We have enlisted three seasoned gambling professionals across the UK and Irish markets, who are here to answer players’ burning questions and provide invaluable advice. Cameron Murphy, Leonard Sosa, and Iria Mon bring decades of experience collectively.
Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the casino scene, our experts are ready to offer their insights to provide more clarity on everything there is to know about online casinos.
Join us as we delve into the minds of these experts to help you make more informed decisions on your gambling journey.
1. Why, do you think, should an online casino be regulated and licenced?
The three of us agree that licensing and regulations are important for all online casinos. Firstly, licensing and regulation maintain the integrity, safety, and fairness of the online gambling environment.
When an online casino has a licence, it is essentially showing that it follows the rules and regulations laid out by the licencing body. Furthermore, it also shows that responsible gambling measures are put in place. What this means is that the online casino values the safety of the players which contributes to a safer online gambling environment.
2. The UK has one of the largest regulated online gambling markets in the world. Can you talk more about that?
Iria Mon: Sure. It’s true, the UK boasts one of the world’s largest online gambling markets in the world. If we are to talk numbers, the UK gambling industry made £14.1 billion in revenue in 2022 alone. What’s the reason behind this success and these huge numbers? Well, I think the country’s affinity for gambling activities like horse racing, bingo, and others, is a contributing factor. On the other hand, its robust regulatory framework, spearheaded by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), ensures fair, transparent, and safe gambling practices. The UKGC’s strict guidelines prioritise player protection, responsible gambling, and the prevention of underage betting.
Leonard Sosa: I agree with Iria. And if we were to look at this from an economic point of view, the sector contributes significantly to the UK’s coffers, with billions in gross gambling yield reported annually. Online sports betting dominates, but there’s also a vast presence of online casinos, poker, and bingo sites. And there’s more to this fascinating market – its maturity has fostered innovation, with UK players often being the first to access cutting-edge gaming features and technologies. Furthermore, comprehensive advertising, especially in sports, has made the industry more visible, though it has also led to increased scrutiny and calls for more responsible advertising practices.
3. As for Ireland, even though it is a smaller market, it still generates a substantial amount of growth. Can you share your thoughts on why?
Cameron Murphy: Ireland’s online gambling market thrives due to its favourable regulatory environment, allowing for diverse gambling options, in addition to widespread high-speed internet access and mobile device usage, enabling convenient engagement with online gambling platforms. The country’s cultural affinity for sports like horse racing and football naturally drives demand for services, particularly in sports betting. The accessibility of secure payment methods further enhances Irish consumers’ participation, while targeted advertising and global accessibility contribute to growing interest. The inclusion of social features in online gambling platforms adds to their appeal, especially among Irish users seeking social interactions.
Economic factors, such as potential winnings and entertainment, become particularly attractive during uncertain times. The continuous technological innovations in online gambling platforms also capture the interest of tech-savvy Irish consumers. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that responsible gambling measures and regulations are essential to safeguard players’ well-being and mitigate potential negative consequences of excessive gambling as the market expands.
4. How important are software providers when choosing an online casino?
The three of us write online casino reviews and we have been doing so for years. One of the most important aspects we look at is software providers.
When selecting an online casino, software providers are important to consider. They are in charge of developing the technology, platforms, and games that make up the majority of the casino’s selection. The quality of your gaming experience, the selection of games, and the general reliability and safety of the casino can all be significantly impacted by the software providers used.
It is a good idea to look into the software providers that online casino partners with before choosing one. Look for casinos that collaborate with reputable and well-known suppliers. You may evaluate the quality of a casino’s software suppliers and wisely decide where to play by reading reviews, player testimonials, and professional feedback.
5. Taxes on gambling winnings are always a hot topic among players. How much money can players win at a UK casino without having to pay taxes?
Iria Mon & Leonard Sosa: Luckily for UK players, they do not have to pay taxes on their gambling winnings, regardless of the amount. This includes winnings from casinos, sports betting, lotteries, and other forms of gambling. And the reason behind that is that the UK government does not consider gambling winnings to be a form of taxable income. The same goes for professional gamblers.
6. In your opinion, what are the most lucrative casino games players should keep their eyes on?
Oh, we know this is what most gamblers are interested in! Well, the truth is that there are differences among casino games – some tend to have higher potential payouts and returns than others. Still, it’s important to remember that all casino games are designed with a house edge, meaning the casino has a statistical advantage over players in the long run. That being said, here are some casino games that we think are often considered to have the potential for higher payouts:
- Blackjack offers one of the lowest house edges in the casino when played with optimal strategy. In fact, skilled players can reduce the house edge to around 1% or even lower.
- Poker: In games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha, players compete against each other rather than the house. This means that skilled poker players can have an edge by using strategy, reading opponents, and making informed decisions. However, the downside here is that poker involves a high level of skill and experience to consistently profit, so it isn’t suitable for novice players.
- Video Poker combines elements of poker and slot machines. Certain variants of video poker, when played with optimal strategy, can offer relatively high payouts and a lower house edge compared to other casino games.
- Baccarat is famous for its simple rules and relatively low house edge. The “Banker” bet in particular tends to have a lower house edge than the “Player” bet, making it a popular choice.
- Craps can have favourable odds for certain bets, such as the “Pass Line” and “Don’t Pass Line” bets. To maximise your success, I suggest learning the optimal bets and strategies that can help improve your chances.
- Roulette (European Version) has a single zero on the wheel, which reduces the house edge compared to the American version with both single and double zeros.
In the end, we want to emphasize that even in games with better odds, the element of luck still plays a significant role. No casino game guarantees consistent profits, and it’s important to gamble responsibly and within your means.
Our final advice before playing any casino game is to make sure you understand the rules, strategies, and odds associated with the game, and to set a budget that you’re comfortable with.
7. The online gaming industry is constantly evolving, so what do you think the future holds for online casinos and casino games in the UK and in Ireland?
Leonard Sosa & Iria Mon: We can’t predict the future with certainty, but we can share some observations on potential developments and changes that might influence the direction of online casinos and casino games in the UK.
Cameron Murphy: I agree with my fellow online casino gurus. The gambling industry is constantly evolving and changing and there are new technological developments happening almost every day! We did list a couple of developments that we see the UK and Irish online casino market heading in:
- Technological Developments: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two developments that online casinos will probably use to improve the gaming experience as they grow in popularity. This may result in more dynamic and immersive casino games providing players with an original and captivating experience.
- The popularity of Mobile Gaming: People are nowadays turning to mobile devices to play online casino games, and this trend will likely continue. It’s very likely that online casinos will make their websites more mobile-friendly so that players on smartphones and tablets may easily access a variety of casino games.
- Regulatory Evolution: In order to handle new challenges including new technology and changing player behaviours, the legal framework in the UK and Ireland may continue to change. It will be critical to find the correct balance between regulations related to responsible gaming, players’ protection, and business growth.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning may have a greater impact on tailoring the game experience for each player. Personalised game suggestions, dynamic odds adjustments, and more focused promotional offers are a few examples of this.
- Integration of Esports: Competitive gaming and esports are becoming increasingly popular. Online casinos could consider looking at how to include esports elements into their offers; this might result in a hybrid gaming experience that mixes competitive gaming and casino games.
- Worldwide Expansion and Partnerships: As laws change in various jurisdictions, UK-based online casinos may be able to continue expanding their worldwide footprint by partnering with foreign operators and breaking into new markets.
- Evolution of Gambling Content: To keep players engaged, casino game providers will need to constantly come up with new game mechanics, visuals, and themes. I believe that interactive slots, live dealer games, and skill-based games will all see an increase in popularity.
Bear in mind that the trends we talked about are hypothetical, and the actual direction ahead depends on variables such as technological advancements, regulatory changes, market requirements, and societal shifts.
To gain a more precise understanding of the possible direction of online gambling and casino games in the UK and Ireland, it’s vital to stay informed about any changes that might occur.
8. Players from all over the world love bonuses and are always on the lookout for the best deals possible. What should they pay attention to when choosing a casino promotion? How to differentiate the good from the bad?
This is an excellent question and one we get a lot! Choosing a good and fair casino bonus is definitely essential to ensure players get the best value for their money. We see all kinds of bonuses and promotions at online casinos, but to be honest, not all of them are ideal.
We all agree that when choosing a casino promotion, players should consider several important things: check wagering requirements, ensure game compatibility, note expiration dates, be aware of maximum cashout limits, read and understand Terms and Conditions, prioritize licenced casinos with a good reputation, evaluate percentage match and maximum amount, check payment method eligibility, seek non-sticky bonuses for flexibility, and consult player reviews and forums for insights. These considerations help players discern between valuable promotions and those with excessive restrictions or limitations.
9. Why do you think, should players familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of an online casino?
It’s essential for players to acquaint themselves with an online casino’s terms and conditions for a number of reasons. Firstly, these terms state rules governing the casino’s operations and player engagement, ensuring a fair and open gaming environment. This understanding prevents breaches and enables well-informed decisions.
Secondly, terms and conditions detail vital aspects like bonuses, promotions, and wagering requirements, avoiding misunderstandings and aiding players in optimizing benefits while adhering to the rules and regulations of the casino. Moreover, these terms shed light on the casino’s protocols for account verification, withdrawals, and data privacy, staving off payout delays and preserving personal data.
Lastly, terms and conditions give players key information on questions or queries that they might have. There’s always the customer support team to help, but useful information can also be found in the T&Cs.
10. What advice would you give to the players looking to make the most of their gaming sessions and navigate the complex world of gambling?
We have several valuable pieces of advice for ensuring a safe and fun gambling experience for UK and Irish players. Since we have many years of experience under our belts, we pooled together and came up with our top tips below:
For starters – set a budget. Before you start playing, decide on a budget that you’re comfortable losing. Stick to this budget and avoid chasing losses in an attempt to recover, as this can lead to bigger losses. This can be even harder but managing your emotions is vital. Don’t let them guide your decisions.
Make sure you know the games you wager on. We strongly suggest you familiarise yourself with the rules and strategies of the games you’re interested in playing. Understanding the odds and optimal strategies can improve your chances of success.
This one is really important – choose the right game! Opt for games that offer better odds and lower house edges. As we’ve already mentioned, games like blackjack, video poker, and certain bets in craps can be more favourable for players.
Another thing to keep in mind is to practice responsible gambling. Gambling should be for entertainment, not a way to make money. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose and avoid borrowing to gamble.
And finally, the last piece of advice that is golden: know when to quit! If you’re on a winning streak, consider quitting while you’re ahead. Similarly, if you’re losing consistently, it might be best to walk away and come back another time.
In the end, gambling is a form of entertainment, and the goal is to have fun while minimising risks.
You can find Cameron Murphy on Irishluck where he gives his expert opinion on online casinos such as writing reviews and articles. With over a decade of experience in the iGaming industry, Cameron knows a thing or two about online casinos in Ireland. Follow him on his social media or check out his published work.
Within the CasinoSherlock team, Iria Mon is an invaluable expert author on online casinos. Her expansive career spans more than a decade, underpinning her vast knowledge of casino operations and sports betting. She plays a pivotal role in guiding UK gamblers through the often complex and murky waters of the gambling world. Iria’s deep understanding and valuable insights, combined with an unwavering commitment to ensuring gamblers make informed decisions, have empowered countless UK players to navigate the intricate nuances of gambling responsibly and safely.
Leonard Sosa has an in-depth understanding of the preferences of the gaming community. With a sharp eye for opportunity, he searches through the wide selection of online casinos to find the best bonus deals as a trusted advisor at NewCasinos. This helps players make educated selections by giving them a clear grasp of the terms and conditions. He helps players understand the requirements by thoroughly familiarising himself with the platforms’ bonus wagering criteria. This enables players to successfully navigate the distinctive hurdles posed by online casinos.