In 2021, Statista recorded that the United Kingdom accounted for 23% of the global sports betting market. GlobalData also noted that the country’s market size in the sector was valued at $5.4 billion that same year, making it one of Europe’s leading betting nations. These values highlight the demand for bookmakers for British punters, and many operators have responded by offering services in the country.
For a more enticing wagering experience, many Brits opt for independent bookies. The best platforms for sports betting not on Gamstop appeal to these bettors because of their offerings, one of which is the support of credit cards and cryptocurrencies. This article further explores the gambling landscape in the UK and discusses how these payment methods impact a punter’s betting journey.
The Landscape of UK Sports Betting
Sports betting has been a favourite pastime in the United Kingdom, with roots dating back to the ancient era when spectators wagered on horses. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century, when betting shops came on board, that the industry took shape. This was thanks to the Gaming Act of 1960, which legalised these venues and permitted punters to place wagers without worrying about repercussions.
The digital revolution in science and technology in the late 20th century drastically changed the wagering scene, introducing online bookmakers. These platforms eliminated the need for being physically present at a brick-and-mortar location, allowing punters to place stakes with just the click of a few buttons. With this, the sector within the jurisdiction saw a massive increase in the number of bettors. Its revenue also grew with time, reaching an impressive $7.6 billion in 2018.
Seeing the massive growth of sports betting, the government established the United Kingdom Gambling Commission in 2005. The authority’s job is to regulate online gambling, ensuring that national operators adhere to guidelines to ensure fair experiences. Unfortunately, the UKGC introduced several restrictions that prevented punters from thoroughly enjoying their sessions. This led to the establishment of non-gamstop bookies that support payment methods that were otherwise banned on UK platforms.
Payment Options for UK Sports Betting
Before placing stakes at online bookmakers, it’s essential to create an account on the platform and fund it. If your wagers are successful, you’ll also want to withdraw them from the site. The only way to deposit and cash out from these bookies is through a suitable payment gateway. Knowing the importance of these methods, many independent operators offer diverse options to cater to the varying preferences of users.
Two of the most convenient gateways supported on top platforms are credit cards and cryptocurrencies. For the former, Visa and Mastercard are popular options for British bettors, while Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin are some virtual assets that fall under cryptocurrencies. We’ve explored each payment category in the following sections:
The Case for Credit Cards
According to finder.com, two-thirds of UK adults have at least one credit card, making it one of the most common transaction options in the region. These cards are praised for their convenience. Using them is a breeze, as one only has to provide their card details for transactions to go through.
Another perk of these methods is that they’re safe. Companies that issue credit cards employ bank-grade encryption protocols to safeguard their customers’ details, allowing them to make payments without worrying about the safety of their financial information. MyStake, GoldenBet, and Bruce Pokies are some of the independent bookies accepting such cards.
The Rise of Cryptocurrencies in Sports Betting
Bitcoin’s launch in 2009 opened a new window of possibilities in the financial world, offering payment opportunities that many didn’t think were possible. Since then, many altcoins like Litecoin and Ethereum have sprung up, all with similar features to Bitcoin. These virtual currencies made massive headway because of the long list of advantages they offered.
For starters, making anonymous transactions is possible, as one only needs a crypto wallet address for deposits and withdrawals. Since it eliminates the need for revealing sensitive information, it reduces the risk of fraud, making it an even safer option for online betting. Then there’s the speed of transactions. With cryptocurrencies, it takes only a few minutes for funds to be approved and deposited into your wallet.
What Are the Factors Contributing to the Final Decision?
If you’re wondering about the best payment gateway between credit cards and cryptocurrencies, then you should consider the following factors:
Safety and Security
Both credit cards and cryptocurrencies boast a well-established framework for safety and security, but each offers distinct approaches to protecting user information and financial assets. Banks and providers use sophisticated algorithms to detect and prevent unauthorised transactions. Additionally, credit card users benefit from dispute resolution procedures and the ability to request chargebacks in the event of fraudulent activity.
On the other hand, cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology and encryption to ensure security. The decentralised nature of blockchain prevents single points of failure, making it resistant to hacking and fraud. Transactions are recorded on a public ledger, enhancing transparency. Cryptographic encryption techniques secure wallet balances and transactions, safeguarding user assets.
Privacy and Anonymity
While credit cards are great, cryptocurrencies come with the added perk of anonymity, allowing users to make transactions without revealing their identities. Furthermore, unlike traditional payment methods, cryptocurrencies operate on decentralised networks, removing the need for intermediaries and minimising the risk of potential breaches.
However, the importance of responsible gambling should not be overlooked in this context. While cryptocurrencies can provide a degree of anonymity, credit cards make it easier to control your spending. Regardless of your method, bettors must exercise self-control, set limits, and seek help when needed.
Legal and Regulatory Considerations
As of April 2020, the UK Gambling Commission prohibited using credit cards for gambling activities to mitigate potential harm. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are not explicitly addressed in UK gambling regulations. Thankfully, these restrictions don’t apply to independent bookies, so bettors can comfortably use them. Regardless, punters should stay informed about regulatory changes.
Case Studies and User Experiences
Users have commended credit cards and cryptocurrencies. Based on reviews on Trustpilot, Mastercard and Visa are excellent payment means, offering seamless transactions. For cryptocurrencies, mediums like Bitcoin.com stand out with fast-loading applications and low fees. However, there have also been a few complaints, such as slower withdrawal processes with credit cards and non-reversal of funds for virtual currencies.
To avoid any unpleasant situations when using these methods for online betting, pick reliable platforms with solid reputations. You can find such sites by using trusted resources like nongamstopsites. This platform reviews and recommends top independent online bookies where you can wager on your favourite sports without worrying about payment issues.