Choosing a Safe Online Casino – How to Avoid the Pitfalls

Choosing a Safe Online Casino – How to Avoid the Pitfalls

When it comes to choosing a safe online casino, there are some key things to look for to avoid the pitfalls. The rise in online technology and fast internet has seen more and more sites popping up all the time and as with any online business sector, there are good and bad players. It is important to know what to look for to ensure that your deposits are in good hands. Since the UKGC moved to clamp down on the sector, the UK has seen strict measures applied to curb problem gambling. These included a ban on credit card deposits, in-game spin timers, and bet limits. A result of this loss of freedom has driven many punters to seek out non GamStop casinos.

These sites are located overseas and are subject to less strict regulation but there are also risks involved. This guide will help you to recognize the more reputable casinos.

Security and Licensing

The basic requirements to start off with when choosing an online casino are the security of the platform and of users’ funds.

For the betting platform, it is important to find a site that uses up-to-date security measures. One of the basics is SSL encryption, which was designed to provide privacy, authentication, and data integrity for users in internet communications. Sites that have this feature are showing that they value customer safety and data security. Firewalls are another important feature, and they can prevent hacking of users’ data.

To protect the deposits of gamblers, the next important issue is regulation, and it is important to find a casino that is regulated by a gaming authority in their respective country. For UK gamblers, the ideal regulator is the UK Gambling Commission. British citizens are afforded more security and support in their home country, but some punters have been increasingly looking overseas to the sites not on GamStop. Malta and Cyprus are two examples of European countries that have attracted betting companies. These are regulated by their own body, such as the Malta Gaming Authority and they are subject to EU money laundering rules, so they are a good starting point for finding reputable sites.

In recent times, there has been a rise in South American destinations offering gambling services, with Curacao and Costa Rica being two that have welcomed British punters. These countries tend to have lighter regulations and they also have little or no consumer protection for UK punters, so they should be handled with care.

The UKGC has been working with the GamStop non-profit organisation to apply a strict self-exclusion scheme in the country to end problem gambling. Those who have experience with problem gambling can apply to the scheme and they will have their accounts blocked from all gambling sites for a pre-determined period which is irreversible. This can be for a period of up to five years. Another organisation being used in the UK is Gamban, which is a for-profit private enterprise that will block gambling sites from mobile devices and PCs. Unfortunately, many gamblers are in denial of their problems and may seek out the use of overseas sites as a way around the rules.

Variety of Payment Methods

Outside of the core safety measures, choosing a suitable casino site will also require a variety of payment methods and withdrawal methods. A site with a single bank account would be risky.

The standard for online payments is debit and credit cards, but another restriction enforced by the UKGC was to ban credit cards at British casino sites. This is another reason why punters have looked to overseas sites. Many consumers prefer to use a credit card to separate their betting transactions from their bank statements. This can avoid stigma when they want to apply for a mortgage or a loan. For withdrawals, UK betting sites will provide wire transfers and payment wallets, but the overseas sites will provide these and many are now offering support for cryptocurrencies. This is giving non GamStop casinos an advantage over British sites.

Consumers should check the terms and conditions for withdrawals to ensure that fees and times are satisfactory. Withdrawals are usually instant for e-wallets, 1-3 days for cards, and 3-5 business days for wire transfers.

Bonuses and Promotions

One of exciting parts of signing up to a new casino is finding welcome bonuses and promotions. Consumers like freebies, so the potential for hefty welcome rewards and free bets is enticing.

Another restriction implemented by the UKGC has been regulations applied to the marketing of UK companies. There has also been a movement for an outright ban on gambling marketing in the country. This is another reason why UK punters have been looking to expand their options outside of the country. Bonuses and promotions are often more generous at the non-GamStop sites, where welcome rewards can be up to 100% or more, with sign-up rewards being matched up to £500 in many cases.

Catalogue of Games

Another factor to consider when choosing a new casino site is the selection of game titles on offer. Overseas sites can provide access to a wider range of game titles, and that is another drawback of the reduced marketing in the UK.

The most popular games are slots, live dealer roulette and poker. Punters who are doing their own research on new sites should look for a company that provides transparency in their game statistics and ensure that they are certified by their respective gaming authority. This will ensure that the site values fairness, and that payout ratios are at an acceptable industry level.

A site that only has a handful of games would also be a red flag.

Customer Support and Responsible Gaming

Customer support is another factor to consider when looking for an enjoyable online experience.

Many users will not use customer assistance but it’s important to have it there if needed. Reputable sites will provide access to 24/7 chat support, and they will usually provide other contact options such as phone, email, and a good FAQ section. Larger businesses, such as the listed companies in the UK, will have a smoother customer service due to increased staff numbers and this is another area where the UK sites can have an advantage.

Non Gamstop Casinos and UK Gamblers

The UK gambling scene was hit with increased regulations over the last few years after pressure from the government and social groups to curb problem gambling. Many betting sites outside of the UK offer what local bettering consider more fair gambling conditions. As a result, many players are turning to online platforms that advertise non-GamStop casinos such as this page.

It is right that they introduce measures to help vulnerable gamblers, but the measures introduced are also punishing users who are comfortable with their gambling habits. The new rules have also expanded to the in-game casino experience, with measures such as spin timers and bet size limits. Non-UK casinos are also more generous with their bonuses and rewards, while many will offer cryptocurrency and credit card deposits.


If you are an experienced gambler, then doing a little background research with our tips should help you avoid running into trouble when looking for a new casino experience.

The UKGC is the preferred regulatory body for UK consumers because of the increased consumer protection and support for problem gamblers. European casino sites would be the next best option due to the EU banking system and money laundering rules. These are a good starting point for using overseas sites and can give you the confidence to seek out non-GamStop casinos in other locations.

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