How to Pick a Legit Bookie in the UK
Every day, millions of people bet in the UK, considered one of the most trusted countries for gambling thanks to comprehensive regulations and licensing of the industry. With so much interest in sports, particularly Premier League football and horse-racing the UK has focused on betting being entertainment where the customer is the focus.
When you are new to gambling, you want to be sure you pick a legit bookie. There is a UK bookies list that continually reviews and tests bookmakers that are open to UK punters either online or land-based to ensure that they are legit. This list checks security, payments, competitive odds, bonus offers and real-time customer support as well as excellent user experience to guarantee a positive experience.
UK licence number
Every UK bookie should have a licence, otherwise they are considered to be operating illegally. Without licencing, you can avoid verification of your identity, but have no legal protection if your account is suddenly closed and can no longer access your funds. Check for the operator’s licence information at the bottom of their webpages. If you cannot see this, do not sign up. The numbers are five-digits long, so for example, Betway is 39372 and Redzone is 45143.
How did you sign up?
Illegal bookies often find new clients by ‘agents’, someone who can bring 10 or 20 players to the bookmaker, getting a commission as a partner in return. If you are joining a group via the recommendation of a “friend of a friend” without needing to pass on proof of identity, you might want to question the legitimacy of the business.
Red flag: signing up with an alias
There is very little human interaction with legit bookies, the same as non-legit operators. Illegal operators are able to provide customers with access to a sports betting platform from Europe, but you know it is not legit if you are asked to set up an account under an alias. Under an alias, you can still access the account 24 hours per day from a mobile device or computer. These sites are user-friendly site with a broad range of options, with the betting lines all managed from a master dashboard, with unique betting limits for each customer to avoid crippling losses by all parties.
Age verification and ID
Account verification and proof of identity are required to bet online in the UK to protect minors and vulnerable people from gambling and it also acts to prevent fraud and money laundering.
All licensed bookies in the UK must confirm that customers are over 18 years of age, and if playing online, the individual’s location and residential status is also verified. Often, this is completed through soft credit checks, such as a check on the electoral roll at the address provided to the bookie, which can all be done without your knowledge. These verifications prevent bookmakers from being open to accusations of dealing with the proceeds of crime, which protects them from the potential loss of licence and a huge fine. Operators must verify the age of a user before a deposit or a first bet can be made, even if they are not playing for real money.
Be particularly careful to review new bookies
Anytime a new bookie opens, there is automatically more risk. Longevity is a very important measure of trust in the industry, with those that have been around a few years considered a little safer. However, many operators are looking to enter and expand in the market and will be transparent in what they are offering.