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An Introduction to Online Casinos in the UK

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British gamblers enjoy access to the world’s most developed and best regulated online casino market; just make sure to do your homework before signing up.

People everywhere love to gamble, but in the United Kingdom the ancient activity seems to hold a special place in the popular heart. From betting on the English Premier League to playing Pontoon to taking a go at the pokie, Britons do it, and do it a lot. The internet revolution of the 1990s created new ways to gamble on the island, and it quickly developed the world’s leading online casino industry. There are countless online gambling sites in Britain as well as offshore sites available to British gamblers.

In contrast to their linguistic counterparts across the pond, the British government has a pretty liberal attitude toward online gambling. The industry is licensed and regulated, and online casinos are even allowed to advertise on television. Anyone over the age of 18 can legally log on to an internet casino and start wagering. This applies to many foreign-licensed sites as well as those located right at home in the UK.

Domestic and White List sites

The biggest domestically-licensed name is Bet365. While Denise Coate’s company started off as a sports betting-only operation during the late 1990s, its business model has evolved to tap the ever-lucrative online casino market. The site offers everything from Vegas-style table games to live dealer offerings to an almost unlimited number of slots. A mobile casino version is available as well.

•Luckily for Britons, the UK has one of the world’s most developed and best-regulated online casino markets

•Domestically-licensed online casinos as well as many licensed in Gibraltar, Malta and the Isle of Man serve British gamblers

•It’s easy for users to sign up as well as deposit money, but make sure to do your homework before deciding where to place wagers

The UK gambling commission has a white list of operators in select locations such as Gibraltar and Malta which have special access to the British market. While laws were recently changed to require that these companies obtain licensing in the UK as well as pay a 15 percent point-of-consumption tax, they occupy a privileged position. Some of the operations mentioned below moved to white list locations in order to avoid paying British taxes.

The most notable offshore provider is William Hill, the old High Street betting shop operator who moved its online division to Gibraltar in 2009. You can teach an old dog new tricks, as Hill has boosted its revenue stream by serving casino players as well as sports punters in Britain and worldwide. Our site ranks Victor Chandler’s BetVictor Casino as the best online casino available to Britons. Why? The Gibraltar-licensed site offers great table games, countless innovative slots and a slew of promotions, including a GBP 175 bonus just for signing up.

Where to wager your money

Once you’ve decided that you want to gamble online, it’s important to take some time in deciding where to wager your money. We’ve provided a list of sites serving gamblers in the UK, some licensed there and some elsewhere.

The most important thing is to choose a reputable site that you can trust. There are countless scams out there, so make sure you check that any site is properly licensed. Once that has been established, hunt around for the best bonuses and promotions. Online casinos compete on a very high level, and you can find great promotions if you take your time looking.

It’s also crucial to read the terms and conditions, especially with regards to promotions and withdrawing winnings. Many casinos offer anywhere from GBP 50 to GBP 500 in signup bonuses, but the player needs to understand that there is a wagering requirement. This is an amount of money which must be wagered before the player can cash out (no, you can’t take the free GBP 500 and run). For example, a site may give you GBP 100, but require that you wager GBP 2,000. So you still have to put up a significant amount of your own money.

How to sign up and deposit

Signing up at most online casinos is very easy. Simply log on with a valid e-mail address, choose a password, and verify your age and location. British gambling laws make sure that domestic and white list sites are held to pristine regulatory standards, so proper steps are taken to prevent underage gambling and scams.

Depositing money with an online casino is also very easy. The major sites accept major credit cards as well as bank transactions, and unlike in the US, the government doesn’t interfere with the financial end of things. The biggest international sites accept wagers in British pounds, US dollars and euro, and luckily for English speakers, English language support is a given.

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