Where there’s a will to gamble, there’s a way to make it happen. Precisely why unregulated online casinos have been around since the very dawn of the industry.

In markets like the UK, there’s really no shortage of options available. If anything, you could find yourself completely baffled by the sheer range of online casinos to choose from.

Elsewhere, it’s not quite as simple. For any number of reasons, finding a decent domestic online casino to sign up with just isn’t an option. Some markets ban online casino gaming entirely, while others (bizarrely) only permit their citizens to gamble at off-shore online casinos.

Casinos which, in many cases, are neither licensed nor regulated.

Why it’s Not All Bad with Unregulated Casinos

Unlicensed and unregulated casinos are naturally frowned upon by most responsible gamblers. Where there’s the option of the two available, it simply makes sense to go with the regulated option.

In the UK, for example, casinos regulated by the UK Gambling Commission are the safest choices of all. They’re independently inspected, audited and verified for their safety and quality.

With unregulated casinos, none of this applies. They’re basically free to do what they want, where they want and with whom they want. But while this all sounds sketchy on the surface, it’s all not all bad where unregulated casinos are concerned.

Like their licensed and regulated counterparts, they serve an important purpose.  In addition, just because a casino is unregulated does not inherently make it dodgy.

Unregulated casinos should be approached with due care and caution, but can nonetheless provide a solid gaming experience in some instances.

Unregulated Casinos in Gray Markets

As touched upon above, there are countless markets where there simply is no specific online gambling policy in place. Consequently, authorities prohibit domestic online casinos from being established and offering their services to citizens. 

Though in such instances, it’s usually perfectly legal for citizens to gamble with overseas online casinos.

None of this really makes sense, as it doesn’t benefit the economy of the country or ensure a safe gambling experience for those taking part.  Nevertheless, it’s precisely what goes on in dozens of nations where online gambling is still technically illegal (in a domestic sense).

These are the kinds of markets that tend to be served exclusively by unregulated casinos. With regulated casinos, you’ll almost always see an extensive list of excluded countries in their terms and conditions. In accordance with the restrictions of their licenses and regulatory authorities, they’re not permitted to accept customers from these grey markets. 

The Potential for Bigger Bonuses and Incentives

Another reason many players flock knowingly to unregulated casinos is the potential for superior bonus offers.  Again, this is primarily due to the fact that regulated casinos (such as those licensed by the UK Gambling Commission) face strict limitations with regard to the bonuses they can offer. 

For the most part, you’ll find regulated casinos handing out introductory bonuses of anything up to £1,000 for new customers. Over in the unregulated segment, is not uncommon to see as much as £10,000 being advertised for new customers.

Admittedly, bigger bonuses always attach much more extensive wagering requirements – often up to 100x with some unregulated casinos. They also tend to be subject to much heavier overall restrictions, as outlined in the casino’s terms and conditions.

Exercising Common Sense Precautions

If you find yourself in a situation where unregulated is the only option available, the debate is inconsequential. There’s no other place for you to gamble online, so it’s a case of finding a decent unregulated site that serves your locality. 

However, if the option does exist of choosing between a regulated and unregulated casino, the regulated option is the way to go.  This is for the simple reason that with a licensed and regulated casino, all checks have already been conducted as to its safety, responsibility and general legitimacy.

With an unregulated casino, you can perform all of these background checks yourself. You can check out customer reviews online, view independent reviews of the website and get a good feel for its reputation. You can (and should) also consult its published terms and conditions in full, to ensure you are getting a good deal.

It’s just that with a licensed and regulated casino, all the hard work has been done on your behalf. At least, in terms of ensuring that the casino isn’t downright dodgy and out to get you.

Why the Bad Press for Unlicensed Casinos?

Once again, it’s not to say that all unlicensed and unregulated casinos are inherently bad. Nevertheless, playing at these kinds of casinos inherently opens the door to certain risks that would not apply elsewhere. 

When you sign up with an online casino that is neither licensed nor regulated, you’re putting all of your faith in the casino and its operator. If things go wrong, you’ll find yourself with nobody to turn to for help. The casino could go bankrupt or simply disappear into the ether out of nowhere, taking your money and your winnings with it. 

Given that the casino was neither licensed nor regulated, who do you call in the case of such eventualities?

The short answer – nobody, as it’s all on you. 

This is why it is essential to conduct all necessary background checks in advance, if planning on doing business with an unregulated casino. Some casinos set up specifically to serve grey markets are just as responsible and reputable as their licensed counterparts. But as there will always be the odd bad apple in the bunch, it pays to be proactive.

If in doubt, let the reviews and recommendations of other players be your guide. These are the only 100% impartial insights you have into how a casino does business – regulated or otherwise. 

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