Where to Play and Is it Legal?
Any time I look at blackjack in a specific country or area I consider the availability of live play and online play. The nice thing about the UK is not only can you find local play; you can also play at many licensed and legal online casinos.
If you don’t live in the UK you may be surprised at how local casinos look and operate. This is especially true if you think all casinos look like the ones in the movies.
I’ve put together a guide that looks at local blackjack availability, online play, and offers answers to a few other questions you may have about UK blackjack.
It’s always interesting to me to talk with people from different parts of the world about their local gambling establishments.
Even inside some countries the gambling establishments vary in size and function.
If you live in the UK you already know how casinos look and operate in your area, but if you live elsewhere you may have certain notions about gambling establishments that may or may not be true.
People who gamble in Las Vegas are used to huge casinos filled with noise, fine dining, entertainment, thousands of slot machines, and possibly hundreds of table games. In contrast, if you play in the casinos outside Denver you’re used to smaller establishments with a different feel.
UK casinos tend to be smaller affairs with fewer slot achiness and table games. The atmosphere is a great deal different than Las Vegas casinos. Gambling is considered more formal and serious in the UK than in Vegas. Players tend to dress better, acting more like a formal gathering than a party, and there’s not a lot of noise.
Of course there isn’t anything wrong with either type of playing environment, just don’t expect it to be the same in different parts of the world. If you haven’t played in a local casino and base your expectations on what you’ve seen on television or in the movies, unless you play in Vegas you’ll probably be surprised.
I don’t offer legal advice so if you have any questions or concerns about the safety and legality of playing blackjack online you need to seek the help of a professional. But I’ll give you a quick overview of legal online gambling in the UK.
The Gambling Act of 2005 legalized online blackjack and other forms of gambling on phones, tablets, televisions, and the Internet, if companies followed specific rules and regulations. The Gambling Advertising and Licensing Act of 2014 expanded and revised earlier laws.
Companies seeking to legally enter the UK market apply for a remote gambling license.
Unlike other areas in the world with confusing or unclear gambling regulations, UK residents don’t have any reason to worry about their online play. Simply check your favorite online casino to see if they’re licensed for play in the UK.
If your casino is not locally licensed it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily unsafe, but it does mean they operate illegally in your country. I don’t live in the UK and can’t tell you what to do, but I would always lean toward using the legal and licensed option if it was available to me.
I’m not one of those people who have blind faith in government, but I do feel comfort in dealing in regulated industries because if something goes wrong it opens up the possibility of legal action.
Here’s an example. If an online casino does something unethical or wrong your possible solutions vary based on where they’re based and licensed. If they operate in a jurisdiction with little or no control you probably can’t do anything to force them to correct the situation.
But if they’re located and regulated by your country you may be able to have legal charges filed against them or file a law suit. Of course no one wants to go through the cost and hassle of these options, but just the availability of some of these options can help get issues solved.
Finding a Licensed Online Option
You can find the best licensed online casinos offering blackjack to UK residents a few different ways. The best way is finding recommendations on sites you trust like this one. Simply read the reviews of the top options to see which ones offer legal play.
Another option is looking on the web site of the casinos where you already play. Most of the ones who go through the cost and effort of getting a license proudly let every potential player know. If you don’t see anything about it on the site contact the support department.
Should You Only Play at Locally Licensed Businesses?
The answer may seem to be a no brainer, but before jumping to conclusions let’s take a look at online gambling around the world.
Player’s in the US have been gambling at all kinds of online casinos that aren’t licensed and regulated in the states for decades. The majority of these players have done so safely with no major issues. I predict US players will continue playing wherever they can until the government regulates the market.
Players from other countries that don’t regulate online play operate in much the same way. I don’t understand why more countries don’t follow the UK’s example and start collecting revenue from the businesses that already operate in the country.
A regulated market is often a safer market for the players, so if one is available it offers a good option.
In most industries I am 100% for only using licensed and regulated businesses. The online gambling market is one where you need to do more research and make your own decisions based on safety and customer service.
From small, formal local places to play blackjack to licensed online shops, the UK offers great options for players. While many American citizens like to think the US is the gambling capital of the world, the UK seems to be leading the game in taking care of their players.