The UK boasts one of the most successful legalised and regulated online gambling industries in the world today. This great news for you if you're a UK online casino fan, because it means you have a wide and varied selection of licensed, reputable and lucrative online casinos to choose from. The key, of course, is to seek out and play on the UK's premier online casinos, which can be harder than it seems.
To the untrained eye, one UK casino can look like the next, but in reality, they may be worlds apart in terms of the size and quality of their payouts, games, bonuses promotions, payment methods, jackpots, customer care facilities and much more. This is why our team of top UK online casino reviewers have scoured the internet high and low to bring you the absolute 'cream of the crop' of GBP online casinos.
Our #1 ranked online casino for UK players
for February 2017 is:
64 UK Online Casinos
How to Choose the Best UK Online Casinos
There is only one way to differentiate average UK online casinos from those above average: to sign up with each and every one, make a deposit and play a good cross-section of their games, as well as test their customer service and other features and facilities they offer. Only then can you get a good idea of what an online casino is all about, and whether it is worth playing on, or not. To save you the time and hassle of painstakingly trying a slew of online UK casinos, we have done it for you by assessing hundreds of UK casinos using the tried and trusted criteria below, leaving only the best UK online casinos for your online entertainment:
- Tested and Verified: Each and every UK casino featured on this website has been thoroughly tested and verified by our team of independent site reviewers
- Licensed Casinos: The most popular UK online casinos are licensed and therefore regulated, while their games are regularly audited to certify they are fair and trustworthy
- GBP Accepted: The UK online casinos we recommend accept British Pounds (GBP), which means you can deposit, play with, and make withdrawals in UK Sterling.
- Secure and Safe: UK casinos online use cutting-edge encryption software designed to keep your online details and game play secure and safe as well as discreet at all times
- Quality Games: The best UK online casinos partner with the world's top online casino game developers which is why each offers such large and varied casino game portfolios
- Game Choice: You'll find the biggest choice of slots, video slots, video poker, roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat, keno, progressive jackpots and more at UK online casinos
- Sign Up Bonuses: Many of the world's most generous sign up and welcome bonuses are to be found at UK casinos online, which are a great way for you to boost your funds
- Regular Promotions: The majority of top UK casinos provide regular promotions.
- Banking Methods: So that you can fund your online casino accounts with speed, ease and efficiency, UK casinos accept a wide range of reputable and safe payment options
- Customer Service: If you need to make contact with a casino UK, you can do so day or night, 365 days of the year via 24/7-manned Live Chat, telephone and email facilities
Answers to Common UK Online Casino FAQs
Even though signing up with and playing at UK casinos online is straight forward, if you are new to the world of UK online gambling you have a question or two you'd like answered. Which is why we have included a selection of the most frequently asked questions on this topic, and answered them for your information and convenience:
Is Online Gambling Legal in the United Kingdom?
Yes. With the passing of the Gambling Act in 2005, online gambling was legalised and regulated in Great Britain, and from then until today is overseen and monitored by the UK Gambling Commission. Being legal means that any citizen of the UK over the age of 18 is free to gamble online as they see fit. As per UK law, online casino and gambling operators are required to have a UK gambling license if they intend to market to and sign up UK-based players.
What is an Online Casino Payout Percentage?
This is the percentage of combined player deposits that gets paid out as player winnings, and will fluctuate from UK online casino to casino. Most casinos have payout percentages around the 96% mark, which in this case means that of every GB Pound wagered, 95p is paid out in winnings while 5p is retained by the casino. Because payout percentages are averaged across all players, don't expect to win back 95% of your playing funds every time you play.
Do You Have to Download UK Casino Games?
No. Most premier UK online casino sites offer downloadable as well as instant play (browser-based) games for you to choose from. If you don't want to use up space on your PC or laptop hard drive by downloading games, you can opt for instant play Flash games, which take barely a minute to load and you can play quickly and easily on your respective internet browser. You can now play some of your favourite casino games on your smart phone or device.
Are Downloadable UK Casino Games Safe?
Yes. UK internet casinos ensure that their games are 100% safe and secure to download by using state-of-the-art encrypted online casino software. This software has been designed to use up as little space as possible on your hard drive, and to be stable and reliable so as not to impact your system. Further more, cutting edge casino SSL security features are designed to keep your computer, personal details and your financial data safe and secure at all times.
Can You Only Play Real Money UK Games?
No. Most premier UK online gaming sites offer play money games alongside real money games. You can use play money games to learn their rules, formulate a winning strategy or simply to get a feel of online casino games without risking any money. Once you've mastered a particular play money game, you can test your skills on its real money counterpart and see how quickly you can turn a play money chip stack into piles of real money that you can cash out.
When Should You Claim a Welcome Bonus?
To increase your playing funds. Welcome bonuses are a way for the world's premier online casinos to 'comp' you by giving you the chance to plump up your deposited funds with your initial deposit or deposits. To claim a welcome bonus, all you have to do is sign up at your chosen UK casino online, choose a payment method, make a deposit and claim your free bonus, which is usually percentage-based and looks something like this: 100% up to GBP1,000 free.
Types of UK Online Casinos
A large number of UK online casinos were developed by software companies in association with high street bookmakers who were looking to corner the online casino market in the UK. These are often regarded as the most reputable online gambling portals and demonstrate high levels of player security in a regulated environment.
Online casinos that welcome UK punters are powered by popular and well known platforms like Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt and IGT. They accept payments using popular methods that include PayPal, Neteller, credit cards and wire transfers.
Many UK facing casinos offer games specifically tailored to the UK market through branding deals (e.g. the "Deal or no Deal" game and various fruit machines that first became popular in pubs). Casinos with live online dealers are also very popular where the player can interact with the dealer over a game of blackjack that is dealt live and in real-time.
Available Bonus Types
Although UK casino bonuses do not differ that much from most other casino bonuses, you'll be amazed at the vast selection of bonuses and promotions available. Most UK online casinos offer matching bonuses for new players, but the rewards do not stop there as existing players too can benefit from generous reload bonuses, free play bonuses and even high roller bonuses. All of the free casino bonuses in UK casinos are designed to provide you with extra playing funds to help maximise your chances of winning.
No deposit: UK no deposit bonuses are a great way for you to get a feel for an online casino. The great thing about no deposit bonuses in that you don't have to use your own cash to play for real. Be aware though that terms and conditions apply to these bonuses, and that while it may seem like you've got loads of free money, you must meet many requirements before you can cash your winnings.
Match bonuses: Since competition is so fierce in the online gambling industry, almost every UK casino has its own match bonus for you to enjoy. Some are for 100% while others can be for as much as 500%.
Other bonuses: There are many other popular UK casino bonuses available. For instance, you'll encounter free spin bonuses, where you can enjoy number of free spins; free play bonuses, where you can play for free for an hour; and high roller bonuses, which are for players with big budgets. And don't forget about reload bonuses and refer a friend bonuses, both of which you can enjoy as an existing player at most UK online casinos.
Bonus Terms and Conditions
Every online casino in the UK has terms and conditions that apply to their various bonuses. It is important for you to read and understand these terms before taking part in any bonus offering. Most UK casino bonuses have certain wagering requirements where you have to wager a certain amount of money before you can withdraw any winnings. As such, understanding the conditions of a bonus will help you determine whether it is beneficial to you or not as well as how you can redeem the bonus. Some UK casino bonuses require you to submit a bonus code to redeem them.
History of UK Online Gambling
Online gambling in the UK was one of the first web-based gambling markets to really take off and while the US where trying their hardest to ban internet gambling, the UK were doing the complete opposite and finding ways to implement necessary legislation to provide a fully regulated online industry.
Many high street bookmakers began developing their product for the web along with several independent offshore operators and because at one point there was no particular framework for operators to conduct their business from within the UK, many businesses operated from these offshore locations.
Some of these offshore jurisdictions include Malta and Gibraltar but those operators based in one of these areas aimed their services towards the UK market.
The gambling bill that was introduced in 2003 permitted the use of online gambling using technology such as mobile phones, landline telephones, computers, televisions and other similar devices and since the regulation of online gambling, UK players can now choose from hundreds of different legal gambling portals.
This has all changed with the introduction of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act. All online casinos operating in the UK must have a gambling license issued in the UK by the UK Gambling Commission.
History of Online Casinos in the UK
As far back as the mid 90's UK based players could place a wager online and that's about as far back as the history of UK online casinos goes. This was before the UK Gambling Act was amended to include online casinos and at a time when the industry was largely unregulated. It was pretty much a free for all with any online casino in the world being able to market to UK punters.
By 2006 the United Kingdom became the first major country to formally regulate online casinos to bring the industry in line with their regulation of sport betting. Online casinos could acquire a UK license or choose to be licensed in approves jurisdictions like Malta or Gibraltar. UK players now had the opportunity to legally play casino games using the same account as they would use to bet on sports at their favorite bookie's website.
With formal regulation in place, players have access to formal channels when it comes to dispute resolution and problem gambling issues can be managed according to government standards.
Online casinos in the UK have evolved to become mainstream. Competition is fierce with advertising being allowed in the mainstream media.
Legality of Online Gambling in the UK
In the UK, providing people are over 18 they can sign up to an online gambling website and legally place a wager. Gambling online comes under 'remote gambling' of the new legislation and each online gambling operator must hold this particular license to provide such a service to their customers.
Even if the operator owns a non-remote gambling license (for their sports betting shop for example), this does not mean it covers their online services. They must also hold a separate remote gambling license.
To obtain a license, there are various strict regulation requirements that an operator must adhere to and then they must continue to follow a certain code of practice once they are licensed. It is the UK Gambling Commission that ensures players receive a fair service while in a secure online environment at each regulated website.
They also monitor underage gambling and constantly try to locate and prosecute operators involved in illegal activities, for example those operators who are not licensed, or scam operators.