Regulated vs. Non-Regulated Online Casinos… What’s the difference?
The world of online casinos and online gambling has never been more popular than it is today. Some of the recent excitement and interest in online gambling has occurred due to the current situation with the Coronavirus.
Online casinos have been around as far back as the late 1990’s. Since that time a lot has changed across the industry. Most noticeable of all these changes were the addition of rules and regulations. The addition of these new rules and regulations have helped shape the online gambling industry in a mostly positive way. Many rules that were introduced over the years were meant to help protect gamblers from being taken advantage off. These rules were also meant to help gamblers with addiction stop and get help. Some online casino operators ran shady online casinos. So how have all these changes impacted the industry? How do they affect you? Keep reading for our breakdown of the differences between regulated and non-regulated casinos.
How it was?
Before we can discuss how the industry has changed, we need to take a look at how the industry was. How did they operate back in the early days of online gambling? Around the late 1990’s online casinos began popping up everywhere. All promising that you could deposit and win huge sums of money from the comfort of your own home. In fact, many countries around the world were unprepared for this new form of online entertainment. No one had set up any kind of rules or regulations as everyone was still trying to figure it out. Online casinos were considered a grey area at best. The only requirement you needed to play was a valid credit card and that was pretty much it.
To take it one step further online casinos could present their players with all types of crazy offers and promotions. Usually these offers contained tons of fine print that was always in the house’s favour. Just when you thought you could go ahead and withdraw your winnings you were told you hadn’t met the requirements. Finally, casino operators could target and accept players from all over the world. It wasn’t until 2006 that the US finally decided to ban online casinos that were operating outside the USA.
Everything started changing
Sometime in the early 2000’s things started to change across the industry. Many countries like the United States of America decided to outright ban online casinos from outside the US. Up until the ban operators from around the world could accept players from the US to their online casinos. These players could signup, deposit and if they were lucky, withdraw their winnings. After the new laws were implemented any operator that accepted players from the USA wound up in serious legal trouble. This included huge fines and possible jail time. There were even stories of online casino owners that were arrested while passing through the US.
In the coming years many countries would follow suit and began banning foreign operators from accepting players while other countries would allow them to accept players only if they obtained a valid gaming license. This began to have a big impact on all the industry from online casino operators to marketers and all the way down to individual gamblers.
The current state of affairs
With all the changes that have taken place, today’s online casino landscape is completely different from what it used to be. The most significant change was the creation of proper online regulating bodies. One of the best known and biggest regulating bodies around the world is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Although the UKGC only regulates the UK market many of the rules and regulations that are being implemented there are also being used around the world as well.
To break it down further regulating bodies like UKGC determine things such as which operators can run their casinos in the UK. Any operator that does not strictly adhere to the rules and regulations can lose their license and be banded from taking in players. In addition to being banned from taking in new players online casinos can be finned huge amounts of money up to millions of dollars for breaking any of the rule’s setup by the relevant gambling authority. As a whole these rules were setup to help protect players from being taken advantage of by shady online casino operators. It’s well known that some online casinos have a poor reputation for deceiving players and taking them for all they can. Even terms and conditions must be clear when presenting an offer to players, so they are fully aware of what they are getting into.
Regulated vs. Non-regulated
So, what is the real difference between regulated and non-regulated online casinos? Does it really matter? If you asked us what we think the short answer would be yes. Knowing an online casino is licensed and regulated can make a big difference. For starters just knowing there is a licensing body that regulates the sites you play at means these sites can be held accountable to some extent. These sites can risk getting massive fines or even worse lose their license which would prevent them from continuing to operate completely. It can also be argued that many of the changes that were meant to benefit the players where brought upon by these licensing bodies.
Recently the UKGC has implemented new rules and regulations that help protect gamblers during these crazy times we live in. These new changes include daily and monthly limits on deposits, faster withdrawal times and proper age verification to name a few. Due to the current corona virus situation, new rules and regulations are being debated in order to further ensure players stay responsible during these difficult times.
When faced with the decision on where to sign up and deposit your hard-earned money, we suggest doing so only with online casinos that are licensed and regulated. Knowing these sites can be held accountable can help put more control in your hands.
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