Not everyone enjoys the games provided by Playtech, Microgaming and NetEnt these days, in fact we have found that more and more players are moving away from these games over the past year, dissapointed by the quality, reliability and the payouts. Thankfully there is a new type of casino in town grabbing the attention of players from all over the world. New school Vegas style online casinos.
The best Las Vegas style online casinos for UK players:
A desert metropolis built on gambling, vice and other forms of entertainment, in just a century of existence Las Vegas has drawn millions of visitors and trillions of dollars in wealth to southern Nevada. The city was founded by ranchers and railroad workers but quickly found that its greatest asset was not its springs but its casinos. Las Vegas’s embrace of Old West-style freedoms—gambling and prostitution—provided a perfect home for East Coast organized crime. Beginning in the 1940s, money from drugs and racketeering built casinos and was laundered within them. Visitors came to partake in what the casinos offered: low-cost luxury and the thrill of fantasies fulfilled.
Other Las Vegas style online casinos for UK players:
Las Vegas: Prehistory and Founding
Canyon petroglyphs attest to human presence in southern Nevada for more than 10,000 years, and members of the Paiute tribe were in the area as early as A.D. 700. The first person of European ancestry to enter the Las Vegas valley was Rafael Rivera, who scouted the area in 1821 as part of Antonio Armijo’s expedition to open up a trade route—the Old Spanish Trail—between New Mexico and California. Rivera named the valley Las Vegas, “the meadows,” after its spring-watered grasses.
Little changed in the valley following the 1848 shift from Mexican to United States rule until 1855, when Brigham Young sent a group of Mormon settlers to the area. Their settlement was unsuccessful, but their abandoned fort was taken over by Octavius Gass, who named the area the “Los Vegas Rancho” (the altered spelling was to avoid confusion with Las Vegas, New Mexico).
Las Vegas: Birth of a City
In 1905 the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad arrived in Las Vegas, connecting the city with the Pacific and the country’s main rail networks. The future downtown was platted and auctioned by railroad company backers, and Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911.
Nevada outlawed gambling in 1910 but the practice continued in speakeasies and illicit casinos. By the time gambling was legalized again in 1931, organized crime already had roots in the city.
In 1931 construction began on the massive Boulder Dam (later renamed the Hoover Dam), drawing thousands of workers to a site just east of the city. Casinos and showgirl venues opened up on Fremont Street, the town’s sole paved road, to attract the project’s workers. When the dam was completed in 1936, cheap hydroelectricity powered the flashing signs of Fremont’s “Glitter Gulch.”
Las Vegas: The Strip, the Mob and the Age of Glamour
In 1941 the El Rancho Vegas resort opened on a section of U.S. 91 just outside the city’s jurisdiction. Other hotel-casinos soon followed, and the section of highway became known as “the Strip.” Most were built around the regional or Old West themes that were popular on Fremont Street. In 1946 mobster Bugsy Siegel, backed by East Coast Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky’s Mexican drug money, opened the Flamingo, a swank resort that took its cues from Hollywood, not Deadwood. Top-drawer talent was booked for its lounges and dozens of celebrities attended its Christmas Dayopening.
Siegel was murdered in 1947, but his vision for Las Vegas lived on: During the 1950s and 1960s, mobsters helped build the Sahara, the Sands, the New Frontier and the Riviera. Money from organized crime combined with funds from more respectable investors—Wall Street banks, union pension funds, the Mormon Church and the Princeton University endowment. Tourists flocked to the resorts—8 million a year by 1954—drawn by performers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, and by rows of slot machines and gaming tables.
From the 1940s onward Las Vegas enjoyed a military boom as World War II bases gave way to Cold War facilities, most famously the Nevada Test Site, where over 100 nuclear bombs were detonated above ground between 1951 and 1963. Mushroom clouds were often visible from the hotels on the Strip, and postcards proclaimed Las Vegas the “Up and Atom City.”
Las Vegas: The Rise of the Mega-Casinos
In 1966 Howard Hughes checked into the penthouse of the Desert Inn and never left, preferring to buy the hotelrather than face eviction. He bought other hotels too—$300 million worth—ushering in an era in which mob interests were displaced by corporate conglomerates.
In 1989 longtime casino developer Steve Wynn opened the Mirage, the city’s first mega-resort. Over the next two decades the strip was transformed yet again: Old casinos were dynamited to make room for massive complexes taking their aesthetic cues from ancient Rome and Egypt, Paris, Venice, New York and other glamorous escapes.
Casinos and entertainment remained Las Vegas’ major employer, and the city grew with the size of the resorts and the numbers of annual visitors. In 2008, even as residents faced recession,rising unemployment and a housing price collapse, the city still received nearly 40 million visitors.
Las Vegas style online casinos:
Gamstop: UK Self Exclusion
GamStop is the UKGC’s Self Exclusion Service. Register here and you can easily self exclude from all participating online gambling sites.
There are still a small number of UK online gambling sites and UK casinos not on Gamstop. As we move forward all UKGC licensed online casinos and online betting and gambling websites are now required by default to register to Gamstop.
There are still a number of Vegas style UK online casinos not on Gamstop which UK players will need to exclude from manually / individually.
What is Gamstop?
Gamstop is the UK Gambling Commission self exclusion program. This is a huge game changer for problem gamblers in the UK and something rumoured to be being implemented also by the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) licensing authority in the future as well (we can only hope). The best explanation of the program is to quote Gamstop itself:
“GAMSTOP lets you put controls in place to help restrict your online gambling activities.
Sign up for the service and you will be prevented from using gambling websites and apps run by companies licensed in Great Britain, for a period of your choosing.
GAMSTOP is a free service for users. GAMSTOP is available for consumers resident within the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) only.”
UK Casinos not on Gamstop
As we have said, there are still a handful of UK casinos not registered to Gamstop but this is going to change in the very near future with all UKGC licensed casinos required to be signed up top Gamstop (I think the last few are in the process of being registered as we speak). Of course there will still be some non UKGC licensed casinos not using Gamstop but which accept UK players but these will be very few and far between so it may be worth self excluding yourself from these individually as well, there are not many and are Rival / RTG / Betsoft / USA Casinos so worthwhile to make sure you close all options.
Please check the Gamstop website regularly for updates, at the time of publication the following is the current state of play:
“Welcome to the first phase of UK’s national online self-exclusion scheme.
GAMSTOP currently includes a large number of online gambling websites, but not all. In due course, all online gambling websites will be required to join by the Gambling Commission.
Until then you can register early with GAMSTOP, which will exclude you from the gambling websites that have signed up already.
Coverage will increase as more online gambling firms join the scheme, without you having to reregister with GAMSTOP. A list of participating gambling companies is in the footer of the site. If you gamble online with a company that is not listed and want to be excluded from the site, then you will need to contact them directly.
We welcome your feedback about your experiences using GAMSTOP.”
There is a list of all active participation betting sites, and gambling sites and casinos covered by Gamstop on their website but if you are a problem gambler we would advise you assume that ALL sites are registered with Gamstop and self exclude yourself for the maximum time period allowed (5 years).
Please do read through their website so that you understand the implications and the steps you must follow.
Casinos not on Gamstop self exclusion and Gamstop registered sites
The UK has a new online casino and gambling sites self exclusion system called GAMSTOP. Not every online casino is registered to this program and so there are still a good number of non Gamstop sites out there which accept UK players. If you are reading this page then it is possible that you are yourself or you know somebody who is a problem gambler. All UK players who feel they are having troubles with gambling addiction should definitely consider self excluding via Gamstop. For sites not covered by Gamstop it may be worth installing Gamban or self excluding manually to sites not registered with Gamstop.
You should also consider manually self excluding from casinos and gambling sites not registered with Gamstop.
Casinos not on Gamstop
There are plenty of websites not on Gamstop which accept UK players, you will need to self exclude yourself manually from each one.
Casinos signed up to Gamstop
All UKGC licensed casinos are now signed up to Gamstop.
Alternatives to GAMSTOP (and Gamstop options for non UK residents)
Some gambling regulators have their own self exclusion programs already (the Kahnawake authority in Canada springs to mind and in the Netherlands they are about to unveil the CRUKS casino exclusion system) however for the majority of problem gamblers the wait for Malta for example to implement their own scheme remains a troubling issue. There are some protections you can put into place yourself.
Gamban software aims to block online gambling sites from being reachable on your computer. The problem here though is that this software is not free and does not work 100% of the time. Then there is of course the issue that any hardcore gambler with a bit of computer knowledge can disable the software if they feel a great gambling urge.
Other online gambling protection software
The same issue arises with other software aiming to curb online gambling and there are a few other programs out there. These can help but are not nearly enough protection.
Land based gambling and land casinos
Whilst using Gamstop will help you control or even stop your online casino visits, land based gambling in bookies or bricks and mortar casinos requires you to register to the land based exclusion service separately. For those not in the United Kingdom once again most countries do not have a country wide system (I believe Belgium does have but I could be wrong). So aside from physically visiting your local casinos and bookies and requesting self exclusion there is not much that can stop you barring yourself.
Seek advice from your GP (Doctor) and / or get in touch with Gamblers Anonymous
Workarounds to help you stop gambling are great and you should take advantage of any such system that exists in your country. But you really should consider tackling the gambling monster inside yourself once and for all. Please take steps to get advice and a local councelling center from your doctor or get in touch with Gamblers Anonymous or similar organisation near you. You will never be more than a short drive away from a meeting or center so do take all steps necessary to get the help you need to stop gambling.
Editors Note: GamStop is of course not to be confused with GameStop which is of course a web shop for pc and console video gaming. GameStop has nothing to do with online casinos or online gambling.