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guide to online casinos

A Players Guide to Online Casinos

What is an online casino?

An online casino basically provides a casino-type environment through an interactive - usually internet - platform. Like a normal casino, you buy chips and choose the casino game you would like to play - in the online version - from a menu, stake your bet and play

Is it legal to play online casinos in the UK?

Yes it is - but there are some countries, noticeably the USA, that don't allow or prefer their citizens to refrain from playing. Many - if not all - UK online casinos do not allow US players to play at their casino

Does the UK offer online casino licenses?

Not yet. Plans are currently underway by the UK gaming board to create a Gambling Commission that would enable the development of UK-regulated online casinos. However, until then, many UK online casinos offer their games through offshore jurisdictions, including Aldernay, Isle of Man, Gilbraltar and Antigua

How old do I have to be?

In the UK, you have to be 18 years old or older to play at an online casino or a land-based casino. This also applies to online poker and sports betting.

Should I download a casino or play on an instant one?

It is entirely your choice. Often the decision depends on a number of variables such as your PC setup. Download casinos require more memory than web-based versions and quite a large chunk of hard-drive space. However, web-based internet casinos require certain software capabilities such as Flash or Java-enabled browsers. Other considerations include graphics and game choice. The download casino often has much more realistic-style game design and sounds whilst the web-based Flash or Java version is a simpler version. Many online casinos that offer a download version will also supply a pre-loaded CD with the full range of games. Its also possible with most casinos to download only the games you want to play. You'll be able to download other games at a future date. Check out our casino comparison table for more information

What is the difference between casino software?

Its largely a case of which brand or software you prefer to use. Some use a proven software company, others use proprietry software. Popular online casino software companies include Cryptologic, Microgaming or Boss Media. Check out our casino reviews for more information

How can I trust the online casino?

Quite simply, try to find out as much about the the company as possible. Here at Casinos in the UK we only offer UK-focused companies that are trusted and have experience and a respected name in the gaming industry. You may find the best way is to use a casino in which you recognise the brand name. Finally, read our reviews. We look at a number of important issues, including game choice, software and most importantly, the customer services available. Make sure the online casino offers a phone number, name and email address for you to be able to contact them. Ensure they have a customer services department that offers a choice of contact points and preferably 24/7 availability. Check out their security policy and ensure they have a casino license.

How do I choose which online casino to play at?

Decide what type of casino you prefer to play at - whether download or web-based - and what kind of games you want to play. If you want a casino slanted towards a large variety of blackjack games or prefer casinos with a large selection of slots. Its worth at this point to check out each casino by playing their free games offerings - see if you're comfortable with their style of gameplay and the rules the casino games follows

Can I play for free?

Most, if not all online casinos offer a 'free games' product. Always try out the casino first. If they don't offer play-for-free, try somewhere else

How do I transact financially?

Many casinos offer standard forms of deposit and withdrawal options. The easiest method in the UK is using a bank debit card, such as Switch, Delta or Solo. Casinos allow both deposits and withdrawal using this method. Casinos will usually accept VISA or Mastercard credit cards as a form of deposit, but often will only payout the original amount deposited from the card and any outstanding payments will be made via cheque or bankwire. If you prefer bank-wire, check with the casino for any potential costs. A further alternative is to sign up to the online payment solution, Neteller, that allows electronic payment through an e-wallet. This is a simple method that offers a one-stop 'bank' for many online casinos

What is a casino bonus?

A casino bonus usually includes a welcoming sign-up offer or monthly bonus. This is as a form of introductory gift for new and loyal players. However, these bonuses usually come with a number of terms and conditions. Its important to read these before signing up to the bonus. The casino will often offer a number of ongoing promotions to loyal players - including VIP services and loyalty programmes. Check out our monthly and sign-up casino offers

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