What are the Best Online Casino Sites Available to UK Players?
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How to Find the Best Online Casino Sites in the UK?
Looking for the best online casino sites in the United Kingdom? It can be dizzying keeping up with all the new site launches and new promotions. New casino sites constantly appear with innovative and lucrative offers, and the more established players in the industry respond with their own new bonuses in an attempt to keep up. The landscape is always changing, with online casinos constantly trying to one-up each other and get new gamers through the door. If you know where to look, you can take advantage of this "bonus war" in the online gaming scene.
Are you looking for the games with the hottest action? The most favourable welcome bonuses? The best and most recent mobile apps? Customer service that will never let you down? The richest in ongoing rewards for high rollers and VIP players? That's what we're here for. Let our research guide you to:
- The biggest welcome and deposit bonuses with the most player-friendly terms
- The best loyalty and VIP programs that reward you richly for your continued play
- Robust game selections with fun graphics, varied themes, and engaging bonus modes
- The best possible "return to player" (RTP) percentages
How Our Site Works
You don't have to waste your time scouring the internet comparing bonus terms and game lineups. Let us do the hard work for you. We have a staff of industry experts who perform a hands-on test of all the best gaming sites out there. We only refer you to fair and reputable sites; they have to meet the industry-leading standards of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the world's top regulatory agency when it comes to online gaming.
We start with casinos that run fair games, address complaints from players properly and keep your money and personal information secure. We then filter down to the ones that also have excellent games, exciting promotions, lucrative bonuses and a great interface. You won't waste a bit of your bankroll on sites that don't offer good games, good terms or respect for the player's ongoing business if you sign up at our recommended sites.
Our High Standards for Online Casino Reviews
We're not here to waste your time. We want to guide you to the best casino games as quickly as possible.
What set us on this path? Our team is not only experienced with the casino industry, we're aficionados of it as well. Our interest in the best places to play combined with our in-depth experience is our competitive advantage. We don't rely on casino marketing, word-of-mouth and other websites to provide you with our casino reviews. Our knowledge and experience plus our network of industry insiders help us to quickly and accurately determine where the best places to play are.
This isn't just a job for our team. Our professional reviewers would likely be checking out all of these sites anyway just out of their own personal interest. We bring that personal touch and long gaming industry experience to bear in our reviews. When we recommend a site, you can be sure that gamblers like you have given it a thorough once-over and found it to be worth your wager.
In addition to checking a casino's license, we have our own series of tests and industry connections that we make use of to verify that any property we list is indeed a fair and above-board operation. Once a casino has cleared all of our high bars for security standards, you can rest assured you'll get fair treatment and that your money will be safe.
Online Casino Licensing: Your Safety and Security is Paramount
UK players are in a very good place. We get to enjoy permissive gambling laws paired with some of the world's best regulation. The UKGC ensures that online casinos are handling your money and personal data properly, staying honest in their marketing and running fair games. The UKGC also requires that its approved casinos provide some sort of legitimate intermediary service in the case of a dispute.
That's why we hold the UKGC's license in such high regard. Only online casinos that meet its rigorous standards are allowed to advertise to UK residents. This is one of the toughest licenses to obtain in the gaming industry as a whole. Applicants must have all of their terms and rules reviewed, detail all of the software that they use, and provide previous bank statements and profit/loss projections for three years out. And that's just for starters! They are also required to file annual reports that keep all of this information up to date and are subject to periodic spot inspections.
As mentioned, we like to perform our own checks as well, but the UKGC is a great screening tool to clear out nearly all of the most dodgy operators right away.
Finding the Best Bonuses
We check out the full range of special bonus offers that each casino makes available, from the standard "welcome bonuses" to the special gifts that loyal players receive. While we love to see a good initial deposit or "no deposit" bonus, we check out everything that a casino offers to make sure that they have something besides that one first gift to get you hooked.
What kind of bonuses and promotions should you expect from the best online casinos? Loyal players should regularly be getting things like free spins at the slot machines, entries into all sorts of tournaments, free play bonuses for topping up your account, and even real-world perks (like free trips) from online casinos that are affiliated with a brick-and-mortar property.
We'll always research bonus terms and conditions carefully and present them to you clearly. That way you can make an informed decision about whether to partake of each bonus or not. Most online casinos now have a "forfeit" button, or you can contact customer service to have them remove the bonus funds from your account. This allows you to cash out normally any time you want to.
How We Evaluate Games
With about 70 serious casino software providers in the market, each with hundreds of their own games, there is a lot to cover.
In our travels through the online gaming space we have become deeply familiar with each of the major software providers and their offerings. We can tell you who offers the best bonuses, pay tables and features.
We also have a keen eye for game lineups, even when they reach into the thousands of titles. It's important to remember that sheer quantity alone does not make for a good casino. Some of our favourite online properties have as little as 100 or so games, but they've chosen those games extremely carefully.
Our team usually gives the newest games on the market a spin as soon as they come out, and uses their industry expertise to evaluate how fun and how profitable they are. We also take note of the overall interface - for example, is it smooth and convenient to move between games? We evaluate the entire package of games and interface together and provide you with a thorough but easy to understand summary.
Sizing Up the Software and Graphics
Modern online casinos need to offer a range of play options to keep up with all of the devices people want to use. It used to be that you had to download and install software on a computer or laptop to get access to casino sites. That's still often the best way to do it, but casinos have also made a push to accommodate people on mobile devices with apps and in-browser play that doesn't require a download.
Of course, different software can mean different versions of the same casino. Some versions may be more limited in their game and feature selection than others. That's why it's important for a casino reviewer to test all of the available versions and report on the differences.
Whatever device you're playing on, we have you covered. We'll let you know about any differences between versions and what games you can expect to encounter on each, as well as any technical difficulties that might crop up. We always consider the end user's typical needs for each version; for example, mobile users most often want something fast and functional, while desktop players usually want the nicest graphics and the fanciest bells and whistles possible.
Evaluating Deposits and Withdrawals
Without money in your account, you can't play, and if you can't get money out of your account there isn't much point to playing!
That's why speedy deposits and withdrawals are so important. After all, a major jackpot win doesn't become real for you until it hits your payment account.
We check each of our listed casinos to make sure that they offer a good range of payment options and that their deposit and withdrawal times are reasonable. We also take note of the security in place along the way and the verification process when withdrawing your funds, comparing them to industry best practices and reporting the results to you. We do this with our own funds and without notifying the casino that they are being reviewed so that there is no bias involved.
One final aspect that we review is the player fund protection policy. To put it in a nutshell, online casinos are required by the UKGC to keep player deposits and winnings in a separate and distinct account from their money used for business operations. That way, should the casino go out of business, players will get their money back. We verify that no dodgy accounting is going on that could put your funds in danger.
Making Sure Mobile Devices Are Covered
Modern technology is truly a wonderful thing. You can play just about all of your favourite slots and table games anywhere using a smartphone or tablet. Some casinos provide apps for Android and iOS, some let you use your device's web browser to play games directly, and some offer both options.
As we briefly touched on before, however, mobile app and "no download" browser casinos may not have the same lineup of games or features that the "big brother" computer version does. That's why we check out each and every platform a casino runs on to not only look over their game lineup, but also to make sure the interface functions well and makes sense.
When it comes to browser-based no download casinos, we also check out the scripting language they use. The industry is moving toward HTML5 as a standard, but not all web browsers fully support it yet, and many casinos still have a mix of games running on Flash and sometimes even Java. If there are potential compatibility issues we'll let you know about them.
Worthy VIP & Loyalty programs
With hundreds of options available (and growing), online casinos have to offer aggressive and worthwhile loyalty programs to keep players from wandering off to another property. Benefits of these programs generally include better bonuses for deposits, larger deposit and withdrawal limits, regular gifts of free play or free spins, and faster withdrawals. Some programs even give you real-world prizes or trips to resort destinations.
You don't always know exactly what you'll get from each loyalty program right away. They often list the main benefits on the site, but there are added gifts and perks that loyal players can expect that you don’t really get a feel for until you’ve been with the casino for a while. We help to clue you in to these “hidden benefits” from our own experiences with each site and from what we hear from our industry contacts.
Our reviews make loyalty program terms clear for you and let you know what you're going to get and when. This allows you to make a more informed decision about where to concentrate your play. This is especially important for VIP players and high rollers, for whom the best benefits and perks of all are reserved. With our reviews you'll know exactly what benefits you can expect from a property based on your usual level of play.
Testing Customer Service
Ideally, you never once have to get in touch with customer service at a casino. Your bonuses work the way you expect them to, every deposit goes smoothly, and every withdrawal is processed in a timely manner.
That's the type of experience we look for when rating the best casinos available to UK players. However, it's important to understand that mishaps are possible in an all-digital world. Will the casino have your back if something doesn't go as it should?
This is why we test out each casino's customer service department. We list each casino's available methods of contact, and we try each one out to see how fast they respond and how helpful and knowledgeable they are. Only casinos that have a sharp customer service staff make our list of the best places to play.
Who Makes it To the Top?
We aren't dazzled by flashy promotional numbers or casinos that are all image and no substance. We know where the value is in online gaming and our mission is to share it with you.
The casinos that we recommend as the top of the heap are those that do everything very well. It's not enough for them to just get second upper marks across the board. They need to be first class in at least one or two specialty areas. For example, they might have particularly great loyalty program benefits, or a unique selection of games. Our reviews make it clear what a casino's area of specialty is and what you should look for to get the most enjoyment out of it.
You don't have to waste time and money jumping through the deposit and withdrawal hoops of scores of different casinos. We've done all the legwork for you.
The best UK online casinos can be hard to find. Which are safe? Which have good bonuses? Which have the best games? We've done the work for you; just check our shortlist!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best UK Online Casino Sites
We've addressed some of the most common questions that UK players have in this section. Have a look, and when you're ready the best casino sites in the UK are waiting for you!
How are online casino accounts funded?
When you create an account with an online casino, you'll be asked for some personal documentation to establish your identity (such as a driving licence and something like a utility bill to establish your place of residence). You can then attach a variety of financing options in your name to the casino account for quick and easy deposits and withdrawals
Regular options that casinos offer can be broken into four groups: bank or wire transfers, cheques, credit cards or e-wallet services. One of the big advantages of online gambling is the ability to use a credit card for both deposits and withdrawals, something you don't see offered at brick-and-mortar establishments!
What is an e-wallet service?
An e-wallet service is an online intermediary that helps to simplify web-based transactions (like depositing and withdrawing from online casinos). PayPal is probably the most famous example. E-wallets are good for online casino players because the deposit and withdrawal times are usually among the fastest. Some (such as PayPal) have features that allow you to fund your account directly through the casino while in the middle of a game.
Casinos sometimes offer special bonuses for using certain e-wallet services for deposits, but some deposit bonuses are also void if you use a particular service. We take careful note of these requirements and let you know about them in our reviews.
Is this all as safe as an offline casino or betting shop?
You can rest assured that the casinos we recommend are equally (or even more) safe as your neighbourhood big-name betting shop. The reason we focus on UK sites and players is that the UKGC regulates online casinos just as well as the offline properties in their jurisdiction. That regulation provides a strong foundation of trust, but we go the extra mile in researching each casino's policies and background and hearing what players have to say about them.
What are these "welcome bonuses" I always see at online casinos?
Online casinos court new players with a particularly big bonus attached to their very first deposit. This is often 100% (sometimes more) of the deposit amount matched in free play or even in cash.
What's the catch? Well, it's true that it isn't entirely free money. There is nearly always a "wagering requirement" attached. This means that you have to play through the bonus amount some amount of times before winnings can be withdrawn to your account. Fortunately, because competition for new players is fierce, welcome bonus terms in the UK are often competitive and favourable to the player.
At dodgier casinos, the wagering requirement can be so high that it is impossible to play through it and come out the other side with a positive gain. Other casinos may restrict the bonus to only a tiny handful of unfavourable games. As part of our review process, we carefully review the terms of welcome bonuses and recommend only those that are fair to the player. And if a welcome bonus is unusually lucrative, we'll make a special note of it.
How do table games like roulette and blackjack work at online casinos?
You can divide these up into two basic types: standard video table games, and live dealer games.
The standard video games are usually played by yourself against a computer dealer. This allows for fast action and no pressure to know the arcane rules or lingo of the game right away. Everything is handled through a smooth and simple button interface, usually with a "help" feature to explain anything you don't understand.
The "live dealer" games have an actual dealer streamed to you on video in real-time. You get the same easy button interface to interact with the game and place your bets, but there is also a text chat option to ask the dealer questions or just converse with them.
The one exception to all this among table games is poker. It's often handled through a separate site or app that is just for poker. Table poker is played like a video game but with actual players sitting in at the table. When the site or app is separate, it usually gives you extra bonuses and benefits that are also separate from the main casino.
Are my favourite offline slots available online as well?
In a great many cases, they are! Noting the popularity of online gambling, many of the major slots manufacturers release their games to the web as well as brick-and-mortar casinos. Many of these games have the same features that you would find in a live casino, for example massive progressive jackpots linked between games at different properties. If you've been playing a favourite or two at the local casinos, it's very likely you can find it offered online somewhere.