The online casino revolutionized gambling and brought it directly to people. The advent of the mobile casino has taken things a few notches higher: now you can gamble whenever you want and wherever you want! The casino industry is booming in the UK. While that is definitely good news for UK players, it also pops up a question: how do you zero in on the perfect UK online casino the very first time?
The Basic Problems You May Face When Looking for Your First UK Online Casino
It is important to find the right casino to play at, otherwise what you thought would be a whole lot of fun and games could end up being a nightmare and an experience that makes you say bye to casino gaming forever. There are two major issues that primarily contribute to this:
- The remoteness of the entire experience: Online gambling is a remote experience. So if you face a problem there is no person 'physically' to talk to. Yes, there is customer support but that, at the end of it all, is just a voice over the line or an electronic response over live chat.
- The problem of plenty: Sometimes having too much can be a problem. And that is exactly the case here: there are too many online casinos around.
What makes it even more difficult is that the problems are usually not of monstrous proportions. It is very unlikely that the casino will take your money and run, leaving you high and dry. The façade is great everywhere: you do not know until you sign up whether the casino has a problem. And often times enlightenment dawns much later, when you try to withdraw your funds or claim winnings from a bonus.
So how do you find the one casino that is an exact fit to what you are looking for? There are a few things to look out for when it comes to finding the right casino.
Licensing and Regulation Details are Critical
The first thing to check for when you are looking for a good online casino for UK players is the licensing and regulation details. All casinos catering to UK players must have a license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, as per the changes brought about in the Gambling Act of 2005 in the form of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014.
There are a number of overseas operators who would earlier offer their services to UK players with a license from an offshore location; now they too are required to have a UKGC license for UK players. A casino with the right licensing and regulation is a guarantee of safety and security for your personal information and money. Having a license is not enough; the casino must also display it on the website's pages, as per the rules of the UKGC. So this is another thing to check for.
All the casinos that we list for UK players are licensed and regulated by recognized licensing jurisdictions and also the UKGC.
Reputation of the Operator Matters
There are a large number of online casinos in operation today that cater to UK players. An operator with a good reputation is a sign of reliability and trust that players have bestowed on it. Another thing to look for is whether the operator has other casino brands under its belt.
You could also try and compare the different operators around. That may not be as easy as it sounds, because it will involve extensive reading and analysis. However, doing this will give you an idea of whom to go after and whom to drop from your initial list.
The Importance of the Software Provider Powering the Casino
Once the safety and reliability angle has been worked out, the next thing to look for is game experience. That is where checking out the software provider becomes critical. Each software provider has its own range of games and distinctive features embedded into them.
There are at least 55-60 software providers who would fit into the top providers' category. A good software provider is a guarantee of good game range and exciting games. A good online casino is one who would be able to use software from a reputed provider.
The Role of Game Range
The game range depends on the casino software provider. So what kind of games you are looking for will be a big factor in determining the casino brand you sign up with.
Providers like Microgaming are known for their massive game range - over 850 games - and huge number of progressive jackpots - more than 40 of them. Providers like NetEnt are known for their penchant for innovative features in their games and also jackpots. There are also players like Playtech, Yggdrasil, Evolution who specializes in live casino games, Elk Studios, BetSoft who specializes in 3D graphics, and many more, not to mention the white label platforms like White Hat Gaming.
Understanding the Promotions in Detail
One thing that every player looks up to when they are looking for a casino to sign up with is the range of promotions. Casinos with huge welcome bonuses and a good range of promotions are likely easier to sign up with.
More important than the size of a bonus is the packet of terms and conditions attached to it. Therefore, studying the terms and conditions of each bonus in detail becomes important. For instance, a bonus with a high wagering requirement may be a bad idea; a bonus with standard wagering requirements, usually 25x to 35x the bonus amount, would always make more sense.
Payment Support is Important: Checking for Deposit and Withdrawal Speed
A casino with a large number of payment methods gives you a more options to choose from. More important than the number of methods, however, is the speed of deposit and withdrawal.
Deposits are usually instant. The problem is always in the withdrawals. The presence of a withdrawal approval process ensures withdrawals take more time. It becomes a problem when it takes an inordinately long time. When there are casinos that offer instant withdrawals why would you want to sign up with one that has a 15-day time period for withdrawals, for instance? This is where a number of casinos end up being categorized as rogue or unreliable by reputed industry watchdogs.
We list only those casinos that have fast withdrawal times.
The Need for Mobile Compatibility
Mobile compatibility is another critical factor today. Mobile casinos are here to stay and every operator who values his customer has one. A mobile option is an advantage as it allows you to play your favorite games on the go. And you do not need multiple accounts; you can use the same desktop account to access the mobile casino.
The kind of access - instant play or downloadable software/apps - is also something to look out for. Platform compatibility is another key element to check out for: a good casino for UK players will ideally have a mobile version that is compatible with at least the Android and iOS platforms.
Customer Support is Key
The only way of getting help at an online casino is through the casino's support team. That is why it is important to ensure that the support team is capable, competent, friendly, and professional.
Checking the different channels of contacting the support team is necessary as well. A casino offering multiple channels of contacting support is a better option than one that offers just e-mail support.
To conclude, it is always important to examine all the above points carefully before zeroing in on a UK online casino to play at. Here are a few red flags to look out for:
- No mention of licensing information anywhere on the casino's website. This is a big red flag no matter how great the casino looks.
- Promotions with tangled or high wagering requirements. Promotions that come with high wagering requirements are always tricky, no matter how big they are.
- Long-drawn withdrawal process. This is another immediate red flag that should make you move to the next casino. When there are actually casinos that guarantee withdrawals in 24 hours, why would you want to play at an online casino that gives you your money in 15 days?
- Shabby customer support. Shabby customer support is an indicator of overall shabbiness. The customer is the one that brings in the business; anyone who doesn't take good care of him is someone to stay away from.
So how do you search out a casino that exactly fits your requirements? A good way would be to go through the list of casinos we have put up. Each casino is tested rigorously for all the parameters listed above by a team of experts with long-standing industry experience. All you need to do is:
- Browse through our list.
- Check the features for each casino.
- Read up our reviews if you are looking for detailed information.
- Click on the casino you want to play at.