What are the Main Differences between UK & US Online Casinos?

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What are the Main Differences between UK & US Online Casinos?

Although the iGaming industry is growing rapidly in the US, it’s yet to catch up with the UK. According to Statista, the US has a market size of $8.5 billion. By comparison, the UK’s remote gambling market is worth over $15 billion.

To be fair, the UK online casino market has been around since 2005. In the US, the first online casino launched in 2012. The first legal mobile sportsbook welcomed bettors in 2018.

In this article, we’ll focus more on the differences between online casinos in the US and the UK. Let’s get started.

State vs National Government Regulation

Online casino regulation is a matter of state concern in the US. Every state has the power to license online casinos or sportsbooks. So far, at least 25 states have permitted sports betting—online, in-person or both. On the other hand, a handful of states support online casinos.

In the UK, the national government regulates remote gambling through the Gambling Commission. This means every online casino that wants to offer its services in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland needs a license from the UKGC.

In both countries, acquiring an online gambling license takes time and money. You must pay application fees. You must go through a vetting process to prove you can run an online casino successfully. Also, you need to meet many requirements, from securing your website to providing safe gambling tools.

Zero Taxes in the UK

There’s a reason everyone thinks the UK is the best place to be an online casino player. Not only can you play at the best casinos in the world, but you also don’t need to pay taxes.

You could win £15M like John Heywood in 2015. And as long as online gambling is not your main source of income, your winnings are exempted from taxation.

In the US, every casino win is taxable. The amount of tax you pay varies from one state to another. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the taxation rate for gambling winnings is 3%. In Nevada, you pay 6.75% to the state for winnings above $5000. To be clear, all states also withhold 24% of your winnings as federal tax.

That said, online casinos pay taxes in both countries. In the UK, all online casinos pay a flat tax of 21%. In the US, taxes vary greatly from one state to another. New York taxes sports betting companies 51% of their revenues. Pennsylvania taxes online casinos up to 55% of their income from slot machines.

GamStop vs Non-GamStop

One of the biggest characteristics of UK online casinos is that they participate in a compulsory self-exclusion program. GamStop is a voluntary program. You register to take a break from online gambling only if you want to.

After that, GamStop blocks you from every online casino in the UK. This can make life difficult for you if you decide to play slots online before your self-exclusion period is over. Due to that, some casino lovers in the UK have been joining non-GamStop casinos located overseas.

Because GamStop is a UK program, it does not apply in the US. This isn’t to say US online casinos lack player protection tools. Each site has tools you can use to limit your deposits and betting limits. Also, you can use software to take breaks after playing a specific number of spins on a slot machine.

Games and Software Providers

UK-based casino players have access to a much wider variety of games compared to their US counterparts. The explanation is that Britain is one of the best markets for gambling companies.

As such, every software provider wants to offer its games to players based in the UK. Now, the UKGC doesn’t license every software developer out there. Some well-known companies have no rights to work in Britain.

However, you can play games from well-known brands like NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech and Evolution. You can also play games from smaller studios like Ezugi, No Limit City and Relax Gaming.

In the US, the games you can play depend on your state. In Nevada, online poker is allowed but not slots or blackjack. This means the number of online casino games you can play in the desert state is pretty small.

Fortunately, the Federal Government does not prohibit US citizens from gambling at offshore casinos. Overseas-based casinos offer thousands of slots and table games from 100+ software developers.

However, these casinos are not created equal. Some are safe. Others are not. Take time to find the best USA online casinos. Choose licensed, safe and reputable operators.

Payment Methods

When it comes to casino payments, US and UK online casinos are fairly alike. They support these banking methods:

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • Wire transfers
  • Crypto

Every casino is unique in that it decides the exact payment companies to support. In the UK, most gambling sites work with Visa and MasterCard but not Discover or American Express. In the US, casinos work with all the card issuers named above.

In both countries, gambling operators support crypto, bank payments and some e-wallets like PayPal and Google Pay. Some wallets like EcoPayz and Sofort work in the UK but not in the US.

When it comes to fees and limits, casinos in the US and the UK are similar. They let you deposit from $10 to $100,000. Also, deposits are free but withdrawals can cost a small amount of money.

Bonuses and Promotions

The UK regulates nearly every aspect of the remote gambling industry. Some of the rules are helpful—casinos can’t advertise bonuses on TV. They also need to enforce strict betting and deposit limits.

Some rules disadvantage players, though. For example, betting sites in the UK can’t give out too much money in bonuses. This is why most casinos in the UK give you a maximum of £100 or £200.

In the US, bonuses from state-licensed casinos aren’t huge. But they tend to be bigger than what players receive in the UK. Bonuses from offshore casinos are incredibly generous, though. You can receive up to $5000 as a welcome offer.

Underage is an offence. You must be over 18 years old to gamble.

Any form of should always be fun, playing in a way that is right for you. It’s good to set limits, take time out or set up reminders.

Please gamble responsibly and in moderation.

For more information on the tools available to help to keep you safe or if you want advice or support you can call the National Helpline on 0808 8020 133 (England, Scotland and Wales or visit therapy.org).

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