Brief Overview of Legality and Regulations
It is legal to gamble online, which includes playing casino games and slots, or betting on sports and events, to win real money prizes in the United Kingdom. This includes all major currencies as well as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. Most major payment providers are accepted, such as credit cards and online payment services, but every betting app has their own guidelines on which payments they take.
It is not legal for those under 18 years of age to gamble online. Licensed and legitimate gambling and betting apps servicing in the United Kingdom will carry out various checks to verify the age and identity of users in order to make sure minors are not using the service. If the age and identity of a customer cannot be confirmed, these gambling companies have the legal obligation to withhold all money in the customer’s account and they will not be refunded or paid on any winnings.
In order to legally serve customers in the United Kingdom, any app that offers online gambling must first receive a license from the Gambling Commission. You can search the public register of licensees on the Gambling Commission website to make sure that any particular gambling or betting company has the right to serve customers in the UK. Also, most of the apps promote gamble responsibly initiative.
If the betting company in question does not currently hold an active license from the Commission to carry out gambling activities online, it is illegal for them to offer services to customers in the UK. You will have no legal rights or recourse in the event that something goes wrong and you have a dispute with the company. In other words: if you choose to do business with an gambling establishment that is unlicensed, then you are on your own to clear up any discrepancies with the operator.
You wouldn’t trust your money in just any random app that told you they were a bank, and you wouldn’t order products from a place that looked suspicious. You should take the same precautions when it comes to mobile betting apps UK. The following points should act as a guide when you are trying to find new services and free apps in which to place wagers or play games for real money prizes and exploring various options.
The first step to take before using any mobile app offering betting service is to search the public register of licensees on the UK Gambling Commission website. You can search for the company name. This will let you know whether a particular mobile betting app is licensed and which gambling activities they are legally able to offer you. So search first before you place a bet.
Now that you know that your choice of a betting app (UK available) has a currently active license, proceed to its terms and conditions page. There should be a link somewhere on the app – if no terms and conditions page is present then you should consider that as a warning sign. If the terms and conditions sound okay to you, but you’re still not too sure about the service, check out some online betting app reviews. Avoid the short and meaningless reviews that seem more like advertising than honest advice.
Use your own common sense and intuition. If you have a bad feeling about a certain app, just move on to another. There are plenty of fish in the sea, so you can always browse around to find another option that you feel better about. Online gambling services and bookmakers that advertise a lot can be considered trustworthy. They obviously have a large budget, so they are most likely not in any financial trouble. With a wide advertising reach comes more scrutiny from the public and regulators as well – if they are being shady about something then it would become well known very quickly.
Keep a copy of some type of official identification of yourself ready to go. You may be asked to prove your age and identity before you are permitted to withdraw your money. This is a safety measure in place to protect minors from using online gambling services. Again if they are one of those betting apps without ID requirements, they stay away!
However, even after taking all of these precautions and more, nothing in life is fully guaranteed. Nobody can predict the future, and your money may not always be safe if the service you are using goes out of business. The Gambling Commission checks on the companies’ financial standing at the time of license application, but this is no guarantee of future stability. There are safeguards in place though, such as the requirement that the business holds customer funds in a bank account separate to their operating funds.
If the software being used to power the games you play online is not operating fairly, your chances of winning at an acceptable rate go way down. You can search the name of the software behind whichever game you are interested in before you play if you are concerned that it may be rigged against you. All online casinos and bookmakers that are licensed to operate in the UK are tested periodically to make sure that they are fair. This is just one of the reasons why you should never deposit real money at an online gambling establishment that is not licensed to serve customers in the United Kingdom.
More Warning Signs
Many of the warning signs that you may be getting scammed will be noticed only after you have spent some time and money on that particular service already, but some can be seen ahead of time.
Unfair Terms and Conditions
This is something you can and should check on before making a deposit. For example: What are the requirements to successfully receive and cash out any promotional bonus funds? Does the T&C page say anything about what will happen to customer funds in the event that the operator goes out of business? Are there any other terms that sound wrong to you, or are worded in a way that makes them overly complicated? What happens when a sporting event that you bet on gets cancelled? Is your bet refunded to your account or do you take a loss? And so on.
Payment Delays and Excuses
How long have you had to wait before receiving your payments after a withdrawal request? Is the customer support team making excuses about why you have not been paid yet? They may be just trying to string you along in order to get more money out of you or avoid paying you altogether.
Some of the more shady operators in the online gambling industry will accuse you of fraud, in one way or another, in an attempt to withhold your winnings. They may even close your account and leave you no way of contacting them about it to question the decision or explain yourself. If you are innocent, and the betting company is licensed, you can always take the complaint higher up the chain. If the company is not licensed to serve customers in the UK, you don’t have any legal ways to challenge the operator’s decision.
Withdrawal and/or Winning Limits
Many online casinos and bookmakers have set limits on the amount you can withdraw and/or win in a certain period of time. Some will let you win £100,000 in a day on sports betting, and only £2,000 per day on casino games, for example. They may also require you to withdraw your winnings at a slower rate than you won them. These details should be clearly stated in the terms and conditions.
Number of Payment Options Available
Most of the best bookmakers and popular online casinos will accept a wide variety of payment providers for both deposit and withdrawal. If the app you are looking at cannot accept credit cards, for example, that should be seen as a huge warning sign. There is a high chance that they have had their payment services suspended due to shady business practices.
Common Betting Terms Explained
It can seem like people are speaking an entirely different language when you’re new to betting. The following is a short list of some of the more common terms that newcomers have trouble with.
PRICE – The odds of a bet or other gambling activity.
ACTION – A colloquial term for a bet of any type.
BETTER or PUNTER – The person making the betting action.
CHALK / CHALK PLAYER – A term that refers to the favoured team or outcome; a chalk player is someone who regularly bets on the favourite.
DOG / DOG PLAYER – Another term for underdog – a team or person who is expected to lose; a dog player is someone who regularly bets on the underdog.
DOUBLES – Related to the accumulator described above. Both of the selections must be correct for it to be a winning bet.
EDGE – The advantage for the customer in any type of bet.
MULTIPLES – An alternate word used to describe an accumulator.
NO ACTION – A term used to describe the outcome of a bet in which no money was won or lost.
ACCUMULATOR (“ACCA”) – This is a type of bet in which you must choose successfully the right outcome from multiple events. For example: picking the winners on two, three, or more football matches. When successful, the profits from each selection are multiplied, one after the other, to decide the final profit. This can result in much higher winnings than those from a regular type of bet. However, due to the difficulty involved it is not recommended for beginners.
ASIAN HANDICAP – This is a type of betting that is very popular in football. In some ways, it is simpler than other types of bets as there are only two possible outcomes because a draw is eliminated through the use of fractions. This brings both possible betting options closer to a 50% chance of success. It gets much more complicated than that though, so you should read more about Asian handicap betting before you try it.
Why Mobile Betting is so Popular
If you own any type of smartphone, you already know how convenient it can be as you take it with you almost everywhere you go. The popularity of this type of browsing should not come as any surprise.
In general, the trend of browsing websites on mobile and using apps is becoming more popular. The technology is getting better, and the speed of mobile internet connections is catching up to give users a better experience than what was once available on mobile devices. Consequently, desktop usage is on the decline. The same applies to the betting world and placing bets at bookmakers using mobile apps is on the rise.
If the current trends in mobile browsing continue, and there is no apparent reason why they should not, then it is clear that betting on a mobile device is the way of the future. This is helped along by the fact that users don’t really need a larger screen, such as those available on desktop computers, in order to complete simple tasks like making wagers on sports.
Sports Betting Promotions
Almost all of the popular betting apps have various promotional and bonus offers to entice new users to use their services. They may either have a set bonus for any new user of the service or make specific promotional offers for users of their apps.
As with any offer you receive, whether it is online or offline, it is essential to read the terms and conditions that specify how and when you will successfully receive such a bonus.
The following list contains a brief overview of the mobile betting bonus offers you may be eligible for upon joining each service. Some of these are mobile-exclusive offers, while some are available to all customers regardless of the method used to access the services.
ARE THESE APPS SECURE? IS IT SAFE TO SUBMIT MY CREDIT CARD DETAILS?
The apps listed here are using the same security that you would find on any regular website. They use 128-bit encryption in order to prevent any third parties from spying on or intercepting your personal information.
WHY DON’T MOST OF THESE SERVICES ACCEPT SKRILL AND NETELLER FOR THE BONUS OFFERS?
This is a security method in place to prevent customers from registering multiple accounts in an attempt to claim the bonus more than once. You are still able to use these payment methods for your regular deposits – only the promotional offers have this restriction on payment methods.
CAN I WITHDRAW FUNDS FROM MY MOBILE DEVICE?
Most of the best apps 2017 allow you to withdraw funds from your account directly from their mobile services. Some do not, and you must use a home computer in order to withdraw. Check the terms and conditions of the website or contact their customer support to verify this. The apps with cash out will be covered in their individual reviews.
ARE THESE APPS ONLY FOR APPLE PRODUCTS? OR CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF PHONE OR TABLET?
Each service usually provides apps for Android as well as the best apps for iPad and iPhone. Some will also support Blackberry and Windows Phone, for example, but as these are not very popular you should check with individual websites first.
WHAT IF THEY DON’T PAY ME WHEN I WIN?
All of the services listed here are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and have a good reputation at the time of writing this guide. In the unlikely event that you have trouble with them, you have legal rights to dispute any claims or disagreements with the operators. If you are not happy with how they treated your dispute, you may take it higher up the chain. Visit the Gambling Commission website to learn more about disputes and your legal rights.
WHICH ONES ARE THE BEST BETTING APPS FOR FOOTBALL?
This is not a simple question with an easy answer. Please refer to the individual reviews available for each service, or experiment for yourself by opening an account with a few different providers.