The GameClub. Other companies made similar claims (the names of casinos differ though), and it is hard to verify who really came first. Regardless of that, Microgaming and Cryptologic were both certainly most notable names in early days of online casinos. They both played key role in the development of the technology needed to process real money deposits and withdrawals crucial for the very existence of online gambling.
When it comes to gambling in modern Britain it is obvious that online betting is just booming. Dozens of casinos get their licenses and start operating in our Kingdom every month. So no wonder thousands of new players keep searching online for the legal information and a piece of advice on how to gamble with the least risk and with the highest profit. To help our readers learn on the important facts we decided to place the necessary information here in this article.
First and foremost, one has to remember that he or she is not allowed to gamble unless at least 18 years of age. This is the minimum required for a person to be able to join online casinos legally. If you are younger than that, but decide to cheat on the system and place a bet or two anyway, you will probably have no chance of withdrawing the winnings anyway. Additionally, such players are banned for good from the online casino they have tried to make a full of. Same is true for cheaters of any kind, by the way. So it is always better to gamble responsibly and fair.
As for the taxes applied to your possible online gambling winnings – there are none. The best news for the UK players was when the so called ‘betting tax’ was abolished some years ago. From that time, anyone lucky enough to win real cash is free of tax on the winnings. That is true for any type of betting, playing online poker, bingo, online slots or any other games. Sports betting is also tax free. This became possible because the operators (those organisations or people providing the gambling services) became the only ones to pay the gambling tax.
If a UK player thinks that he or she has been treated unfairly or wishes to complain about an online casino for whatever reason, there is a simple way to do that. Each and every licensed British casino follows a strict code of conduct, which makes it usually possible to settle the issue with the supposedly unfair casino itself, by contacting its customer support, manager, etcetera. In case this did not help and the issue is still not resolved, you will be able to address the problem to the UK Gambling Commission. By the way, this is one of the reasons why one should be careful to only choose the licensed casinos.
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Today the number of online casinos is huge. They are so numerous, that UK players have the problem of choosing one of them rather than finding one of them. Unlike in many other countries the online gambling in the Great Britain is fully legal and clearly set out. The players from this country have virtually no restrictions when it comes to making bets online or withdrawing the winnings. Hundreds of online slots, dozens of Roulette game types and all sorts of Blackjack, Poker and other table games, Video Poker, casual games – anything can be found in online casinos for UK players. Such giant gambling software providers as Microgaming (the Isle of Man based company), RTG (Realtime Gaming), Playtech and others proudly present their most popular games to the British players.
Shortly speaking, the UK Gambling Commission is responsible for issuing the licenses to online gambling operators, and thus to let them to accept players from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Since 2014 any online casino that wishes to accept players from the UK has to have an official license if it does not want to undergo the severe sanctions. The licences are divided into 3 main categories of protection:
The operators that are allowed to accept the British players are required to clearly convey their level of protection rights, since it is basically a part of their customer conditions. Once again – the violators are severely punished and undergo the government sanctions, up to being banned from operating in the country for good. This is probably the main advantage of the UK Gambling Commission in terms of mere player experience. Thanks to this reputable organisation any online gambler has the means to protect himself or herself against any sort of unfair behavior.
We recommend joining only online casinos that have the official UK Gambling Commission license for several important reasons. For one, only such casinos are guaranteed to provide you with the hassle-free gambling experience. They are safe and secure to play at, they always pay out the winnings and have up to 96% payback guarantee.
As for other major advantages of playing at the licensed casinos:
An important thing when it comes to online casinos is being able to deposit funds, easily, quickly and securely. Once again, the UK players are in a good position here. The world’s leading online payment solutions are available for them, so it really just is about choosing the preferred method. That is why we have selected some of the most often used online banking solutions; the ones with solid reputation, fast and secure transactions, and even special bonuses for the first-time users. Here they go:
Credit cards. Being a most popular method of depositing funds to casinos online, credit cards like MasterCard and Visa are extremely convenient. The only drawback of using them is that a player needs to reveal his personal information to an online casino.
Skrill (Moneybookers). Another company that comes from the United Kingdom, Skrill was developed with online casino players in mind. In fact, one of conditions of creating an account with Skrill is to confirm that one would use it for playing in online casinos.
Ukash. This one is a widely spread method of both deposition and withdrawing money from online casinos. It is especially popular with UK players, since Ukash was created first of all for the British market.
PaySafe Card. A prepaid card online is a great solution for the players who do not really want to reveal their personal data. PaySafe is available across all Europe and the UK, and can be used for depositing to online casinos.
EntroPay. Here is an online casino payment solution that allows using virtual prepaid MasterCard or Visa. An EntroPay account can be funded with many different Debit and Credit cards as well and then used for online gambling payments.
PayPal. There is no need to introduce this payment solution. A very secure and reputable, PayPal remains one of the leaders when it comes to payments made in online casinos. UK players love this solution just like so many around the world.
Any or all of these reputable and convenient online banking solutions are available for British players any time of day and night. Just as online casinos are. Similarly, they can be carried in a back pocket of your jeans, which is extremely convenient. So do not hesitate to create an account with PayPal, Skrill, EntroPay, while you probably already have one with Visa or MasterCard.
UK players online casinos are very numerous now. But recently the gambling commission of the United Kingdom chose to ban all the casinos online registered outside the UK. This means that starting from December 1st online casinos registered in Channel Islands, Curacao, Gibraltar, Virgin Islands and so on will be restricted to accept players from the Great Britain. So use the time left till the law comes to power wisely and check, whether their online casino will be able to accept them. There are ways to continue playing at your favorite casino even if it does not have the license, but you still trust it and want to stay with it. However, they are all slightly illegal and a bit risky, because you would not be able to really complain about some sort of unfair behavior.
Below are ten most frequently asked questions that our readers address us, collected and placed in this section to spare the time our readers might otherwise spend looking for the answers. Please look through the section to maybe find the answer to your personal question, or just some new helpful information. We will certainly appreciate comments on whether the answers were clear, complete and detailed.
Will I need to pay taxes if I play at a licensed UK online casino?
No, the online and land based gambling is tax free for the players. No matter if you win one pound or 1 million – you will receive the exact sum, no strings attached. The casino operators on the other hand are the subject to tax collection, but this will not influence the gamblers by any means.
Why bingo sites are so popular in the UK?
The majority of TV viewers have certainly noticed, that dozens of television shows are sponsored by online Bingo institutions. This is a result of extensive promotion campaign led by these institutions in hope that they would attract new players. For this reason it may seem that bingo websites are extremely popular in the UK, when in fact, bingo games are not more popular or more numerous than, say, online slots. Online casinos have bingo, slots, blackjack, baccarat, roulette and other online gambling games.
What are the names of 100% fair online casinos?
The aforementioned and reviewed UK Gambling Commission maintains the licensing procedure for all online casinos that want to officially operate in Great Britain. The Commission makes sure all games are fair and their outcomes are random; that the payouts are on-time and in full amount. The names of a few licensed top casinos are Betway, Casino Land, Insta Casino.
What is the largest jackpot for the UK casinos?
Of the large number of games offered at the best online casinos, only online slots (and more specifically – Progressive Jackpot online slots) can afford to offer millions in jackpots. Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot provides now a single largest jackpot of over £6,000,000 pounds.
Whom to address if I have the issue with a UK licensed online casino?
If a player has some question or an issue he/she wants to settle with a casino, the player should first address the casino’s customer support. The UK online gambling license is hard to obtain, so the chances that a support representative will not be cooperative are almost non-existent. However, if the worst has happened and you have been cheated in some way, or at least you believe that you have been treated unfairly somehow – there is always the UK Gambling Commission you can claim to. The official website is http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/
Where to play free online casino games?
Only the industry’s leaders can afford to provide free games. For this reason we can recommend Betway, Casino Land, Insta Casino and several other licensed gambling websites. They will give a choice of slots and some table games to play them completely for free. They will even let you keep the winnings!
What are the best bonuses for me, if I am from the UK?
The best bonuses at modern online casinos are always the Welcome Bonuses. These can range from 500 pounds up to several thousand pounds. As a rule, the Welcome (or as it is sometimes called Sign Up) Bonus is issued for several initial deposits. For instance, the First Deposit Bonus is 200 £, the Second Deposit bonus is 300 £, the Third Deposit Bonus is once again 300 £, and finally the Fourth Deposit bonus is 200 £. Which will make the total of 1,000 £.
Can I play online poker at an online casino?
Yes, there is a special term Online Poker. It is best played at Live Casinos, where poker fans will find live dealers and other players. There is great atmosphere is live poker rooms and we thank the leading online casinos that we can experience it even while at home.
What is the best deposit/withdrawal option for the UK players?
Clearly, there is no single answer to this important question. But we can certainly name the online banking solutions known for their safety, fast transactions and convenience are Skrill, PaySafe Card, EntroPay, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and Ukash. So it is preferable to use one of them for online casino transactions.
Whom to address if I have the gambling addiction problem?
Besides the UK Gambling Commission, there is an independent GamCare organisation that deals with the gambling addiction. On its official website here http://www.gamcare.org.uk one will find important and detailed information on the problem, on how to fight it effectively, what to do if one thinks he or she has this form of addiction, different articles on the topic and much more. We recommend visiting the site anyway, even if you do not feel like you have an issue with gambling.