Partner content

The UK online gambling industry is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. This makes it one of the most profitable and attractive markets for online gambling operators. New entrants can venture into the market to offer players an alternative place to play casino games and other gambling.

However, opening an online casino in the UK can be quite a challenging and lawful process. New casinos must get a licence, create a top-notch webpage, partner with the best software providers, and more. Read on for more information on how it’s done.

UK gambling licence

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is an authority that regulates online casinos in the UK. Every online casino is required to get a licence from the commission in order to operate legally in Great Britain. Only this licence allows you to accept players from the UK.

In order to get a gambling licence, you must send an application including a sequence of information-seeking queries, either on your own or with the help of a legal advisor, to the UKGC. You also need to send all the needed documents and proof to be approved. It can take 15 to 20 weeks to complete this process.

If you want to operate in other jurisdictions then you’ll need to obtain separate licences from other regulatory agencies, such as Malta. The UKGC grants approval in the UK only.

Verification tools

UK casinos are required by their licence to verify the identity of British players before allowing them to gamble. This is known as know your customer (KYC). 

Many casino sites use tools like GetID to automate the verification process. They use the information that users provide when signing up and match it with various databases to get a positive ID match. This helps to speed up the process considerably – so you should have this capability ready.

But automatic verification isn’t always possible. In that case, you’ll need to ask players to provide a range of documents. These documents need to at least prove:

    • Name and age: Like a passport or driving licence
  • Address: Like a utility bill or bank statement

Many UK casinos also ask users to verify their UK mobile phone number for additional verification. As you can imagine, not all players are thrilled with this idea. So some decide to offer an incentive

For example, a no deposit bonus phone verification UK is quite common. This is where the casino gives the player a bonus after their UK phone number has been verified – and before they make a deposit. You could consider doing the same to try and increase the number of verified players you get.

Popular UK payment methods

Money is needed for players to play real money slot games. The first step after making an account on a casino site is to deposit money. So you need to offer easy and reliable methods of payment at your UK site.

The most popular options are:

  • Visa/Mastercard
  • PayPal
  • Bank Transfer

But you should try to offer as many as reasonably possible to cater for all kinds. New payment options are often launched too – so you need to be continually doing market research to not miss out on the next big thing.

Of course, all payment methods should be safe and secure. You must implement security measures like strong encryption and have a watertight privacy policy to protect player data.

A variety of games

New casinos must have a wide selection of games from reputable and well-known game providers. This will help to attract gamers if they know they have different types of games to play.

Slot games are the most played games in the UK. Slots are easy to play and implement. Therefore, new casinos should offer the best online slot machines to attract gamers.

Table games are also popular among UK players. Hence, to compete in the market, new casinos should provide a variety of these games, including Roulette, Craps, Blackjack, Baccarat and card poker.

New casinos should also have a variety of card games available on sites for gamers. These games may be 3card, 4 cards or 5cards games. Card games are also popular among UK players. 

Additionally, new casinos should also offer live casino. It is vital to have a studio with quality cameras to give players a real-life experience when playing such games from the comfort of their homes.

Game providers

It is critical for casinos to collaborate with reputable game providers. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it might sound.

That’s because game providers must also have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. So you know straight away whether a provider is credible or not. Some of the most popular are:

  • Evolution Gaming
  • NetEnt
  • Microgaming
  • Quickspin
  • Pragmatic Play

But there is a huge selection in truth. So you should conduct market research here to make sure you have the best available from the start.

And just like with payment methods, there are new game providers launching all the time. So keep an eye out for any that are making waves as it’s likely that players will enjoy their games.

After launch

Once your new casino site is live in the UK, you cannot afford to sit back and relax. Competition is extremely high. Therefore, you need to keep British players interested in order to keep them playing on your site.

One of the most popular ways to do this is to offer promotions for existing players. For example, you can:

  • Regularly offer more traditional casino bonuses – like free spins.
  • Host slot tournaments with prizes
  • Create loyalty programs

But you should also continue to innovate as much as possible. Listen to feedback from players about what works and what doesn’t – and aim to fix any common problems quickly.

In the best case, you’ll think of a new feature that’s unique to your site. With so many online casinos available, creating something different from the rest is sure to make you stand out from the crowd and earn you plaudits.