|Number of Casinos
|Type of Licenses
|Curacao & MGA
|Betting, Slots, Blackjack etc
|Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Crypto
With this in mind, we offer a number of recommended non-UK sites for casino players to choose from. Through our careful research and reviewing of all the possible sites, we can create a comprehensive list of options that players can use to make their final decisions with regards to where they end up playing online. This article will highlight all the important features that we consider when rating independent casinos.
How we choose the best independent casino sites
While players are perfectly able to check out new independent casinos UK for themselves, we have made it easier with our carefully created list of top sites. Our dedicated team of experts reviews all the available casinos, signing up to them and checking out all the features. That way we recommend only the very best casino sites to our readers and save them a heap of time.
There are many features we take into consideration when looking at all the indepentent online casinos UK has to offer. Some of these features include security, reliability, game selection, payment options and even the accessibility of the site. We will cover each of these aspects in detail, enabling players to go out and make their own decisions as well as using our suggestions.
Security and trust
One of the biggest issues when choosing any online casino is security. As a starting point, it is important to note that independent casinos are not licensed with the UKGC, which means that their security levels might not be up to par. We check out the security these casinos provide, specifically with regards to data protection, ensuring there are SSL encryption protocols in place.
This security helps to prevent unwanted third parties from gaining access to player data. On top of this, we also check out the payment options provided, as this also contributes to the security players can expect when playing online. But we will cover this in a later section. Finally, we take a look at the protocols in place to ensure players can enjoy a platform that promotes responsible gaming.
Is Gamstop available on independent casinos?
Gamstop is a self-exclusion scheme which is mandatory for UK licensed casinos. For casinos not licensed in the UK, each and every casino have to decide themselves wether they want to be connected to Gamstop or not.
On PokerPlayernewspaper, we have more information about non-Gamstop casinos here and make sure to read all that information before choosing a casino not on Gamstop.
The non-UK licensed casinos have less safety than licensed casinos and should be treated with a lot of care.
Licensing at independent sites
While independent casinos are not licenced with the UKGC, they are licensed with other governing bodies, or at least the ones we recommend always are. Having a licence is what helps these casinos to adhere to the specific security requirements that we look for in online casinos. Some of these jurisdictions are not as strict as the UKGC, but they still offer better protection than a site with no licence.
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- Curacao eGaming
- Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
Under these licences, players can enjoy better protection. However, if things go wrong, players will not be able to go to the UKGC for help. This means that in some cases, some of the disputes or issues can end up going unanswered with players falling foul of unsavoury practices. This is why we only recommend casino sites that have licences to our readers.
As we have touched upon, these sites will have some type of responsible gaming in place as well. On top of this, there will often be fair gaming procedures in place too. This means that games at the site will also have been audited by third party companies to ensure that they meet requirements and are not operating in a biased manner towards either player or casino.
Games available at independent sites
One of the big attractions of independent sites are their games. Similar to UKGC sites, these casinos often have a massive selection. In some cases this selection is bigger than at sites holding a UK licence. This is because many software providers are not accepted in the UK as they don’t meet the licensing or fair gaming requirements set out by UK law.
What this means is that there are a whole host of other games providers that players do not have access to if they stick with UK casinos. Independent sites with alternative licences, such as Curacao, are able to access all of these different providers and, in so doing, can offer thousands of games. Usually slots are the predominant game type found on these sites, but other options include:
- Virtual table games
- Soft casino games
- Live dealer games
There are some pros and cons to the games offered at independent casinos, though. While these sites do have access to many more software providers due to their laxer licencing requirements, this does come with its own set of problems. For instance, some of the providers may not be as secure or as fair as others in the industry and their games should possibly be avoided.
However, the sheer number of gaming options that can be offered by such a number of software providers is something that should not be passed up. Generally speaking, the collection is dominated by slot games, which will come in almost every different style and theme players can think of. This gives players a massive amount to choose from, ensuring everyone can find their ideal game.
With this huge selection of software providers, it is often the case that players will find more unusual games. Many of the gaming options are coming from smaller and more obscure software providers. These offer unique and exciting gaming experiences not found anywhere else. Sometimes these sites will also have their own exclusive games, which again offers a level of excitement not to be found on UK sites.
On top of this, independent casinos often try to appeal to players on other levels, too. This often includes gamification options within the site, such as tournaments, or even fun adventure options that enable players to score extra points or get hold of fun bonuses and extra spins. All of these factors combine to make these sites well worth checking out for UK players.
Bonuses at independent casinos
At any online UK casino, players will always find bonuses. This is also true of independent and international casinos. In fact, sometimes more so, as these sites are looking to entice in new players and aim to stand out from the crowd. This means that bonuses at these sites can often be very large and lucrative. However, players still need to read the small print before accepting them.
We take a look at all the different bonuses that are available at these sites and make sure that we select and recommend only those that offer the best options to players. Bonuses come in a number of different types, ranging from welcome bonuses through to reload options and even loyalty programmes rewarding those that continue to stay and play at the casino.
Deposit versus no deposit
The two main bonus types are deposit and no deposit. A deposit bonus requires players to make a deposit when they sign up. In doing so, they can be rewarded by a match deposit bonus of varying size. Depending on the casino, this can range from a 50% match up to as much as 400%. The amount that players can deposit to claim this bonus will also vary between sites.
No deposit bonuses are slightly different, in that players will only need to sign up to the site to claim it. These are usually awarded as small cash values that can be played on any of the games within the casino. An alternative to this is being awarded bonus spins. These are usually attached to a specific slot game and enable players to test out that game for free.
However, all of these bonuses will usually have wagering requirements attached, just as they do at UKGC-licensed sites. Wagering requirements are the amount of times a player must play through their bonus cash and, in some cases, the amount that has been won by the bonus. These requirements vary considerably across casinos, so we always look for those sites with more manageable requirements.
In addition to this, players will also need to check out any additional terms and conditions that come with the bonus. Bonuses usually have a minimum deposit requirement as well as withdrawal limits. There are usually set time limits in place, during which the player must meet the wagering requirements, with failure to do so resulting in the bonus, and any associated winnings, being lost.
Another exciting feature found at independent casino sites is the number of payment options available. UKGC sites usually offer a range of payment options, but often don’t have all the options. Independent sites tend to offer a much greater range. However, similar to the issues with game software providers, these payment providers may not always be the best around, so we take this into consideration when making our recommendations.
Usually though, the payment providers available are all top notch. Players will be able to choose between the usual options such as debit and credit cards, making bank transfers, using prepaid cards and, of course, e-wallets. A big draw for these sites is that they will also offer cryptocurrencies, giving players the chance to make anonymous payments without having to reveal banking details.
Payment option downsides
However, while there may be a lot of different payment options available, often UK players will find there aren’t any localised options available to them. This is because these independent sites are not catering specifically to the UK market. On top of this, these sites may not always accept British pounds, which means players will need to make their deposits in a different currency.
Depositing and withdrawing in a different currency comes with its own issues. In particular, players will need to make conversions between currencies, which can result in conversion fees. Players need to weigh up this possibility before signing up to an independent site. Luckily for our readers, we always check this out and will specify if a site doesn’t accept GBP for their payments.
Making an account at independent casinos
Once players have chosen an independent site, it’s time to get signed up. For many of these sites, this process is the same as it is at any other online casino site. Players will need to input personal data and confirm it to be true. However, many of these sites also offer faster signing up processes, enabling players to get gaming a lot faster.
In fact, some of these sites offer no verification signups. This means that when players sign up with their details, the casino does not request any form of ID to prove they are who they say they are. This is a requirement at UKGC-licensed sites and, while this does improve player safety and security, it can be time consuming to wait for verification.
Some independent casinos are also no verification casinos, which means you don’t have to provide passports and utility bills when playing.
Alongside this lack of verification is the fact that these independent sites provide easier avenues for remaining completely anonymous. Some independent sites will allow players to play incognito, which is impossible in the UK. What this means is that the site will not collect or retain any personal player information, allowing players complete anonymity while gaming online, something virtually unheard of at UK sites.
There is an issue with signing up, though, in some instances, and that is that these sites might not always accept UK players. While there is the possibility of getting around any of these types of restrictions using a VPN, we do not recommend this. That is because if the player is found out, they will be removed from the site and lose any winnings.
Accessibility of sites
An often overlooked aspect of playing online is how accessible and user-friendly a site is. It’s all very well for the site to be secure, offer a ton of games and a lucrative welcome bonus, but if players can’t find their way around, then it’s not very helpful. We always take a look at the site, navigating around to see how intuitive it is.
We also take a look at the theme and graphics of the site, as this can play an important part when it comes to the site’s appeal. While fun-coloured sites can be enticing, they can also be a bit much. Added to this, graphics-heavy casino sites can also cause the site to load slowly, if at all, which reduces the pleasure of playing online.
A final feature that’s important to consider here is whether the site is mobile compatible. While many often create dedicated apps, these are often not available in the UK if the casino is not licensed there. With that in mind, we make sure that the site is fully mobile browser compatible, which means that players don’t need to download an app and can still play games whenever they want.
What else should you know about independent casino sites?
As we have touched upon, independent sites are relatively safe, especially as we do only recommend those that are licensed. However, there is a downside to all of this, in that there are usually no self-exclusion options available. This means that if a player is struggling, the option to block the site, through Gamstop for instance, is not available if the site is not registered in the UK.
These sites often don’t offer any responsible gaming tools, such as limits on time spent playing or loss trackers, either. However, players who may be struggling can get help in other ways. They can still get advice from UK-based helplines in order to see if they can curb their online gambling at independent casinos in this fashion instead. Finally, as previously mentioned, many of these casinos won’t accept UK players anyway.
- Safe if they hold a licence
- No self-exclusion options available
- No other responsible gaming tools offered
- Don’t always accept UK players
However, a point to note for those independent sites that do accept UK players is the fact that they tend to accept players from all over the world. This means that players will be able to play against hundreds of others from around the globe. The good news here is that ,as more players wager their money on the site, this can increase the size of progressive jackpots and tournament prizes.
Independent casinos offer UK players an alternative gaming option to the UK sites they can access. While not all of these independent sites allow UK players, those that do offer a ton of exciting features. These features are carefully reviewed by us to ensure that we only select the very best independent casino sites for our readers. In this way they’re assured of nothing but the best.
Independent sites offer a wealth of exciting games and bonuses that are perfect for players around the globe. UK players are able to join in, as long as the site specifically accepts them. Although there are ways around restrictions, we do not recommend it and only suggest sites that accept UK players. Our carefully reviewed and recommended independent casino sites can be found right here.
Why join an independent casino?
As we have outlined throughout this article, there are many reasons why players should join an independent casino. However, it’s the big game selection and the ability to play against a larger number of people that are some of the main attractions. By selecting safe and secure independent casino sites, players can enjoy a fun and exciting online gaming experience, hopefully getting lucky while doing so.
Independent casinos FAQ
Check our list of top independent casinos and choose one!
Yes, if they hold a valid licence with an authorising body.
Yes, but players need to check the specific independent casino.
If they hold a licence they are regulated with that jurisdiction.
Yes, but gambling is all down to luck so expect losses.