A Guide To UK Online Gambling

Online gambling today is an enormous industry engaging millions of players worldwide with an estimated market size of over £150 billion this year. Yet for such a huge pastime and significant form of entertainment to so many, online gambling still seems a daunting hobby for many of those who have not yet engaged with it. This hesitation may perhaps be due to media coverage in the past or due to the historical difficulties associated with aligning legislation with gambling practices as they moved online in the early 21st century.

Of course, the simple truth today is that online gambling is as strongly regulated, safe and fair as gambling in person, and that it may in fact even be preferable to visiting physical locations for several reasons, not least in the interest of social distancing and remaining healthy as the covid pandemic continues to pose challenges to larger social gatherings. Indeed England’s deputy chief medical officer has warned that the coming months will be hard ones in this respect.

We’ve decided to write this guide to UK online gambling in part due to this covid-related dynamic. But it’s also worth writing due to the sheer entertainment quality and value available in the world of online gambling today – there’s simply too many amazing opportunities and games out there for people to not open their eyes to them and try them out! Furthermore, predicted future trends indicate that online gambling in the UK is only going to continue to grow – so getting the hang of the experience already now is advisable!

Why UK online casinos are the safest in the world thanks to the UKGC

What is it that makes online gambling so safe in the UK? While it’s true that certain countries continue to suffer from hosted gambling sites of ill repute, the UK is very much the opposite. The main reason for this is the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Set up between 2005 and 2007, the UKGC is the part of the UK Government tasked with developing regulatory frameworks for most forms of gambling (including online) as well as supervising the industry. It’s responsible for providing licenses to gambling operators and even takes steps to protect vulnerable persons from risky gambling behaviour.

In the years since its creation the UKGC has helped monitor and manage the ever-expanding online gambling scene and made sure to implement laws and provide advice to gambling operators that minimize the risk of fraud and maximize crime prevention. Today businesses looking to obtain and, more importantly, maintain a gambling license are closely inspected to make sure that players are safe and treated fairly. Their work is ongoing and revised and improved legislation is continually drafted and implemented. For example, just this month the UKGC is working towards tighter monitoring of ownership structures and regulatory returns in its most recent proposal.

How gambling online is more straightforward than visiting a land-based casino

Given that the online gambling scene is so closely monitored, people should not fear that their gambling is any less safe on the internet than in physical venues. On the contrary gambling online may be safer in some ways than doing it in person. Recent cutting-edge research into casino and gambler psychology has revealed that the sensory cues (lighting and sounds) employed in physical casinos are extremely efficient at manipulating players into engaging in more risky decision making processes. This alone is cause enough to consider switching to online gambling as a preference.

Beyond that there is naturally also the aspect of social distancing and covid safety to take into consideration. With the pandemic not looking like it’s going to go anywhere in the near future, it’s worth asking yourself why you should bother to group into confined areas rubbing shoulders and sharing space with other gamblers when you could instead play safely from the comfort and security of your own home? That aspect of comfort also means no pressure to dress up, no added costs of meals or drinks out and no peer pressure to engage in gambling behaviour that you yourself may not choose to engage in on your own.

Indeed, often the biggest challenge to getting started with online gambling is finding operators and online casinos that suit your preference in terms of style, theme, payment options, etc. That’s one of the reasons there’s a booming business of websites offering easy overviews detailing the top UK slots sites and the like.

The UK online gambling scene continues to grow year on year

As mentioned above, online gambling in the UK is projected to continue its booming trend this decade. Fuelled in part by massive interest in online gambling during the lockdowns of 2020, online betting companies reported significant profits despite the general downturn of the economy elsewhere. Like so much else of society and so many other areas of business, the future of gambling really does look like it will take place online.

In summary, while many of our readers will already be acquainted with online gambling, and likely already found their favourite sites to play on, we hope that this guide illustrates to others that online gambling is not inherently any less reputable than gambling in person. In particular given the strong regulation by the UKGC there is no cause to specifically avoid gambling online. In fact there are several strong reasons to preferentially opt for gambling online instead of traveling to a crowded physical location! If this does open up your mind to the idea, of course make sure to only gamble responsibly. With that said – good luck and have fun!

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