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Gambling in the UK

A Complete Guide to Gambling Online in the UK

Gambling In The UK

Gambling online is one of the most popular pastimes in the United Kingdom. It is just as well that the country is home to some of the best-regulated gambling laws and yet most flexible gambling options found anywhere in the world. If you are based in the United Kingdom and wonder how online gambling works in the UK, GambleHero is here to help. Allow our short guide to introduce you to gambling online in the United Kingdom.

Choosing the Right Sort of Betting Site

Before spinning the reels of slots, sitting down to play a spot of blackjack or bingo, or slapping a tenner down on your footy side to win, there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, where you decide to play is of paramount importance.

Any casino site legally permitted to offer gambling services to players in the UK will be licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. No law says you cannot join offshore (international) casinos, but UKGC licensed sites will offer you the most protection. This is because they adhere to UK gambling laws and provide all the relevant player protections that the UKGC demands of its license holders.

UK Casino Games

There are also multiple betting sites that you can choose to play at. Each has its own perks. Online casinos, for instance, are packed with slots, video poker, table games and the latest addition to the casino world – live dealer titles played over a video stream with a human dealer. Bingo rooms are notable for housing one of the UK’s favourite gambling games and carry a modest selection of casino side games. Poker rooms make for the ideal stomping ground if you want to participate in tournaments and satellites and take on other human players.

Meanwhile, sportsbooks carry all the latest bookmaker options as well as live in-play bets.

In the UK, you are not forced to settle for one site over another, though. Many top betting sites offer you a selection of all these options. Some of the renowned high-street bookmaker’s websites even provide them all to you, all under one roof and with a single account.

UK Banking Options for Gambling Online

The UK is quite strict about protecting players from the “perils” of gambling online. A recent law changed in 2020 now means that UKGC licensed casinos cannot accept deposits made with credit cards. Nor are they allowed to accept deposits made using e-wallets that offer credit cards. Fortunately, there is no shortage of other options out there. E-wallets, prepaid vouchers, pay-by-phone options, and bank transfers are permitted.

Responsible Gambling Tools

One of the perks of the UK online gambling sector is that it demands that its sites promote responsible gambling. This is often done via a series of tools that should help you keep on the straight and narrow when betting online. Any UKGC licensed casino must offer the following to its members:

  • Deposit/Wager Caps: Set limits on how much you are prepared to deposit and wager during any given period.
  • Loss Limits: Set a fixed limit on how much you are prepared to lose daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Time Caps: Stop yourself betting by setting a timer on your gameplay.
  • Withdrawal Locks: Lock any money you have earmarked for withdrawals, so you are not tempted to wager it again.
  • Self-Exclusion Periods: If things get too much, feel free to lock yourself out of your casino for a period that works for you without closing your account.
  • KYC Process: Top betting sites require you to submit documentation to prove your identity. This protects against underage gambling, money laundering and identity fraud.

The level of responsible gambling tools found at UK betting sites is extensive and offers far more protection than is found in many other countries. These responsible gambling tools do not hinder your gameplay, either. They are surprisingly flexible, allowing you to bet how you want, albeit safely.

Access to Problem Gambling Programs

All top UK betting sites will be affiliated with problem gambling programs. This is one of the newer legal requirements issued by the UK Gambling Commission. Programs such as BeGambleAware, GamCare and GamStop allow you to register with them. You will then be blocked at any casinos in the world which are also signed up to the program. This block is in place for weeks, months or years, and makes for the perfect way to curb a rapidly growing habit if you need to.

A Note on Bonuses and Promotions

The UK Gambling Commission has placed restrictions on gambling advertisements. However, this does not mean that you cannot claim bonuses. It implies that betting sites in the UK must have transparent, crystal clear terms and conditions. Moreover, they must have fair wagering requirements and other rules which are clearly visible. Casinos are also limited in terms of the number of “free” offers they can provide.

This will not hinder you, though. You can still claim a wealth of bonuses via e-mail. Moreover, registered players will have access to promos, bonuses, VIP deals, loyalty rewards and more once they sign into their account. This way, the promotions do not tempt “would be” players and are only available for those who have already committed to gambling online.

The Final Word

The United Kingdom is known as one of the safest and fairest places to gamble in the world, and part of that is down to the UK Gambling Commission’s regulation and laws. Any UKGC licensed casino can theoretically be amongst the best casinos in the business, and all can be trusted as certified, regulated, and fair betting sites.

Now that you know a bit about how gambling in the United Kingdom works, perhaps it is time to check out some top casinos, sportsbooks, poker, and bingo rooms? Again, GambleHero is more than happy to help you get started betting online in the UK today. Check out our reviews to find a safe, exciting place to bet today. Looking for more country guides? Find our United States or Canadian gambling guides here.