Last updated: June 16, 2018
Legalized online poker and igaming as a whole is huge in the UK market. Online poker, casino games and sports betting is all legal and highly regulated in the UK making it a safe and legal and therefore popular option for people wanting to hit the online tables.
All the main online poker operators offer highly competitive promotions, tournaments and events to entice players to their tables.
Names such as PokerStars, partypoker, 888poker, Unibet, and microgaming are all names of providers that are leading the way in offering the best online poker experiences to their customers. iPoker is the tour-de-force behind sites such as Bet365, William Hill and Betfair.
Spring and Autumn are the times of year that traditionally see huge tournament series run by all major operators to lure players to their tables. Series’ such as the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) from PokerStars offers millions and million in guaranteed prize pools as does its rival partypoker in their Powerfest series. Having a buoyant market helps in creating demand for huge tournaments with multi million guarantees.
Players in the UK are part of what is known as the dot-com market, meaning that anyone in the UK logging on to play online poker may well be sitting at table with someone from around the word, such as Canada, Russia or Brazil.
For instance, Rather than restrict all players to be geographically within the country, or requiring all games to be played on local servers and requiring all revenues fall under the local license, a more modern approach—which understood online poker as a global game—was adopted in the UK in 2015.
Under this model, players register on the locally licensed site could sit at tables with players in other jurisdictions. Online tournaments are open to players regardless of jurisdiction. Operators only have to attribute how much rake each player contributes to a pot, and thus pay the relevant gaming duty to whichever authority the player falls under.
Today, online poker tables consist of players from the UK, Denmark, Belgium, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Greece, each falling under local licensing of their native country. Alongside them are players from dozens of other countries across Europe, Canada, South America and Asia that do not have local regulatory systems; gaming duty then falls under an “offshore” license, commonly in Malta, Gibraltar or the Isle of Man.