Why Are Brits Playing on Independent iGaming Platforms?

—TechRound does not recommend or endorse any financial of gambling practices. All information is purely informational—

In the UK, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the nation’s appointed authority on all forms of gambling. When the UKGC issues a directive, it gets the full support of the UK government.

One of the UKGC’s key responsibilities is the allocation of operator licences for retail and online gambling interests. They desire to protect the UK’s most vulnerable people by making sure any retail or online operator has successfully gone through the licensing process. To do that, operators have to offer proof that they will be operating above board and abiding by all of the UKGC’s mandates.

Why are there independent iGaming platforms operating in the UK if this is the law?

Why Do Independent UK Gambling Operators Choose to Avoid UKGC’s Licensing Protocols?

In the eyes of regulators like the UKGC, not wanting to follow the rules is not an acceptable excuse for not following rules. With that being the case, those people and companies that don’t follow the rules are subject to legal repercussions.

Aside from not wanting to follow rules, there are two primary reasons that independent operators want to avoid the UKGC’s licensing process.

First, they fear not getting approved for an operator’s licence. It might be that one of the company’s owners or the company itself has something derogatory about them from the past. Fearing that might be the cause for the UKGC to say no to a licence, they simply decide to give it a go without licensing. In most cases, they make this decision while knowing the risks.

The second reason has to do with affordability. Not every owner who wants to start an online gambling site in the UK has deep pockets. Since there are fees associated with the UKGC’s licensing process, they might not have the financial resources to pay those fees. Instead, they initiate their online gambling sites, hoping the UKGC doesn’t find out until they can afford the fees and any penalties that the UKGC might assess.

Why British Punters Play on Independent iGaming Platforms

The reason independent iGaming platforms even exist in the UK is that they have customers. Many independent operators have tens of thousands of customers. That raises a fascinating question. Why do British punters use these independent iGaming platforms?

There are three primary reasons why a British punter might choose an unlicensed online gambling operator over a licensed operator. First, unlicensed operators tend to be more lenient about how they deliver services and to whom. Since they don’t adhere to the UKGC’s mandates, that has appeal to punters who themselves don’t like restrictions.

Second, unlicensed/independent iGaming platforms are aware they have to give concessions if they want to compete for business with the UK’s top licensed online gambling sites. To do this, they typically offer very lucrative bonuses that come with player-friendly wagering requirements. British punters like getting extra value from their wagering dollars. That makes online casinos and sportsbooks that are offering big bonuses very appealing. It’s a calculated trade-off. Bigger bonuses for more risk.

The third reason relates to avoiding the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme. GamStop was developed in part by the UKGC. As their brainchild, they now mandate that all licensed UK gambling operators join and support the GamStop scheme. That involves paying membership fees and making sure problem gamblers can easily access the GamStop platform for registration.

For online UK gamblers who want help, GamStop is the perfect solution. After registering with the program, gamblers are banned from accessing all UK-licensed online gambling sites. Note: The length of the self-exclusion period is decided by the gamblers themselves. The options range from a minimum of 6 months and a max of 5 years.

Sometimes, registered GamStop gamblers have a change of heart. When they do, they already know they won’t be allowed to access any of their UK licensed accounts or open any new licensed UK online gambling accounts. What they can do is choose independent casino sites that can’t verify their GamStop status.

Are there other gambling options that are available to GamStop gamblers? Yes. There are several viable options. That list includes the following:

  • Taking their gambling activities to independent or licensed operators in other jurisdictions (offshore gambling sites)
  • Partnering up with trusted relatives/friends to open new UK accounts under the partner’s identity
  • Finding online casinos (licensed or unlicensed) with weak account verification protocols
  • Seek anonymity by using cryptocurrencies to open and fund new gambling accounts
  • Going old school by visiting and gambling in land-based casinos and bet shops

All of these options operate out of the reach of the GamStop.

The first item on this list is interesting. Why? The quality of offshore online gambling providers has gotten very good in recent years. So good that some of them are just as good as the best online gambling operators in the UK. While many offshore operators are very open to receiving business from UK online gamblers, they do sometimes require that said gamblers use a reliable VPN while connecting. It just ensures that the UK gambler gets all of the privacy that they deserve.

Ultimately, privacy is the primary reason British punters will go out of their way and take risks to avoid licensed UK operators.

—TechRound does not recommend or endorse any financial of gambling practices. All information is purely informational—