Today, there are more online betting sites than most consumers know what to do with. What people understandably tend to do is pick one or two sites to use, and simply forget the rest—this keeps things simple. While the choice is always going to be difficult to make, there is one clear thing to look out for that will help keep you safe: that the site is licensed by the official UK Gambling Commission, or UKGC.
For betting sites, sites like the UKGC ones listed at FindBettingSites are always the safest. There are a few reasons this is the case, and today we’re going to get into the most important of those reasons.
Let’s get started.
First and foremost, if a site is issued a license by the GC, then they are operating legally. If they haven’t been licensed, then they are operating illegally. There are multiple legal implications to using a site that is operating off book.
Firstly, they won’t be complying with the Data Protection Act. This is a really vital and recent piece of legislation which protects your data against being sold off to third parties. You never know where you personal, sensitive data is being sent to if the site is not operating legally.
There are, naturally many other implications to the fact that a site is not operating legally if it is not licensed by the UKGC. I will get into all of them in detail, but the overarching concern is that, when something goes wrong, you have essentially no recourse.
You cannot appeal to a legal authority to resolve the problem you may be having because the operator wasn’t operating legally in the first place.
The first specific issue of non-legality is security.
Even if the non-GC site is not actively selling your data to third parties, they nonetheless stand by none of the rules around security to protect your data in the event of a cyber-attack. Everything that you’ve told the site about yourself would now be in the hands of cyber-criminals.
Even if you weren’t worried about your data—which you certainly should be, around 1,200 businesses a year report cyber-attacks of some kind—then the lack of security on the site opens up your financial information to theft. This could leave you vulnerable to having money stolen.
With a lack of checks on security, unregulated sites are extremely dangerous, and you should never take that risk. You may end up having to change bank and card details, or worse if you struggle to get stolen money back at all.
Fairness in betting is, you won’t be surprised to learn, something that needs to be imposed on betting operators. They won’t make their games as fair as they ought to be without external intervention. The GC is also responsible for this kind of regulation.
Naturally, the exact meaning of how an operator offers a fair service is highly dependent on many variables. The best, overarching way of looking at it is the house edge. Most online betting sites and casinos in the UK have a house edge somewhere between 5-10%, in line with regulations on how fair games must be.
For any site that is not UKGC, then it need abide by none of these rules. For things like slots, you could be losing all your stakes because there is virtually no chance of you winning. With any game you’re playing or bet you’re making, there’s never any guarantee of fair play on the operator’s part.
Illegal online betting operations will seek to simply siphon money from unwitting punters in this way, so if you aren’t playing UKGC, you aren’t being played fairly.
Finally, generally speaking, everything about a UKGC betting site is going to be much more professional than a non-licensed site. From how it runs and functions, to the ways you can deposit and withdraw money, to customer service for when things go wrong.
Non UKGC sites will likely have no customer service, few payment methods, and poor, non-functional features. All of this puts you at risk of delays, lost winnings if you can even withdraw it, and many other problems.
Non UKGC are not, by definition, professional; they are more than likely out to simply take your money.
For many of us, I’m sure the first and only thing you need to hear is that any site that is not operating under the UKGC rules is operating illegally. That’s all you need to know to stay away. But even if the site nonetheless seems attractive and good, then rest assured that it is probably too good to be true. Without regulation, they play by none of the rules associated with the rest of the operators around fairness. Don’t take any chances—stick with UKGC betting sites.