Non UK Casino Sites
Online casinos have increased in number around the world as iGaming grows in popularity. While the UK remains one of the largest gambling markets in the world, there are more non-UK casino sites springing up that haven’t been developed in, or by UK companies.
So what defines a non-UK casino? These sites are not licensed by the UKGC and are, instead, regulated by other governing bodies. Often listed as independent or non Gamstop casinos, we will take a look at all the non licensed casinos outside the UK and what you need to know.
- The non-UK casino sites lack the UKGC license
- They have not been developed by British companies
Non-UK online casino sites provide gaming solutions to players all over the world. However, not all of them cater to UK players as the UKGC prohibits non-UK casino sites within the country. It’s therefore up to you to join non UK licensed casinos.
Non UK casino sites licenses
Any non-UK casino sites must obtain licenses for their operations. One of these licenses a non-UK casino could have is the Curacao license. However, the casino operator must understand how to obtain a Curacao license as there are certain procedures to be awarded the Curacao license.
There are endless benefits with a Curacao licensed casino as this license is actually enough to operate any kind of gambling business. In addition, the process of obtaining the Curacao license is easy and fast, taking a maximum of two weeks, and has no VAT tax.
- Curacao license is a popular gambling license
- Allows players from around the world, though not all allow UK players
Limitations of a Curacao license
However, there are some risks with Curacao licensed casinos. While many non-UK licensed sites use the Curacao jurisdiction, this can present a problem to UK players as these sites do not always permit UK players to join. Some will, but you will have to check for these.
Among the most common challenges of the Curacao license are the requirements. You will only be awarded the license after adhering to the rules and regulations. In addition, you must provide some documents relating to your gambling business and the cost is a little pricey.
Other gambling licenses
There are other regulators who provide licenses to the non-UK casinos. The MGA is one of the most respected licenses outside of the UK and requires strict requirements ensuring the casino is secure.
Other options include Gibraltar, Alderney and the Canadian Kahnawake.
Differences between Maltese and Curacao licenses
There are major differences between the MGA and Curacao licenses. Curacao requires the operator to only file annual reports while MGA requires both annual and monthly reports. The registration period is much longer with MGA and the MGA offers a far more secure and comprehensive site.
What is the UKGC?
We’ve taken a look at the other gaming licenses available to online casinos, but what is the UKGC? Also known as the UK Gambling Commission, the UKGC is the authorising body that regulates the gaming within the United Kingdom. UK casinos must have their license to operate.
Similar to MGA, the UKGC has strict rules and regulations in place governing which of the online casinos it will accept. This is why many non-UK based casinos do not have this license as those sites do not meet the specific requirements.
- Offers high levels of player security
- Prevents no UKGC registered casinos in UK
Features of online casinos outside the UK
As we have touched upon, the main issue with using a casino not based in the UK is that they will not be registered with the UKGC. This can present a lot of problems to players wishing to access this site from the UK.
These sites are regulated by international gaming bodies, commonly MGA and Curacao, both of which focus their services on the international market. Generally, this means these casinos are focused on non-UK players too, which means that bonuses aren’t always available if you’re in the UK.
The casinos operating within the UK but without a UKGC license is often called independent casinos. There are both pros and cons with these casinos and you should be cautious when playing on these casinos.
Payment at non UK casino sites
Payments can be tricky at these non-UK sites too. Again, this is because these sites are focusing on Europeans and generally will not offer GBP as a currency. UK players joining these sites will often have to use USD or EUR instead.
While it’s easy to convert your currency to either of these and there are always multiple payment options, you can lose out through the conversion fees. There are also often no localised payment options either, so UK players will have to select international payment providers.
- No GBP
- No localised payment options
Games and software at non-UK casinos
One of the big things that players will notice at casinos not registered in the UK is that there is often different software used. This can be for better or for worse and will depend on the license the casino is operating under.
These software issues can crop up in a number of different ways from responsible gaming to the variety and trustworthiness of the payment options, and even to effecting the games that are offered. We’ve outlined a few of the potential drawbacks in the sections found below.
UK casinos are all required to have responsible gaming software. Most UK casinos work with Gamstop, which helps players self-exclude. However, independent casinos don’t need to and can allow excluded players to sign up and play their games regardless of the block on them.
Often non-UK casinos will have a distinct lack of any top game developers present. You will find that there are different game providers at independent casinos. This doesn’t mean they’re bad, but if you have favourite game versions, you’re less likely to find them.
Are non UK casinos safe?
While these non-UK licensed casinos will be regulated with a gaming jurisdiction, often these authorities are much laxer than the UKGC. This can mean that these online casinos are not safe to play at or even can prove to not be legitimate and trustworthy.
Of course, there are many that are safe to play at (think of the MGA license when looking for a reputable one) and these we have carefully listed on our site to help you find a safe and secure gaming site for you to enjoy.
Final thoughts on non UK casino sites
There are many independent casino sites that you can use as a UK player, but if you choose to play at one that doesn’t have a license with the UKGC, then you are taking security and gaming responsibility firmly into your own hands.
While many of these sites are perfectly safe and are licensed with top jurisdictions, players will need to remember that they will not be protected under the UKGC if anything goes wrong. With this in mind, we urge players to research any non-UK licensed sites before signing up.