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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Do We Choose the Best Online Casinos?
At Gambling Geek our mission is to ensure online casino players new and old have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their next gambling destination. We are passionate about delivering comprehensive and informative reviews to highlight the very best UK top rated casinos around.
Are the casinos on your site safe?
You’ll only find online casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) at Gambling Geek. Playing at UK licensed casinos is the only way to guarantee safe and secure casino gaming.
The UKGC regulates all licensed casinos and holds them to high standards when it comes to player protection, ethical behaviours and fair operation. Landing a licence from the UKGC is not easy, operators are required to have regular audits for fairness and ethical practices. They must protect all customer transactions with state-of-the-art encryption technology, follow strict guidelines on advertising, promotion of healthy gambling.
In line with the latter point, all licensed operators in the UK are compelled to opt-in to GAMSTOP, a central self-exclusion service that enables players to place a block themselves from online gambling for as long as they wish. The UKGC is considered one of the very best online casino and land-based casino regulators in the world, and it continually reviews industrial practices with the aim of improving player safety.
If you’re ever unsure of an operator’s licence status, the UKGC’s public register keeps an up to date log of every licence holder in the country, with a handy search function that makes it a breeze to check an individual site’s status.
Are the casinos on this website licensed?
At Gambling Geek you’ll only find online casinos licensed by the relevant authorities, for example; the UK Gambling Commission. Playing at UK licensed casinos is the only way to guarantee safe and secure casino gaming. The UKGC regulates all licensed casinos and holds them to high standards when it comes to player protection, so exclusively playing at licensed operators is a must.
How the UKGC protects casino players:
Responsible gambling – Licensed casinos are required to offer responsible gambling settings such as deposit limits and self-exclusion. Verification – All casino sites must verify a players identity in order to identify minors, problem gamblers and potential money launderers. Fair gaming – Operators must only offer games from licensed providers. All games must be audited and tested by independent agencies to ensure fairness. Security – License holders must provide secure means of payment, player funds storage, data records, and communication networks. Complaints – Sites must have a complaints & disputes process and must offer to refer unresolved disputes to a free alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service. Sanctions – If casinos violate licensing conditions, the UKGC can impose sanctions, including; temporary or permanent removal of licenses.
What are the Deposit and Withdrawal options?
When it comes to playing real money casino games, it’s important to be able to use your preferred banking options for deposits and withdrawals. Whilst most casinos accept debit cards, you’ll need to make sure your preferred method is accepted before signing up. If you want to use an e-wallet like; PayPal, Neteller and Skrill, pay by phone bill options or transfer services like Trustly.
It’s also important to make sure the deposit and withdrawal limits as well as the processing times, are suited to your preferences. These vary from site to site, even for the same banking options. For example, some of the best UK casino sites offer instant PayPal withdrawals, while others can take several days to process payout requests. Read on for a quick rundown of what to expect from each payment option you’ll commonly find at top rated online casinos.
Do you have a list of deposit options?
E-wallets have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason. The likes of PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill are widely available at the UK’s best online casinos, and they simplify the payment process by requiring you to only enter your linked email address into your casino’s cashier page. E-wallets offer enhanced security over debit cards, with 24/7 fraud protection, payment protection services, and extra authentication layers being just a few features you’ll find with e-wallets. Not only that, but e-wallets are typically the fastest way to get hold of your winnings, with many fast withdrawal casinos offering 24-hour turnaround times.
Debit cards are the most common and popular payment method, and you’ll struggle to find an online casino that doesn’t offer them as an option. Simply enter your card details and you’ll be set to make deposits and withdrawals. While their ubiquitous nature means you won’t have trouble using one, debit cards can be one of the slower options when it comes to withdrawal wait times. You’ll often see wait times of 3-5 working days added on to your casino’s internal processing times, meaning you might need to be patient if you choose to bank with this method.
Prepaid cards, such as Paysafe card, are a great way to manage your spending. Once you’re set up with a card, bought through one of over half a million brick-and-mortar dispensaries worldwide, simply input the card’s details into the casino site as if it were a typical debit card. From there, you’ll be set to make deposits using the card, and you can manage your card’s balance using its online portal. Unfortunately, you can’t make withdrawals using a prepaid card, and your online casino will either require your bank account information for a wire transfer or let you choose an alternative withdrawal option.
Sometimes known as wire transfers, bank transfers are the simplest way to link your bank account to a gambling site. Simply enter the name the account is under, the sort code, and account number, and you’ll be set up for deposits and withdrawals. Your bank may use verification layers that must be cleared before making deposits and withdrawals, boosting your safety and peace of mind. Bank transfers are typically one of the slower ways to make withdrawals, however, and you may not be able to access your deposits instantly either. These details vary between operators, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before settling on bank transfers as your payment option of choice.
Through services such as Boku, you can add your deposits to your monthly phone bill. Simply enter your phone number and the amount you would like to deposit, and you’ll receive an SMS confirming the transaction. Once you’ve confirmed the payment, your deposit will be added to your next phone bill. This payment option typically has a low maximum deposit, making it easy to control your spending. Unfortunately, you can make withdrawals with pay-by-mobile services, so be ready to enter your bank details or use an alternative payment method when you’re ready to draw out your winnings.
With effect 14th April 2020, gambling with credits cards was banned in the UK, and the option is no longer available at licensed operators.
What is Know Your Customer (KYC)?
Before you make a deposit or withdrawal, you’ll have to complete a Know Your Customer (KYC) check. This is a requirement for UKGC licensees, and the check is used to confirm your identity. Not only does this protect your identity and cash, but it’s a major roadblock to criminals aiming to use online casinos for fraudulent or money laundering purposes.
If you have previously completed a KYC check with your online casino, this will usually be a quick and painless process that relies on data the casino already holds about you. For first-timers, you may need to provide proof of identity in order to complete the process and a deposit or withdrawal.
What type of bonuses do casinos offer?
Bonuses are an integral part of the gambling industry, and you’ll find a huge selection of great welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions at the best online casinos. Read on for a breakdown of the most common bonuses, the terms and conditions you’ll find attached, and how certain bonuses are better suited to certain player types.
Typically advertised as something like ‘100% up to £100’, matched deposit welcome bonuses see the operator top up your initial deposit by a certain percentage up to a maximum. With this example, you could deposit £100, land another £100 as your bonus, and have £200 to play with. Alternatively, the offer may be 50% up to £200, meaning you would have to deposit £400 in order to gather the maximum £200 bonus. Matched deposits come in a huge range of sizes, with some sites offering “up to £25” and others matching deposits “up to £1,000” — it goes without saying that the wagering requirements for the latter will likely be far steeper than the former. If you’re a new online casino player, we would recommend seeking out matched deposits on the smaller side, as these will give you a means to try out the casino’s features along with the chance to withdraw your winnings without having to wager a big sum. For more experienced players, particularly high-rollers, you might not be put off by high wagering requirements and will likely prefer the most valuable ones available.
Alternatively, there are plenty of players out there who only play for fun, and aren’t worried about any bonus winnings. If that sounds like you, you’re best going for the most valuable offers so you can spend as much time as possible playing on the house.
Slots are extremely popular, and there are thousands out there to try out at the best UK online casinos. The world’s software developers are continually adding more to the list too, so you’ll never be short of a fresh experience to test your luck on. Free spins are a great way to do just that, and these offers are very commonly offered either as a sweetener for other bonuses or as bonuses in their own right. Once you’ve landed some free spins, either through a welcome bonus or casino promotion, you’ll generally find that they’re limited to either certain games or games delivered by certain software developers. As with matched deposit bonuses, you’ll likely have to deal with wagering requirements on free spins, although these are generally calculated based on the amount you win from your free spins rather than the amount you deposit. For example, if you win £20 from your free spins with 50x wagering requirements, you will need to wager £1,000 in order to make withdrawals against those spins.
No Deposit Bonuses
Generally speaking, you must make a deposit in order to claim a welcome bonus. As with all things, there are exceptions to this rule, cannily named ‘no deposit’ bonuses. These are generally small and tokenistic bonuses, but they’re also free funds, spins or bets that require no risk on the player’s part. Along with being small, no deposit bonuses are likely to come tethered to wagering requirements, meaning the casino in question isn’t putting itself at risk either: you’ll need to stake some of your own cash in order to withdraw some of theirs. Nevertheless, no deposit bonuses are a welcome and player-friendly way to get acquainted with a site’s features without having to commit any of your own cash.
Everyone loves a rebate, and that’s no different in the gambling world. Rebate bonuses return a percentage—something like 20%, usually off a losing stake, or stakes, in free bets or spins. Not only is this a nice way to take the sting out of a loss, but it means you’ve got a little cash injection ready and waiting for your next wager.
Once you’ve claimed your welcome bonus through a first-time deposit, you might think that’s the last time your online casino will reward you for adding funds to your wallet. While that might be the case with some operators, the best online casinos will offer additional bonuses for further deposits, or ‘reloads’. These might be smaller than your original welcome bonus or come in the shape of free spins or bets rather than extra cash to play with, but they’re always a welcome extra for your continued play.
Free bets may be offered as a welcome bonus or as a promotion. You might see an offer that says ‘deposit £10, get £30 in free bets’. In this instance, the £30 free bets can only be redeemed as such. Rebate bonuses and accumulator insurance offers will likely be offered as free bets if you’re on the betting side of an online casino’s site, meaning the returned funds don’t quite qualify as real cash. Any winnings you gain from free bets, on the other hand, generally will be withdrawable. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of your free bets, as you may have to fulfil wagering requirements in order to withdraw your free bet winnings.
Decide on the bonus that best suits your own individual needs.
Have you any tips for safer gambling?
Gambling is fun entertainment, but it’s not without its risks. Industry experts and lobby groups regularly highlight the dangers inherent in gambling without due care, as well as the potential for it to become a harmful addiction. At Gambling Geek we are strong advocates for responsible gambling, and so our staff undergo keep up-to-date with the latest developments in legislation and licensing requirements. Here is a brief selection of tips for safe online gambling, as well as a list of organisations that can help if you, or someone you know, is struggling with problem gambling.
Only Bet What You Can Afford to Lose
First and foremost, only bet what you can afford to lose, or as Fred Done would say “bet your pocket”. Everyone loves to win a bet, a spin of the wheel, or a jackpot on the slots, but it’s important to remember that there is never a safe bet in online gambling. If you aren’t comfortable with losing the money you’re about to wager, don’t do it. Even generally low volatility games can have high volatility in a short space of time. For Example, table games such as Blackjack are advertised as a low volatility game, this is correct on a long term basis, but you could easily loose 10 hands in a row.
Manage Your Spending
Keep track of your spending. Depending on your preferred payment method at online casinos, there are a number of ways to do this. With e-wallets, prepaid cards, and pay by phone options such as Boku, it’s easy to top up your account with the upper limit that you want to spend, ensuring you don’t go beyond a certain value in any one session. Online casinos normally allow you to se a deposit limit, you can reduce your deposit limit instantly, and if you want to increase your deposit limit it will take 24 hours to allow you additional time to think about it. If you prefer to use debit cards or bank transfers, keep a close eye on your transactions using your bank’s web portal or smartphone app.
When not to gamble
Never gamble whilst tired, feeling unwell, depressed, angry or intoxicated. If you aren’t able to exercise your best judgement, you’re more likely to place wagers without due care and attention, making it far easier to lose more money than you can afford to spend.
Be wary of significant odds boosts.
Sometimes sites will increase their odds on a given market, ie; was 2/1 now 4/1. There will normally be a reason for this increase, and why the market has shifted. Always do your own research to find out the reason why.
Don’t Bet on Markets, Sports, or Fixtures You Aren’t Familiar With
Bet on what you know. If you’re prone to a flutter, particularly with accumulators, you’ll know that your favourite sportsbook will have a deep and detailed selection of fixtures from across the sporting world to choose from. Don’t be tempted to bet on something you aren’t familiar with, whether that’s a sport of specific league, and always do your research on recent form, fixture history, injuries, and more before settling on a wager. You’ll be glad you did.
Where can I get help if gambling has become a problem?
Help is Always Available if you feel gambling may be an issue
If you’re concerned about your gambling, seek help straight away. There are plenty of charities and organisations out there that will offer free support and guidance to anyone struggling with gambling problems, and you’ll find a selection of those below.
Gamcare is an independent charity committed to providing help and support for individuals and families affected by problem gambling. Its 24-hour helpline is free to use, and the website features a self-assessment tool that can help you to get a grasp of your habits and how they are impacting you.
GAMSTOP is a centralised self-exclusion tool that all UKGC-licensed online casinos must now opt-in for. The service enables you to block yourself from gambling online for a set period of time, putting a stopper on your activities through one simple platform.
BeGambleAware is another charity offering support for problem gamblers, as well as preventative services, treatment help, and more.
NHS – Gambling addiction is a recognised medical condition, and help and treatment are available on the NHS for diagnosed sufferers. If you’re struggling with gambling addiction, the NHS website is full of helpful knowledge, and an appointment with your GP could be a major step in your road to recovery.