Best UK Poker Sites
For a poker player based in the UK, playing at online poker sites should not be much of a problem. The country boasts of some big names in the global online gambling industry. Also, many of the most prominent jurisdictions for the licensing of gambling companies are based around the UK. Here is some information on the best poker sites for UK players, the legal issues surrounding online poker in the UK, and the features to look for in a UK poker site.
Legality of Online Poker in the UK
Since various countries have their own laws with regard to online gambling, a lot of confusion ensues among players of online poker. The fact, however, is that online poker is legal in the UK, for players and operators of online gambling portals. Anyone residing in the country can play at any poker site they wish to without the fear of facing legal action. There are also minimal restrictions with respect to making deposits and withdrawals at poker sites, and the methods used to make the payments.
While poker players in the country are not subject to stringent laws related to online poker, the operators of gambling sites have a set of rules to conform to if they want to operate in the UK market. The UK Parliament in 2005 passed the Gambling Act, in an effort to control all forms of online gambling in the country.
The act seeks to decriminalize gambling by making sure that gambling operators stay aloof of criminal activities and that the games are conducted in a fair and random manner. The Act also mentions that minors should be prevented from gaining access to any form of gambling. In short, the aim of the Act is to make gambling safer and more enjoyable in all its versions- this includes poker too- for the players.
What to Look For in a Poker Site
With an abundant choice in poker sites for UK players, there are a few factors that come into play when it comes to judging the quality and reliability of a poker site. The first thing you need to look for is the licensing. Make sure that the site is licensed by a reputable jurisdiction, which acts as a guarantee that the site you are playing at is reputable. Some of the best-known jurisdictions that license poker sites are Malta, Alderney, Antigua, Netherlands Antilles and Curacao.
Security is another important feature you need to consider when joining UK poker sites, as you will be sharing personal information like email ids and your banking account details. Such crucial information, in the hands of hackers, could lead to disastrous consequences. So you should make sure that the site is certified by leading security organizations. Some of the certifications to look for are GamCare, Thawte, Verisign and TST.
The quality of the software and graphics used by the site will determine how much you enjoy playing in the particular online poker room in question. While the major poker sites use proprietary software, other UK poker sites employ the services of companies that specialize in providing games to these websites. You should check the reputation of the company that has programmed the games for the poker site.
When you are faced with a technical glitch or server error while playing, you will need help from the site to resolve the issue. For this reason, customer service becomes important for instant assistance. Make sure that the poker site offers multiple options to access its customer service center like telephone, email, fax and live chat.