It’s safe to say that the events in the past two years have changed a lot of industries. Shop closures, shortage of restaurant and bar staff, working from home – people have been adapting to many changes.
One industry that the pandemic and its after-effects have significantly impacted is the online gambling industry. As people spent more time at home and couldn’t engage in their usual activities, online casinos and betting sites saw a surge in registrations. However, opposite to what one would have expected, the gambling websites didn’t begin to flourish, but several operators left the market. Why is that?
Regulatory Changes Make Life Hard For Gambling Sites
As the trend towards online casinos and bookmakers became apparent, regulators and governments around the world were quick to act. To avoid that operators would take advantage of the peoples’ boredom at home, new rules and regulations were introduced to protect players, such as:
- Deposit and loss limits per week and month
- Ban on advertising during peak hours
- Restrictions on bonus offers such as free spins
Some regulators, such as the Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom, pushed even harder and further enforced their strict policies on KYC verification.
As a result, many gambling operators decided to pull their online casinos out of regulated markets as the increased cost meant lower or no profitability. So, what does this mean for players that still want to gamble online?
More Choice From The Same Operators
While the regulations change mean that gamblers have to say goodbye to massive no deposit offers, the choice of casino brands and games hasn’t changed much.
As operators fled the regulated markets, others were quick to take their space. Big names such as Genesis Global or SkillOnNet launched even more online casinos with unique skins, commonly referred to as “sister sites” in the gambling lingo.
The website sister-sites.co.uk explains that these casinos reuse the same engine, i.e. games, transaction facilities, and support, as their parent brand but give it a completely new feel through a different design. That way, one operator can run several online casinos with only little additional work.
For players, sister sites almost only have benefits. Besides choosing from different designs and layouts, they don’t have to investigate whether an operator is trustworthy and legit. If players had good experiences with one brand of operator A, another related brand would give them the same experience as both casinos use the same underlying architecture.
Playing At Unlicensed Online Casinos
Of course, players can also choose the other route and register with an unlicensed Internet casino. Those sites usually run much bigger bonus offers and advertise countless generous promotions.
However, be aware because unlicensed means high-risk and illegal.
Since these online casinos don’t have to comply with any rules of any regulator, players cannot know for certain that games are not rigged, deposits are kept safe, and winnings will be paid out.
Moreover, playing at an unlicensed gambling site also breaks national law. While it’s unlikely that law enforcement will knock on the door of an occasional online gambler, it’s better to know that take that chance either and go the legal way.