When you’re choosing a betting site on which to open an account and deposit some funds, one of the first things you need to consider is whether or not they’re regulated. In the UK, reputable betting sites are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
But the regulation process is rigorous, and betting sites have to meet a range of strict protocols in order to secure regulation with the commission. Regulation is there to protect gamblers and to ensure they can’t be taken advantage of while placing bets online.
While you can normally find out information about a betting site’s regulation by looking closely at their website, it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for. To help you avoid negative experiences when gambling online, here are some differences between regulated and unregulated betting sites to guide you.
Regulated sites are registered to operate in the market that they serve.
In order to operate legally within the UK market, gambling sites know they should be registered with the UK Gambling Commission. While they might possess licenses with other regulatory bodies, it’s best practice to obtain the license that specifically covers their operations in a specific place.
This offers the best level of protection to UK-based gamblers, should anything go wrong while they’re playing online casino games or placing bets on their favourite sports. Before signing up for an online betting site, it’s advisable to search for the site’s credentials and ensure they’re legally licensed to operate in that territory.
Doing this is particularly important when signing up to new and lesser-known sites that may not have the same level of coverage in the UK as they do elsewhere.
Unregulated sites boast about huge bonuses and promotions.
If you encounter a betting site that presents an offer that is too good to be true, then it probably is! Unregulated sites tend to offer bonuses and promotions that total thousands of pounds in an attempt to tempt customers away from more reputable sites.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy great value while gambling on regulated sites. To stay competitive and to appeal to as many customers as possible, regulated sites constantly run appealing promotions and special offers, which are perfectly safe to extract and enjoy.
Regulated sites have considerable terms and conditions.
While very few people take the time to read the terms and conditions of a betting site before signing up, it’s a good idea to at least glance through the T&Cs listed on their site. Not only will a regulated site’s terms be considerable and comprehensive, but they will be much fairer than those presented by unregulated firms.
Those operating within regulated markets are required to provide fair and transparent opportunities for their customers to win, but unregulated sites are under no such obligation. People may find that unregulated sites refuse to pay out big wins due to a certain unfavourable term or condition not being met, which wouldn’t be included in those listed by a regulated site.
Regulated gambling sites are powered by the best software in the industry.
Betting sites are only as good as the software that powers them. While unregulated sites have a limited number of software providers to choose from, the biggest, regulated sites tend to work with the most trusted and highest performing software providers in the industry.
Regulated firms tend to use software powered by the likes of NetEnt, Microgaming, and QuickSpin, to name just three. Checking out the software of a betting site is another helpful way of learning whether or not they’re regulated, as unregulated sites don’t have the luxury of working with the biggest and most trusted brands.
Unregulated sites are open to players from all over the world.
You will notice that regulated sites in the UK are only open to UK-based players. This is because they’re only registered to operate within that particular jurisdiction due to the terms of their license.
However, unregulated sites take players from countries in different parts of the world, as they’re not concerned with the legality surrounding their operations. Such practice is worrying for players, as it doesn’t offer any protection should something go wrong.
When you go online to look for a new betting site to enjoy, you will be met with both regulated and unregulated sites. But to protect yourself and to ensure that you have a positive online experience, you need to ensure they’re registered with the relevant authority (UKGC for UK sites), and this article has introduced a number of ways you can tell the difference between regulated and unregulated sites.