The Emergence of UK Online Casinos
When looking for the best UK online casinos, a great place to start is with finding sites that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and that have a wide array of casino games including video slots and table games such as online blackjack, roulette, and video poker.
Pay special attention to the bonus offers at UK online casinos so you can make sure you get your hands on a good deal.
Be it a casino tournament, special offers and promotions or jackpots, you should make sure that the British casino you sign up to is reputable, safe and most importantly, trusted.
There are considerable benefits to take on-board in regard to player loyalty and bonus opportunities.
Some casinos even have wildly extensive VIP programmes; which in most cases results in awesome goodwill bonuses and priority support.
Our job is to stay on top of the latest and greatest news about all new British casinos, what bonuses are available from whom, and why you should or shouldn’t choose a UK-based site on our stringent criteria.
We have been comparing and evaluating UK casinos for years and always make sure to give a critical and revealing review that players can trust. Being avid casino players ourselves, we see and know exactly what the player wants and always love to stay on top of the latest casino trends and bonus news!
There might be some confusion among new players when looking for a proper British casino. What actually is a legitimate UK Casino anyway?
Yes, the casino might have a website with legible English, it might even be flying a British Flag and have “God Save The Queen” playing in the background – but these things don’t make a lick of difference.
What matters is that they hold a UK license from the UKGC.
The UK License is the creme de la crop of gambling regulations and guarantees you a top level of service as well as legal protection.
Which Are The Best UK Casinos?
So, you are a keen UK gamer and you want to start having a spin in casinos.
You may have tried other casinos in other markets, but you’re starting to grow confident in your knowledge that British casinos are some of the best around, and that they come with some of the best legal protections for players.
The question you need answering is: which are the best casinos in the UK?
Well, the answer is simple. The best casinos are the ones that we’ll feature on our list, you can be assured of that.
We’ll always have the best casinos on this page, so if you’re worried about having to scour through all the different sites, worry no more. Our quality NetEnt UK casinos page will always have the best for you.
How do we go about picking which ones are the best? How do these casinos end up on our UK casinos page?
Well, we look out for several traits that push these casinos to the top of the charts.
Most of the casinos on this page have all, or nigh on all, of these traits:
- Competitive welcome bonus
- High-quality games (especially from NetEnt)
- A significant number of games
- Full customer support services
If a UK site is doing these things well, then we’ll know about it – nothing gets past us. We’ll do an in-depth review of the casino, report back the findings to you (which you can read on our reviews page), and then we’ll place them in our ranking.
The Benefits Of Gambling Exclusively At Regulated UK Casinos
If the casino you’re interested in is a UK casino, then it will have a UK Gambling Commission licence. This licence is the golden ticket to operating a casino within the UK.
Pre- 2014, casinos weren’t required to get a UKGC licence in order to operate, they were merely optional.
However, since 2014, the UKGC have insisted that all sites wishing to operate within the UK must have a licence.
This licence is what separates the best from all of the rest, it is what keep you and your money safe, and it is what ensures that all of the casinos pay their fair share in tax revenue (in order to support vital national services like the NHS).
Can I Legally Gamble At Any British Casino?
You can legally gamble at any casino licensed by the UK as long as you are over the age of 18, are fully registered at the casino, and you are not excluded from gambling due to previous problem gambling issues.
The registration process at most of these casinos is pretty simple.
First you’ll need to get through a ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) process that involves you giving the casino personal information like date of birth, address, and more.
These then allow them to verify your identity, which ultimately is for one of the following three reasons:
- To protect children from gambling by ensuring no under 18 is able to register
- To protect problem gamblers by ensuring exclusion lists are enforced
- To protect players and the casino from fraudsters and other potential criminals
So, as long as you’re 18+, not a criminal, and not a problem gambler, then you’re completely able to play.
If you’re an underage criminal with a gambling problem – then British casino’s probably aren’t the best option for you.
Can I Trust UK Casino Payout Percentages?
When it comes to payout percentages at UK casinos, you can completely trust them. All RTP figures of games are available to players, and third-party companies do public and transparent audits of the casinos payout percentages.
Nearly all these casinos make this data readily available and easily locatable on their sites. If not, you’re able to request it from the live chat, where a customer service assistant will point you in the right direction.
How New UK Gambling Regulations Have Affected Casinos In 2019
In 2019 there may be a number of changes that come into effect because of UK gambling regulations. These changes are not yet fully confirmed, but there are a number of things in the pipeline, things that we think that our readers should look out for:
- Loot boxes in the UK market may come under greater security when they do there may be a shift in their legality.
- Betting on reality TV may change its status. Over the last number of years betting on the outcome of the X Factor has increased, and many are concerned with these ‘public dependent’ outcomes.
- Over the last few years there’s been a number of high-profile financial punishments, we could well see more of these if the UKGC keeps things going in a similar fashion.
- We have also seen changes to fixed-odds betting terminals on the high-street, with their maximum wagers cut to £2, and similar changes may creep into the online market.
Most changes, however, are contingent upon many factors, so development in parliament may progress, hinder, or stifle any of these changes.
Are All These Online Casinos Legitimate?
There are no illegitimate UK casinos, precisely because the UKGC would not allow them to operate. Maybe in the past, there were casinos which might have been on the verge of illegitimacy, but ever since the 2005 Gambling Act, there’s been an increase in scrutiny, meaning all sites with a UKGC license should bet trustworthy.
The UKGC are notably strict, and in the last few years, there have been a number of high-profile cases of casinos being handed hefty fines for not abiding by the rules. If the rules are not followed, then the UKGC do not tolerate it. As their power increases, there is essentially no more room for illegitimate behaviour – neither is it in a casino’s financial interest anymore.
What Makes The Best UK Online Casinos So Good?
We’re going to go over many of the different details of British casinos below, many of which make them incredibly good.
We’ve also just seen that the legal restrictions enforced upon casinos by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (mostly since 2014), ensure that players have some of the greatest legal protections in the world.
Aside from these legal protections, what you’ll want to know is what makes the best UK online casinos so good?
Well, it goes without saying that one of the things that makes the best UK casinos so good is that they host NetEnt slots, but everyone knows that – and if you don’t know that, you’re at the right site to find out all about the top-quality products that NetEnt and NetEnt Casinos have to offer.
What else? Well, these are incredibly safe and reliable when it comes to their payment systems. These are integrated into one of the most highly regulated banking systems across the globe, so players’ money will be protected.
UK sites also offer a lot of innovative products. Adventure casinos, gamification, tournaments and other creative features are prominent within the UK market.
UK license protections ensure that players are protected from irresponsible gambling advertisements, along with other untoward practices.
All casinos within the UK have a duty of care towards their customers, and nearly all of them follow this duty to the letter.
What Are The Best UK Casino Bonuses?
The recipe for the best UK casino bonus is not long, and neither is it complex. All the casinos have to do is get the right ingredients, in the right quantities, and voila, a top-quality bonus has been made.
What are the ingredients that go into such a tasty mix? What do the casinos do in order to make the best casino bonuses around?
Here are the ingredients:
- Low to no wagering requirements – this means you don’t have to keep wagering for a long time in order to get your hands on your winnings.
- High maximum bonus amounts – the higher the amount they can give you, the better your balance will look.
- High percentages on deposit bonuses – if they’re offering high percentages, especially over 100%, then you’re getting even more for your money.
- No restrictions on games you can play – if they’re not telling you which games you can play, then you’ve got free reign on where you want to use your bonus (or where you want to fulfill your playthrough requirements).
- The bonus should be cashable.
Mix all of this together, add an extra dash of fun, and then you’ve got one of the best UK casino bonuses on your hands.
You can check out the best casino bonuses over on our bonuses page.
UK Live Dealer Games
In the UK, live casino games are as popular as anywhere else in the world. This means if you chose to play at a UK site, then you’re going to have access to all of the top-quality live games on offer from NetEnt.
This is great news, because over the last few years NetEnt have really upped their live casino game. You’re now able to play them on your desktop, along with being able to play them on mobile devices like tablets.
The rules governing your interactions with the dealers, as you’ll probably already know, are quite strict all over the world. In the UK they’re like this too. However, this shouldn’t get in the way of you having fun.
When it comes to live casino games, or any game for that matter, you can read our breakdowns over on our reviews page. This should give you an idea of what’s on offer, and what you’d like to start playing at your new casino.
Choosing The Right Online Casino In The UK
You want to play at a casino, you want to have fun, and you want to relax at the end of the day. You don’t want to start a second job as a casino researcher, scouring the UK market for the best offers available, the most games, and whatever else you feel you may want. No, that’s not a job for you. That’s our job, and we’re pretty damn good at it, if we do say so ourselves.
We’ve made choosing the right online casino in the UK much easier than it has ever been. We’ve compiled tonnes of data, gone through many online records, and tried to present them to you in an easy and accessible manner. Now you don’t have to worry about anything other than making the choice between them, and we’ve given you all the key points to help you chose.
With that in mind, what should you be asking yourself when you look at our data? When you’re reading our reviews, what should you be considering?
- Does the casino have enough games to keep you interested, does it have enough variety to ensure that you don’t get bored after your welcome bonus is over.
- Do you want a massive welcome bonus with tonnes of money, a free spins bonus, and high wagering requirements, or you want something simple like a UK casino with no wagering requirements or no bonuses at all.
- Do you want a loyalty VIP tier scheme for long-term play rewards, or whether you want a simple point for cash exchange scheme.
- Ask yourself whether you want to be able to just play casino games, or whether you also want to be able to place bets on sports, play bingo, or take part in lotteries.
There are many other choice points, but these are some of the ones you should definitely keep in mind when reading your breakdowns. We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to.
Can I Play For Real Money At UK Casinos?
The answer is incredibly simple: yes, you can play for real money in UK casinos.
These casinos are like any other. They host good games (especially NetEnt ones), they give out good exclusive bonuses, and they want to make a profit. If they didn’t deal in real money, then they wouldn’t make a profit.
It is true, however, that certain promotions will offer you wins that can’t be cashed out straight away, or with the bonuses aren’t cashable themselves (see our welcome bonuses page), but ultimately this all still ends with real money.
Which Are The Best UK Welcome Bonuses?
The differences between British bonuses can be quite varied, and this is only a good thing. The increase in the number of casinos operating in the UK since 2014 has really driven competitiveness, which has, in turn, driven innovation of bonuses. UK casinos now offer lots of different packages and perks to new players, and if they include no deposit bonuses, then they’re completely risk-free (read more about no deposit bonuses over on our dedicated page).
Variety aside, the best casino welcome bonuses will have the same things in common:
- Low wagering requirements
- High bonus amount
- Few restrictions
If this trifecta of features is present in a bonus, then you know for sure it is going to be good. Wagering requirements are almost unavoidable, so the lower the better. Couple this with a high bonus amount, then you’re getting more for less. Finally, if the bonus comes with no restrictions, then you’ve almost got free money.
No deposit bonuses usually have higher wagering requirements and smaller amounts of cash, as compared to first-deposit bonuses. So, when picking between the two, compare them well and you’ll be in for a win. Our list will always feature both, so you’ll be able to find what you need here.
Can I Play Any Casino Game With UK Casinos?
Many sites these days flaunt the number of games that they have available and why not right? We like casinos because we like games!
However, there may be certain restrictions that get in the way when it comes to which games can be available.
In principle, you should be able to play any game on these casino sites, but it depends upon these restrictions.
One of the first things that would get in the way of all types of games being available on a casino site is the type of licence the casino has.
There are six different types of licence available for British casinos, each for different types of games (see our licences page). If a casino does not have a bingo operating licence, then their site will not feature bingo. If it does not have a lottery operating licence, then it won’t have lotteries.
Another thing which may get in the way of certain games being featured is that not all games providers are equally good.
UK licencing law is strict, and if the game designers don’t program games to the required standard (e.g. making their RTPs and workings transparent), then they won’t be featured on casino sites.
Luckily there are not many dodgy designers around anymore, and all NetEnt titles are available at UK sites (so no need to worry).
What Are The Best New Casinos For UK Players
When it comes to telling you which are the best new online casinos in the UK, we basically select the top casinos that we add to our site that’s consistent with UK standards – has a UKGC license, good quality games and customer support.
We also like to keep a look out for special features to elevate the best from the rest.
For example, some of the features that we keep an eye out for are:
- Lots of NetEnt games
- Lots of different types of games
- Quick withdrawal times
- Quality customer support services
- Interesting and well-executed site concepts
- Generous welcome package
- Low wagering requirements on their bonuses
- Regular tournaments
All of these things will make UK casinos the best, and you can read more about them over on our reviews page.
Get Fast Access To The Top UK Mobile Online Casinos
The United Kingdom is one of the largest mobile phone markets in the world, we are up there with the top spenders on our monthly phone bills. We’ve also recently gone through the tablet revolution, which means now every man and his dog has a tablet in their homes.
UK casinos have not let this trend pass them by, and they’re fully aware that there’s a committed mobile gaming market that they can enjoy a piece of. Because of this, most Brit casinos will now offer mobile sites or dedicated apps.
A mobile optimised site is exactly what it sounds like. It is a version of the normal casinos’ site, but it has been programmed in such a way that it works exceptionally well on the smaller touchscreens of phones and tablets.
Along with adapting the required processing power for rendering site pages etc. Nearly all casinos worth their salt have mobile optimised sites, and it really isn’t worth you playing at one that doesn’t
Dedicated mobile casinos is a much rarer feature, but many of the ‘high street’ brand casinos have them – we’re thinking of casinos like William Hill, Betfred, and Ladbrokes.
Mobile apps provide a more polished online gaming experience, building in even more optimisation and mobile-dedicated features. Mobile apps must be installed on your device, and this means that all your details can be saved there. Payments are also usually much easier.
British casinos are certainly leading the way with mobile apps, which you can read more about over on our casino mobile gaming page.
Can I Get No Deposit Bonuses In The UK?
No deposit bonuses are as much a feature of UK casinos as they are a feature of casinos anywhere in the world.
In fact, with the popularity of online gambling in the UK market, and the number of different casinos operating within that market, many casinos have to do things to set themselves apart.
Thanks to this, you’re probably more likely to get no deposit casino bonuses in a market like the UK’s as compared to some others.
In addition to this, there are a good number of casinos within the UK that are starting to abandon their wagering requirements. Wagering requirements ensure that you have to keep playing at the casino once you’ve been given your bonus, some casinos have stopped doing this, and your bonuses come without them – here we’re thinking of casinos like PlayOJO.
So, not only can you get no deposit casinos in the UK, but you can also get no wagering requirements bonuses!
Get the £20 Free No Deposit Bonus
A £20 no deposit bonus offers you greater opportunity to test out multiple online casino games before you deposit. The more games that you try out, the more likely you are to find one that you like. So, if these bonus funds run out before you hit a sizeable win, you’ll be more likely to deposit your own money if you’ve already found the perfect video slot or table game. Check our best £20 free no deposit bonuses and choose whatever fits your needs.
Can I Also Bet On Sports, Bingo and Poker In The UK?
As we explained above, there are six different licence types available from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. These different licences allow the casinos who hold them to offer different types of gambling, not just video slots or a sportsbook.
The UK Gambling Commission currently offer:
- Bingo licence
- Casino licence
- General betting licence
- Pool betting licence
- Lottery operating licence
- Betting intermediary operating licence
You can read more about these types of licences on our UKGC licence page, however, for the purposes of this tutorial, this means that in UK casinos you can have sports, bingo, and poker betting.
Any casino that has sports or bingo will need the right licence, and once they do, they can have as many of these types as they want.
In fact, some of the largest casinos offer all of these things to their customers. Again, here we’re thinking of the large high-street casino brands that offer sports, poker, casino, bingo, live casinos and even more.
Can I Play Casino Games For Free In The UK?
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but unfortunately, UK players can’t play casino game demos because of restrictions in the British market.
Which Are The Best UK Game Developers?
Not all game developers are on the same level, some of them produce higher-quality games, and some make their processes more transparent for their customers. Those which do both of these are most likely licenced by the UKGC with a Remote Gambling Software License.
Any developer that wants their games to be played within the UK market must have a Remote Gambling Software License. This ensures that, amongst other things, the games must:
- Present clearly the chances of winning, along with the rules of the game
- Financial limits must be put on the games to stop problem gambling
- All outcomes must be randomly generated
- All transactions must be displayed, clearly, and non-misleadingly
Once a casino has these, then they can operate in the UK.
Obviously, everyone’s favourite develoepr NetEnt have a UK Remote Gambling Software License. So, realistically, you don’t need to look anywhere else for the best UK game developers.
That being said, there are plenty of other UK game developers out there, and you can find the casinos which host them over on our casinos reviews pages. If you’re interested in the NetEnt games that are in the UK market, check out our game reviews too.
Making an Online Casino Deposit in the UK
Last but not least, let’s have a look at how you go about making deposits at UK casinos. This process is relatively simple once you have signed up to a casino.
You first need to supply personal details, input your card details, and verify your payment method (along with other cross-verification processes). Once this is done, you’ll be able to make as many legitimate deposits as you want.
The keyword here is ‘legitimate’ as not all payment methods will be accepted by casinos. The reason for this is whether or not the UKGC considers them to be a reputable, well regulated, and safe payment method. If they don’t, if it’s a bit of a dodgy e-wallet, then it won’t be listed as a method.
In addition to making deposits, there’s also the question of making withdrawals at British Casinos.
The UKGC requires all casinos to enforce ‘closed-loop’ policies to stop money laundering.
Closed-loop policies require players to at least withdraw the same amount of money from the card (or payment method) they used to make the deposit initially.
For example, if you deposit £100 via card-1, win £300, then must withdraw at least £100 of your total balance via card-1 again.
This ‘closes the loop’, stopping money moving between accounts and being laundered.