Thousands of people in London and across the UK play online casino games, from slots to bingo via table games, lottery and scratch cards on a regular basis.
In its most recent annual report on gambling participation, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) found that 46% of respondents had gambled in the past four weeks alone.
Despite the high propensity for people to gamble, it is still considered something of a vice and a pastime that a lot of people don’t share with, or talk about to, their friends and family.
You just have to look at newspaper headlines and comments on social media to see that there is a generally negative perception around gambling and online casinos in particular.
Some people believe that online casinos are not safe and secure, that operators are based in offshore countries and that games are rigged.
In reality, this is not the case.
Online casino operators that accept players from the UK must meet stringent standards set out by the UKGC, hold a licence and offer their players tools to keep in control of their play.
Indeed, some of the companies that operate online casino brands are among the largest in the UK with substantial offices in major cities such as London and Leeds.
Others are listed on the world’s most recognised stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
But how do you know if an online casino is reputable, whether it holds a valid licence and whether it offers the tools you need to keep in control of your play?
Bojoko is UK online casino listings site, and our sole purpose is to match players with UK licensed casinos based on their preferences and needs.
This is what we look for when deciding which online casinos to recommend to our readers.
- They hold a UK Gambling Commission licence
It is a legal requirement for any online casino accepting UK players to hold an active licence from the UK Gambling Commission. If they don’t, they are operating illegally.
The regulator requires its licensees to include the UKGC logo and a link to its permit on the Commission’s licensing page at the footer of their homepage.
To find it, simply scroll right to the bottom and it should be easy to spot. Click the logo to go to the licence page where you can find more details on the operator behind the casino brand.
- They offer tools to help you keep in control of your play
Online casinos are required to provide players with tools that allow them to manage their play. This includes the option to set:
- Deposit limits
- Bet limits
- Loss limits
- Session limits
Operators are also required to allow players to cool-off for various periods of time or to self-exclude entirely. In either case, you will not be allowed to log in and you won’t receive marketing materials.
- They work with well-known gambling charities
We want to know that the online casinos we recommend care about their players, and by working with gambling charities we believe they do just that.
Most online casinos are proud of these partnerships, and will display the logos of the charities they work with at the footer of their homepages/game lobbies.
Look out for those that work with the following:
There are other factors we take into account when recommending casinos, such as games available, bonuses offered, generosity of loyalty schemes and the quality of customer support.
Of course, our main consideration is that the online casino operator is reputable and that it takes the right approach to ensuring players are protected and remain happy and healthy.
In order to obtain a licence from the UK Gambling Commission, online casino operators must meet these standards in the first place, but of course some do a better job of it than others.
That being said, if people understood the lengths that UK-licensed online casino operators go to in order to look after their players, perceptions about the industry would undoubtedly change.
What’s more, accusations that games are fixed are simply not true. Online casinos are powered by random number generators that deliver the outcomes of all spins/bets completely at random.
RNGs, return to players percentages and pay-outs are all tested by independent third-party laboratories to ensure they are random and what the operator says they are.
Indeed, while many believe that online casino offers less protection than land-based gambling locations, the opposite is true.
In addition to all of the above, online casinos are required to properly verify players and match up the details provided with the methods used to deposit and play.
In short, online casino is one of the most safe and secure e-commerce sectors in the world and people should not be ashamed to admit they enjoy what is an incredibly fun form of entertainment.