How The New UK Casino Regulation Licensing Deals Will Affect YouNovember 5th, 2014
November 1st was when all UK casinos online needed to have gotten their house in order to fit with the new UK gambling regulations. Has it worked? How will you be affected as an online and mobile casino player?
This is a very specific post, for very specific purpose. If you are not from the British Isles then this is going to be a fairly boring post for you, but kudos for reading anyway. You must be a real Lucky Mobile Casinos fan.
The reason we are writing this is because there’s been a lot of questions asked around by players as to exactly what this new law and licensing will mean to them.
After all, it’s clear what it means to mobile casinos; they’ve been doing nothing but fighting it since they found out they might have to pay taxes in the UK. Which admittedly, despite what the UK parliament might be saying, was the primary purpose of the new law.
You can cover it with ‘players protection’ speech all you want, they wanted the cash that was going to the Gibraltar and Maltese jurisdictions. Everything else came with it, as they needed to write more on the document than simply ‘hey, we want our money back’.
Now, we are also not going to pretend that we read and went through the entire document, because, let’s be honest, there’s mobile casino reviews to read and bonuses to discover. What we have done is interviewed the folks behind our best UK mobile casinos list regarding how the licensing has affected them, and in turn, you.
Here’s what we found.
1. Say goodbye to some great UK mobile casino sites
Which obviously is ironic, as by pulling out, they are no longer ‘UK mobile casinos’ by definition. But the point is, they were, and now they are not.
If you try and go to Go Wild Microgaming casino from a UK IP address (if you don’t know what that is, replace that with ‘Laptop or online device that’s currently in the UK geographically), you’ll find yourself at 32Red mobile casino who’ve basically done a deal to take all their british players.
It’s not a bad swap, 32Red Casino is by far one of the best mobile casinos for the UK, but you can already see a trend right? Less choice. Oh our partners Jackpot City also left the market, so it seems that Microgaming casinos are having a worst time of it.
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Which is doubly ironic when you consider that Microgaming’s headquarter is in the Isle of Man and they provide some of the UK’s favourite mobile casino games online.
Thankfully this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Most casinos have opted to apply for a UK licence, because, basically, UK players are pretty awesome bunch of people. Gambling is in their blood and most gambling establishments recognise that it’s worth making the effort.
2. The new tax won’t affect your winnings
We really should have lead with this, but we figure you’ll probably just skip down anyway.
That’s the real question right? Now that British casinos have to pay extra tax for the privilege of having you play on their website and games, will that somehow mean you’ll have to pay more?
No, because gambling online isn’t a commodity like buying a coffee or a T-shirt.
Once you pay for an item, you keep it, it’s yours. They can’t ‘put up’ the price of gambling, because, frankly, it wouldn’t matter if they did. How much they are taxed is based on how much you make them.
So if you win, they make nothing, and they pay no tax. It’s in their best interest to make something, so the price of the games will stay the same, so you keep playing and having fun.
That said, in some other regulated markets, some casinos have ‘suddenly’ added extra charges on withdrawals. So far, none in our list have done that, but we will let you know if we hear otherwise straight away.
3. Not all mobile casino games will be available at all casinos
This is a weird one and there seems to be a lot of confusion on the issue.
Basically the UK Gambling Commission wants to protect players from dodgy or rigged games. Which is good.
But some casinos seems to think that means they have to slowly re-add the games, or get them approved, which means that they have removed a selection of casino games.
Video Slots casino is a prime example. They had over 300 games, which went down to 200 games when they got their UK licence.
Vera & John casino also seem to be cleaning house; they started the beginning of the month with only 2 of their 7 software providers, have now added another 3 since, and have told us they will add another 2 next week; one being WMS which they never had before their UK licence. But hey, Vera&John are nothing if not hoarders. They love collecting games more than we love collecting casino game reviews.
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They are basically getting all their game software approved before they add them. Others, haven’t done a thing to change their platform, though they have similar number of games.
We suspect that it’s because venues like BGO Casino are old hands at dealing with the UK regulatory body, so they didn’t have to do anything much that they hadn’t already done in the past to pass the games compliance test.
Small software developers may suffer
We have noticed that some providers have disappeared completely. Thunderkick is one, Yggdrasyl another. Not because they are bad games but because they are small slots software companies and cannot afford to get their games licensed in a UK approved country, such as Alderney or Isle of Man, having assumed that Malta licence would be sufficient.
It’s a shame, as it might mean that smaller providers might have to fight to get their games to UK players, meaning we will lose out on new different types of games.
4. Moving to .co.uk websites
This is a small side note and won’t affect you very much, but you might notice it, and we are nothing if not obsessive compulsive about our facts. Whenever you type your favourite .com casino address you might notice a slight delay as you get transferred to a co.uk address.
That’s pretty much it.
Almost not worth the read right? Moving swiftly on to the far graver news of…
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5. It will be harder to find new UK casinos on mobile
Remember how we mentioned smaller software developers above might have a thought time getting their games in front of UK players?
Imagine how a brand new UK mobile phone casino might feel when it tries to apply for a UK licence, see the price, gulp and run away? Especially when there are no guarantees that players from the UK will even like you?
It’s like paying for the rights to go on a blind date, with the off chance of the blind date not showing up, and you having to pay for a 10 course dinner anyway (those would be your advertising costs in this scenario).
What’s far more likely to happen is that new online casinos will grow in countries that are a little friendlier, such as Sweden, Norway or Germany, and once they’ve run out of ‘friendly’ countries, they might decide to enter the UK market in an attempt to grow.
So there will be less entries in the market, but the ones that do make it here, will be some of the best.
At least, that’s the hope and you always have us to tell you otherwise.
6. You will be better protected from scam or rogue casinos
Despite what we said above about the UK parliament going for the cash first and protecting players second, that’s still a second priority that’s high on the list.
And say what you will about the government, they have proved in the past they they are very good at protecting player’s rights. And if you are going to say ‘how do you know, the licensing has only been live for like a week’, we will humbly reply: the UK online casino licence, yes. But that’s not the only way to gamble.
The government have been protecting british sports betting punters for a hell of a lot longer. We are a nation of horse racers and football lovers, let’s not forget. Add our gambling fever, put them together and you get an already heavily regulated market.
On several occasions, in fights between the big sports betting sites and the small individual, the law has fallen very firmly on the side of the individual.
The last thing Parliament needs after regulating casino is to get a player complain that one of their licensees is anything less then 100% kosher. They will keep their very strict ‘protect first, ask questions later’ policy for casino sites.
And as an extra bonus but worse case scenario, it means you can fight the casinos in the courts of England and Wales, which is always slightly easier than having to fly to Malta. Less sun, we grant you, but easier.
7. There will always be black-market casinos
And here’s the sad, sad truth about online phone casinos. There will always be some out there who simply do not give a flying rat’s monkey’s uncle about regulatory bodies.
They will set up shop in Russia, get a translator, say what they want on their website, and take players from UK to Timbuktu. They will also likely scam you, not pay, have awful service and shut down within a few weeks.
So remember this rule carefully: just because they accept people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, doesn’t mean they have a UK licence.
That’s kind of why we exist as an online mobile casino review site. So we can tell you which of mobile phone or tablet casinos UK players can trust and which hold a real licence that will protect you as a player.
Top UK Android & iOS casinos that have a licence
And because we’ve rambled on for far longer than we should, here’s our top three you should check out today. (All accept GBP as a currency, obviously)
- Guts Casino: 7 software, Fast cashouts within 2 hours and 15 UK free spins no deposit on Twin Spin makes this our number one choice.
- Leo Vegas Casino: 9 Software, 200 free spins and 4 reload bonuses is all you need to know about this top casino.
- BGO Casino: The best games, 5 of the best providers, plus their own unique games and 20 free spins on Starburst to try out a great UK first casino
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