There’s no doubt that gambling is a part of UK culture, with lotteries, bingo and sports betting enjoying steady popularity since the beginning of the 20th century. When the digital age hit, online casinos spread like wildfire and gambling became even more accessible. Currently, only casino operators licensed by the UK Gambling Commission are allowed to advertise and offer online gambling services to UK residents. This means that casinos must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission to accept UK players. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at online casinos in the country.
- 1 Is Online Gambling Legal in the UK?
- 2 Land-based Casinos in the UK
- 3 Top Online Casinos in the UK
- 4 How to Choose an Online Casino for UK Players
- 5 Types of Casino Bonuses
- 6 Online Casino Games for UK Players
- 7 Play for Free or Real Money?
- 8 Mobile Casinos in the UK
- 9 Online Casino Banking in the UK
- 10 Conclusion
- 11 FAQs for Online Casinos in the UK
Is Online Gambling Legal in the UK?
The gambling laws in the UK were put in place to regulate the industry and control illegal gambling, making it safer for players to make bets, whether online or offline. The laws also aim to protect children and vulnerable persons from the implications of gambling. All casinos are required, by law, to only allow players who are of legal gambling age, which is 18 years old in the country. That said, lotteries, some scratch cards and football pools have an age restriction of 16 years old. Casinos must also include a self-exclusion option to help curb gambling addiction.
The British parliament passed the Gambling Act of 2005 to address any concerns regarding online gambling, and this was when the UK Gambling Commission was formed. The Gambling Commission oversees all gambling licenses in the country and aims to provide the following:
- Prevent any crime and disorder associated with online gambling
- Ensure that all online gambling in a safe, secure, fair and transparent way
- Protect children and vulnerable persons from the harmful effects of gambling addictions and from being exploited in any way
While the rules and regulations of online gambling in the UK are strict, it enables gamblers to play in a safe and secure environment.
Land-based Casinos in the UK
The United Kingdom is home to many land-based casinos that can be considered among the best in the world. The gambling landscape in the UK is the most diverse in Europe, with over 100 casino and gambling venues spread throughout the country. With so many land-based casinos, here are some of what we consider the top gambling destinations in the country:
Aspers is one of the original land-based casinos in the country and is located in Westfield Stratford City. It is a sprawling location and the perfect place for relaxation and entertainment after a long day of shopping or sightseeing. Players are even afforded excellent views of West Ham FC’s London Stadium.
What makes this casino extra special is that it has the most slot machines and terminals than any other UK casino, complemented by various tables like roulette, blackjack, punto banco, poker and much more. The casino also features the bustling 888 poker room, a venue that regularly plays host to incredible poker tournaments and big-money competitions, attracting many professional players from around the world.
Aspers Casino MK
Aspers operates another major casino located in Milton Keynes. This massive casino complex is open 24/7 and features nearly 200 slot machines as well as popular games like roulette and blackjack as well as unique variants of the games. The casino also offers some exciting sports betting terminals in the bar area as well as the Slots Club, the VIP section for high rollers.
The Hippodrome Casino
The Hippodrome Casino is one of the most recognised gambling venues in the UK and is perfectly located in the famous Leicester Square in London. This world-renowned casino is famed for its colourful history as Lola’s underground casino, a popular hotspot for burlesque shows and live entertainment. These days, this vibey casino attracts visitors far and wide thanks to its excellent game variety and reputation.
Hippodrome offers plenty to keep players entertained, including 45 table games, a wide selection of slot machines and their PokerStars LIVE poker room, where plenty of exciting tournaments and big cash games take place.
Top Online Casinos in the UK
Like land-based casinos, UK players are spoilt for choice when it comes to online gaming. Many of the top online casinos on the internet accept UK players. From established online casinos to newer gaming websites, UK players have access to some of the best casinos in the business. Here are some of our recommendations for the top online casinos in the UK.
All British Casino
As the name suggests, All British Casino caters for the UK gambling market. Established in 2013, this user-friendly, modern and reliable site is a favourite among players in the country. Featuring a quintessentially British theme, the casino offers a wide range of gambling opportunities for free and real-money players. The lobby is diverse and is powered by some of the best software developers. Combine this with plenty of exciting bonuses and secure gaming experience, and it’s safe to say that All British Casino has everything you would want in an online casino, and more.
Casino.com is another leading gaming platform that has quite a fanbase in the UK. The casino has been in operation since 2008 and is owned and operated by Mansion Gaming, one of the biggest names in land-based and online gaming in the world. Casino.com offers quality gaming to UK players with a game library packed with online slots, video poker games, table games, live dealer games and more. In terms of safety, the casino boasts licenses from two of the leading jurisdictions in the world – the UK Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar Gaming Authority.
If you’re an experienced gambler, you will have come across 888 Casino at least once in your life. This popular brand has been in the game for over 20 years and continues to attract players thanks to a solid reputation in the industry and high-quality casino offerings. 888 is a household name in the online casino and poker industry and playing at this casino will guarantee a top-class experience for UK players. The casino has won numerous industry awards, including the honour of Best Casino Operator and Best Digital Operator.
How to Choose an Online Casino for UK Players
With so many online casinos available to UK players, it can get tricky trying to choose the best out of the lot. That’s why we’re here to help. We recommend only the best online casinos and gambling sites on the net. Our review process is very stringent and includes various factors. In fact, if the brand does not have the following, we do not feature them.
Safety, Security and Support
An online casino should provide players with safety, security and support. This is evident by the casino’s reputation in the industry, its licensing and use of the latest security measures and protocols. In terms of support, the casino should offer 24/7 customer support via live chat, email and telephone.
Bonuses and Promotions
To start, every platform should feature some type of welcome bonus for new players as well as ongoing promotions for registered players. This could be in the form of deposit bonuses, free spins, referral bonuses, reload bonuses, loyalty points, VIP scheme and more. These bonuses and promotions are designed to reward loyal players and attract new players, so it’s always a good sign for a casino to have a host of offers available.
Top online casinos in the UK should have a fully-stocked library of casino games to suit all needs. This should include all of the favourites like online slots, table games, video poker machines and live dealer games, as well as some additional categories like bingo, lotteries, scratch cards and more. Some online casinos focus on one type of game, for example, slots, but should also feature a decent selection of other games to appeal to a diverse audience. The library should also be powered by some of the biggest names in the industry like Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech and more. Games should also be available to play for free and for real money.
The casino should support a wide range of banking methods for UK players, including credit and debit cards, e-wallets, standard bank transfers and more. There should be a variety of options under each category, including some of the most widely-used methods like MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Neteller and more. There should be enough deposit and withdrawal methods to suit a wide range of players from the country as well as players from other countries. Make sure that the casino uses the latest SSL encryption technology for the complete protection of your personal information.
Customer support should be available 24/7 at your preferred online casino. Players should be able to get in touch with a support agent any time of the day or night via various popular methods, including live chat, email and telephone. There should also be an FAQ section covering all of the most important casino-related questions.
These days, no online casino worth its salt should operate without a mobile version of the site. Mobile gaming is really popular and accessible, making it an important addition to any gaming website. The mobile casino should provide smooth and seamless gaming on the move and fully optimised to support a variety of smartphones and tablets. The mobile site should be available instantly via your web browser or available to download as an app or both. Either way, gaming on your Android, Windows or iOS devices should offer the same high-quality experience as you would get from its desktop counterpart.
Types of Casino Bonuses
One of the biggest draw cards for players at online casinos is the array of bonuses and promotions on offer. Online casinos have a leg-up in terms of this as land-based casinos rarely offer bonuses to players other than free drinks and vouchers. Most casino operators are known for having rewarding bonuses available to new and existing players, starting with a rather generous welcome bonus.
This is a bonus offer to a new, first-time depositing player at the casino. It usually takes the form of a match deposit bonus, although it can be packaged in whatever way the casino operator sees fit. Basically, a welcome bonus is a bonus offered to a new player who just joined the site for the first time. Once you make your first deposit, you are eligible to claim the match bonus. For example, if you make an initial deposit of £20, you will receive a £20 match from the casino, boosting your bankroll to £40. In addition to cash, casinos can also offer free spins to use on some of the most popular slot machines available.
Sometimes, casinos offer a combination of the two. It is important to note these bonuses do come with wagering requirements that must be met before you can withdraw any winnings earned from the offer. Welcome bonuses are popular and available at almost every reputable gaming site you will come across. It is considered a red flag if an online casino does not offer some kind of welcome bonus.
No Deposit Bonus
A no deposit bonus is a bonus that does not require players to make an initial deposit. As such, these are extremely popular among players but not so much among casino operators. Not many online casinos offer this type of bonus, but they do occur at sites that really want to attract new players to the site or reward existing players. One caveat is that casino operators will then place a high wagering requirement on the bonus to protect themselves from losing too much money.
Some online casinos offer monthly or reload bonuses to registered players as a way to reward them for their loyalty and commitment. These bonuses are casino-dependent and will change based on how the website wants to reward its players. The size will also vary, as well as how regularly they are offered. These offers can also form part of the VIP program or any other ongoing promotions.
High Roller Bonus
High roller players are also taken care of at online casinos. High roller bonuses exist to reward players who make bigger deposits as a way to keep them at the casino. Many casinos don’t publicly offer these bonuses and will likely send big depositors an email to announce the offer.
Refer a Friend Bonus
This bonus is available to players who refer other players to the site. You will be rewarded in the form of free cash or free spins for every person you refer who signs up to the casino and makes the first deposit. These bonuses are usually smaller but are happily accepted by players as a ‘thank you’ from the casino for getting more players on board.
Free Spins Bonus
Free spins bonuses are some of the most common at online casinos. These can form part of a welcome bonus package for new players or as part of the casino’s ongoing or seasonal offerings. Free spins are rewarded for many reasons, including as part of a loyalty or VIP program, daily offers or even referral and reload bonuses. That said, free spins do come with terms and conditions.
For example, there are wagering requirements that must be met before you can claim any winnings earned from the bonus. There is also a time constraint, which means you only have a limited time to claim the free spins before they expire. Usually, free spins are also only available to use on specified slot games and not any game of your choice at an online casino. Despite these restrictions, earning free spins is always a great perk that many players appreciate and take advantage of.
Online Casino Games for UK Players
When it comes to gaming, UK players are spoilt for choice. Online casinos and land-based casinos alike feature a host of exciting games to suit all needs, from slot lovers to video poker enthusiasts and more. Here are some of the most popular casino games available at online casinos.
Slot machines have always been popular among casino players. From its early start at small game rooms to massive rows of machines at land-based casinos and even more online, slots attract players far and wide for many reasons. Slots are easy, based on luck and widely available at every casino, both online and offline. Software developers regularly create brand-new slot games to add to its already massive collection so you will often find the casino’s slots selection to be its largest.
These games have been developed to suit a wide range of tastes, budgets and preferences, from a different number of reels and paylines to exciting themes, features, bonus rounds and more. You will likely come across more than one slot machine to pique your interest at an online casino. Most online slots are available to play for free or real money and can be played on desktop and mobile devices.
Roulette has become even more popular thanks to the internet, with many people now having access to this exciting game. Online casinos offer a wealth of roulette versions to appeal to a broader market. Game developers have been eager to add new variations of online roulette to its line-up, and many players have enjoyed the selection of classic games and its modern counterparts. Some of the most popular variations include European Roulette, American Roulette and much more.
Also known as ‘21’, Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games and has continued with that reputation at online and mobile casinos. Like roulette and online slots, game providers are constantly coming up with new versions of the game to appeal to all players, including a newer, online generation. What makes online blackjack so popular among new and seasoned players is how exciting and easy it is, as well as the opportunity to enjoy plenty of rewarding returns, side bets and added features. If you’re looking for a more realistic experience, most live casinos will have at least one blackjack table to enjoy.
Video poker offers a perfect combination of poker games with slot machines, doubling up on the action and excitement from your desktop or mobile device. There are many versions of video poker available on the internet, ranging from Deuces Wild and Joker Poker to Aces and Faces and Jacks or Better. You name it; you will find an option at a leading online casino. Video poker offers a perfect combination of luck and skill, making it popular among new and experienced players alike. With some great winning opportunities and single and multi-hand versions available, UK players flock to the various video poker machines at online casinos.
Live Dealer Games
Live casinos have become a top option for online players looking for a truly immersive experience without ever having to leave home. Live casinos offer the authenticity of a casino floor with the convenience of gambling wherever you are in the world. Live dealer games are typically table or poker games, including all-time favourites like roulette, blackjack, casino hold’em poker, craps and baccarat, to name a few.
Play for Free or Real Money?
Whether you’re playing for free or for real money, there are some benefits to either option. Playing for free is ideal for those just looking for some fun, casual gaming without any pressure to bet any real money. It is also great for those wanting to practice a new game before risking your own cash. This allows you to refine your skills and strategy, although you won’t have access to all games available at the casino. You also won’t be able to win any money, claim any bonuses or participate in any promotions, special offers, rewards programs, competitions or tournaments.
Playing for real money, on the other hand, will open you up to all these options and more, although the difference is that you must deposit real money into your account. That said, playing for real money means you have a chance of winning big, including any progressive jackpots available at the casino. Our suggestion is to play for free and once you have a solid grip on the game, switch to the real money version for the chance to win big.
Mobile Casinos in the UK
Mobile gaming is overtaking online casinos as the preferred form of online gambling. UK players are enjoying the convenience of playing from a mobile device while on the go. Almost all top online casinos will have a mobile version of their main site, which can either be accessed instantly from your web browser or downloaded as an application. Mobile casinos are designed to operate as smoothly and seamlessly as its desktop counterpart, so players are guaranteed a top-class experience while on the go.
Online Casino Banking in the UK
UK-based players are lucky to have access to a wealth of banking options at online casinos. Top gaming websites accept a wide array of top deposit and withdrawal methods, including some of the most widely used like Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Diners Club International, Neteller, Skrill, WebMoney, Citadel, Direct Bank Transfer, Ecocard, Paysafecard, bitcoin and more.
It’s clear that UK players have access to a wealth of top online casinos on the web. Many of the leading names accept UK residents as well as the British currency, which means players are indeed spoilt for choice. When playing for free or real money, players will have access to excellent casino websites, a diverse selection of games and promotions, dedicated customer support, complete safety and security, reliability and some widely-used banking methods. Players in the UK can rest assured that online casinos accepting citizens from the country is legal, legitimate and safe.
FAQs for Online Casinos in the UK
✅ Is online gambling legal in the UK?
Online gambling is a highly regulated and legal activity in the UK and has been since 2005. The Gambling Act was amended 10 years later in 2015, which required all casino sites that accept UK players to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. As such, all of the top offshore online casinos accepting UK players are now licensed and regulated in the country.
✅ How can I register at a UK online casino?
Registration is easy and should take just a few minutes. If you are eligible to join an online casino, click on the Registration, Sign-up or Join button to get started. You will be required to fill out a registration form, which includes some very basic personal information, including your Username and Password, mobile number and email address. Once you have filled out the entire form and accepted the terms and conditions, click submit and you will soon receive a confirmation email. You can now log in to the site and start playing for free or real money.
✅ Can I make deposits in British pounds?
Yes, UK online casinos accept transactions in British pounds or GBP. You can also receive any winnings in the same currency.
✅ What banking methods can I use at UK online casinos?
UK players are spoilt for choice when it comes to deposits and withdrawals. All of the most reliable and widely-used methods are accepted at UK casinos, including Visa, Mastercard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, WebMoney, ecoCard, bitcoin and much more.