Hi all, I’m Tom Ambrose based in Liverpool, UK. I graduated from University College London in 2002. Afterwards I got my PhD in economics. I have a high score on my comprehensive examinations in econometrics and microeconomics. I was working in my job for a couple of years, simultaneously playing poker. Tournaments gave me more pleasure than work, I was good at it. I decided to switch to gambling at some point. On this site I provide useful content that deals with card games, slots and other fun stuff. If you want to contact me, just go to the contact me section. I will be happy to answer you and solve any problem.
Why did I choose online gambling as my profession?
Apart from my economic career, I’ve always been a poker fan. For more than 5 years I played online poker and participated in tournaments. To save some money, I decided to join the Gamstop scheme for a while. After a period of self-exclusion, UKGC licensed casinos refused to activate my account on the grounds that I was a ‘problem’ player. Although this is not true. Gamstop replied that they had lifted the blocking on their end. The circle has closed. So I decided to help players who faced a similar problem.
I started to study gambling, its advantages, disadvantages, peculiarities of online gambling in the UK, the latest changes in the law on gambling. This was the first step towards a new profession.
The updated Gambling Act 2005 had a major impact on the online gambling industry in the country:
- Only licensed betting shops and gambling operators can operate in the UK.
- The online gambling market has become more active, with an influx of players due to the relaxation of gambling restrictions.
- The UKGC has started to control all forms of lotteries, gambling, bingo and poker.
Online slots and other forms of entertainment were singled out in the law as there was a significant growth in players in this area. The Gambling Commission began issuing licences to British online casinos, betting shops and controlling their operations.
I chose this profession because I was interested in telling people how to play slots properly in online casinos. I enjoy learning the intricacies of each game, due to my tendency to dive into the subject all the way through. It’s also just plain interesting, online gambling is something different to what my friends do. It’s more fun to explore a new casino, a fresh slot, than to do economic calculations at a past job. Only those who love gambling as much as I do can understand that.
What are your thoughts on strict restrictions by the UKGC?
The aim of the Gambling Commission is to prevent all gambling offences from occurring in the UK. But licensing for gambling sites has another side to it. The fact is that many players in our country opt for the Gamstop self-exclusion program, wait for their time limit, and then – their account remains on the registry, there is nothing they can do. Others don’t want to wait, looking for entertainment on international online casino sites.
What rules in the new UKGC law do you think are unnecessary?
The UKGC’s new restrictions on online gambling have touched on how to pay a deposit. It is forbidden to use credit cards to make deposits. I think this is not a well thought out decision which pushes our players to look for foreign gambling sites. It would be easier to put certain limits on card gambling rather than ban such a service altogether. Many credit card users approach slots responsibly.
Your opinion on the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme?
A great way to close off access to gambling in the UK. It’s handy for addicted people who want to fight their problem. But other players who get there on emotion, because of third parties, suffer for it. They have to wait a certain amount of time until the blocking is over. Others simply do not know the rules, believing that they can always regain access, get everything back. And they are greatly disappointed. This forces them to search for alternative casino sites, of which there are many on the Internet.
Do you have any favourite casino games?
Yes, I love poker. It’s a long-standing passion of mine. But my job requires me to explore other areas as well. These are themed slots, classic fruit machines, games with progressive jackpots, baccarat, blackjack, different variants of card games with a live dealer. Blackjack is the most lucrative of all, with a casino advantage of just 1% at most UK gaming sites. That said, blackjack is only played against the dealer and not against champion poker players.
What is your advice to UK online casino players?
Never let your inexperience, ignorance of the rules of the game affect your gambling experience. Getting a win, losing a deposit is part of the gameplay. But pay attention to the RTP of the slot, it is the final indicator of choice. Separately, spend time studying the rules, guidelines, other information relating to the game – the process of paying a deposit, the availability of a bonus, wagering requirements. If you doubt yourself, run a demo version of the slot machine.