How we review the Best Online Casinos
Casino Sites Licensing and Security
Arguably the most important thing to consider when weighing up whether to sign up with a UK online casino is licensing and security. The last thing you want to worry about is whether your funds are safe.
We only include online casinos that are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC is one of the most stringent regulatory bodies in the online gambling world and they police the industry to make sure that minimum standards are maintained.
It’s worth noting that trusted casinos have licenses from other jurisdictions like the Malta Gaming Authority and the Swedish Gambling Authority amongst others. Scroll to the bottom of a casino site and look for the logos/links.
Online casino sites that operate in the UK have to abide by the rules and regulations imposed by the UKGC. These make sure that games are fair and open. They also ensure that rules are in place to prevent problem and underage gamblers from taking part in online casino games.
If you’re playing at an regulated UK casino, you shouldn’t have any worries about getting your money. Players funds should be kept in a segregated account so even if the worst happened and the casino went bust, you’ll still get your cash back.
The UKGC has teeth too. They have dished out some hefty fines to casino operators that haven’t abided by the rules and regulations.
Like most things, a strong word of mouth reputation is hugely beneficial. With so many competitors in the market, online casinos really can’t afford to play fast and loose with player security without harming their reputation.
As well as looking at individual online casinos, the UKGC also regulates the UK gambling industry as a whole. The Commission outlawed the use of credit cards in April 2020 as a payment method for online gambling.
A quick Google search soon reveals which operators have been squeaky-clean and which have room to improve. A good track record can be worth its weight in gold. Being regulated by the UKGC is a must for UK players and very good starting point.
Online Casino Games
Slots players at casino sites in the UK are in the enviable position of having a huge variety of games to choose from. We’re talking thousands and thousands of titles that cover pretty much every theme, subject and style you could imagine.
The catalogue varies from site to site of course, but quality casinos will offer a blend of classic old favourites as well as fresh new releases. There are a few things to weigh up.
Reputable Slot Providers
UK casinos will only provide slots from approved software developers. This ensures that games are safe and fair. Some sites are dominated by slots from a particular developer.
NetBet Vegas for example, is dominated by slots from Playtech. That’s perfect if you want to play the myth and legend-themed Age of the Gods slots or the recently launched Kingdoms Rise series. If you want slots from developers other than Playtech, then you’ll want to look at NetBet Casino instead which offers slots from a wider selection of software providers.
Most of the best casino sites offer slots from a selection of developers. This means you can enjoy different styles and plenty of varieties of gameplay. We like casinos that allow you to filter their games by developer. Some but by no means all sites allow you to do this.
Many online casino sites are packed full of classics from big name developers like the aforementioned Playtech as well industry heavyweights like NetEnt, Microgaming and Play ‘n GO. The chances are, you’ll have already played a game from one of this big four.
If you fancy something a bit more niche, then you’ll want to investigate whether the online casino you’re looking at offers games from up and coming challenger developers like ELK Studios and Thunderkick. There are loads of developers out there so look around for your favourites. You can find them all at our Online Slots section.
Number of Slots
Does size matter? Well, in certain circumstances it sure does. In the world of online slots? Perhaps. A perfectly curated selection of 400 slots from your favourite developers might be all you need. If you want to broaden your horizons, you might want to investigate sites like Videoslots Casino that offer in excess of 2,000 slots. You’d be hard-pressed to play all of them but with some many games to choose from you’re pretty sure to find something you like.
New slots are released virtually every day. Do you want to play them as soon as they come out? Some casino sites will have them on their virtual shelves on the release date. The best online casino sites will offer plenty of old classics and familiar favourites but will also spice things up with the hottest new arrivals.
Most UK casinos will display their newest releases on their homepage so you can see whether they’re bang up to date or lagging a bit.
Games with Special Game Mechanics
If you like slots that are played with a specific game mechanic, then you might be very well served at one online casino but sorely disappointed at others.
Take for example, the all-conquering Megaways slots. At some casino sites, you’ll find a handful of Megaways titles. At others, you’ll find near enough the entire collection. In the Megaways case, it’s become so popular that many UK casinos now have dedicated Megaways sections.
It’s a similar story with jackpot slots. The number of titles available varies from casino to casino. You might be satisfied with just the biggies like Mega Moolah and Hall of Gods. Other sites might offer the classics plus plenty of others including Jackpot King and daily jackpot network slots. If you like chasing progressive jackpots, this is certainly worth investigating.
Exclusive Slot Releases
Some top casino sites provide content that you won’t find anywhere else. These can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought but there are some online casinos that offer pretty good unique titles. An example of this is Mr Green Casino which has a series of entertaining games based on their gentleman gambler.
Furthermore, casinos also release slots exclusively for a certain length of time. For example, LeoVegas tend to release Big Time Gaming slots 2 weeks prior to going on general release.
The bigger the catalogue, generally speaking, the better. You’ve more chance of stumbling on an old classic or discovering a potential new favourite. It can be a bit daunting working your way through a massive slot catalogue so extra points to the top online casinos that use intuitive, user friendly sites that allow easy searching and filtering.
UK Casino Banking Methods and Policies
Reliability, speed and convenience are some of the main factors to consider when it comes to online casino banking. There’s nothing more frustrating than requesting a withdrawal and finding it sitting in limbo for days when it should be in your bank account or money wallet. There are a number of areas that are well worth investigating when it comes to online casino banking.
Best Casino Sites offer a Selection Payment Methods
The best online casino sites will give players a variety of banking options when it comes to getting funds to and from their accounts. The options usually include debit cards, money wallets like Skrill and NETeller, bank transfers and prepay options like Paysafecard.
Changes in technology have also had an impact here. With more and more players using mobile devices to play at casinos online, mobile money transfers have become more prevalent. That where services like Boku come into play. This can be a handy option for mobile users.
One increasingly popular payment method is PayPal. The list of UK PayPal casinos is rising all the time. It’s a good choice for many players who already have a PayPal account for other things like online shopping on eBay.
Cashout Terms – how quickly can you withdraw your money?
Generally, the money wallets like Skrill, NETeller and PayPal offer the fastest withdrawals at most online casinos. If speed is of essence to you, check out our list of fast payout casinos.
It’s not all about speed though. There are other things to look out for. Some online casinos charge fees to make deposits and/or withdrawals. At bgo Casino for example, a tax offset fee of 2.5% is charged on all deposits under £500 and a £2.50 fee is levied on all withdrawals.
Ideally, you’ll want an online casino site that processes withdrawals at weekends. If you have a big win on a Friday night and want to get hold of the cash, you don’t really want to be waiting until Monday to get the ball rolling.
The top online casinos pride themselves on rapid withdrawals. A good example is Rizk Casino. This UK casino pays out to money wallets as soon as the transaction has been approved. That means you can expect your money in minutes or hours rather than days. Rizk doesn’t charge any fees and does process withdrawals at weekends so it can be done.
To abide by UKGC regulations, online casinos are required to confirm the identity of their players. This is to prevent underage and problem gamblers from accessing gambling sites and to stop money laundering.
Many online casinos will try and carry this out automatically. If this isn’t possible, you’ll have to provide copies of documents to confirm who you are. This is usually a simple and quick procedure that involves uploading photo ID and utility bills or emailing to the relevant customer support department.
Improvements in mobile technology mean that more and more of us are giving up on desktop computers and using tablets and mobiles as our primary devices. The online casino world has been a rapid adopter of mobile technology. There are a few areas that are worth investigating when it comes to choosing a mobile casino though.
Browser Based Casinos
Pretty much every online casino will give you the chance to play via your mobile phone browser. The functionality isn’t always the same as the desktop version of the site though so have a play around if you can.
Mobile Casino Apps
If you become a regular player at a casino site, you like it’s well worth find out whether they have a dedicated app. These often offer a more user-friendly experience than standard in-browser play. The number of slots available in browser or via an app can also vary from the main site. Some of the bigger mobile casino sites offer a huge range of titles, others focus on a more limited selection.
The best mobile casinos combine smooth design and functionality, a large collection of slots and access to the same bonuses and offers that are available to players using desktop or laptop devices.
Things shouldn’t go wrong very often but it’s inevitable that things sometimes go awry at even the best online casino sites. That’s where well trained and helpful customer support come in.
Ideally, top online casino sites should have an extensive Help or FAQs section. This covers the most common queries that relate to deposits and withdrawals, bonuses and the like. Even better if that FAQs section is searchable. If you can’t find out what you’re looking for there, a helpful person at the end of the virtual line is the next best thing.
Ways to contact the casino
Most online casinos now focus on live chat where you type away to an operator. Some still offer a good old-fashioned phone service if you want to speak to someone. A freephone UK number always helps and is offered by plenty.
Whilst many casinos these days don’t have telephone numbers you can call, lots do offer a call back facility where you state the date and time you’d like to be contacted at. This helps in today’s busy world.
The social media revolution has reached the online casino world too. Many of the best online casinos have a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and you can take things up with them on those media. Similarly, WhatsApp messaging is becoming increasingly popular (NetBet Casino/Vegas offer this).
What we’re looking for from the customer support, regardless of the method, are quick and clear responses. If the team are available around the clock, so much the better. We’d still rather have an efficient and polite team that worked limited hours than an overworked and inefficient one that operates 24/7.
Ideally, we want to find stuff out ourselves. If we do have recourse to a customer support team, we want them to be friendly, polite, helpful and efficient as well as available at different times of the day and night via a number of different media. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.
UK Casino Bonuses and Promotions
With hundreds of old and new operators competing for business, they have to come up with enticing casino bonus offers and promotions for both new and existing players. These fall into a number of categories.
No Deposit Bonuses
Many online casinos offer no deposit required bonuses which allow you to take a site for a spin with risking any of your own cash. These usually come in the form of free spins which are awarded when you register at an online casino. One such example is LeoVegas Casino which gives you 10 no deposit wager-free spins on Book of Dead once you’ve signed up.
Many online casinos will offer a welcome bonus. It’s also known as a sign up bonus, welcome offer or first deposit bonus. For example, make a deposit of up to £100 for example, and that amount is doubled.
It’s important to look beyond the headline grabbing number and see what wagering requirements the bonus comes with. It’s far harder to meet the play through of a bonus that has a 65x requirement than one that has a 20x requirement.
Our preference is for bonuses that are crystal clear. They might not have the gaudy big numbers that are on offer from some casinos but you won’t have to jump through endless hoops trying to claim them.
Look at PlayOJO Casino for example. For every £1 deposited on your first deposit, 1 free spin is awarded, up to a maximum of 50 (you then get a further 30 free spins). Any wins from those free spins are paid out in cash and are yours to keep immediately. There are no wagering requirements to concern us here. We wish more casinos were so transparent with their offers.
Many casinos do not allow players to use money wallets like Skrill or NETeller to make their first deposit and remain eligible for any new player bonuses. Other banking methods like PayPal and debit cards are usually valid. Read the small print carefully.
Existing Customer Offers
Quality casinos look after their existing players as much as their new arrivals. That can be in the form of reload bonuses, free spin giveaways or contests and promotions. Some sites are especially good at awarding prizes that give players the chance to win a once in a lifetime experience.
Mr Green is a prime example of a casino that offers plenty of variety to its existing players. A recent roster of promotions has included cash drops, free spin giveaways and a leaderboard contest that sent the winner on a VIP trip to Las Vegas worth £10,000.
Most casino sites have a Promotions page on their website where you can weigh up all the latest offers and contests aimed at existing players. Like the new player bonuses, we want as much transparency and clarity as possible as well as plenty of variety.
Many online casinos reward their regular players via a VIP program. This varies from site to site but players can usually expect an assortment of free spins, entry into prize draws, experiences and other goodies depending on their VIP level.
One site that does things a little differently is All British Casino where players can expect 10% cashback. Other incentives and perks of a casino VIP program include:
|Higher deposit + withdrawal limits||Faster cashouts|
|Personalised promotions||Weekly free spins|
|Personal account manager||Birthday gifts|
|Weekly/Monthly reload bonuses||Exclusive slot tournaments|
The Perfect Online Casino in the UK?
If we were in a laboratory trying to cook up the best online casino site in the UK, we’d blend the following elements. For starters, it would be regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and run using the best SSL encryption technology available.
Using the site would be a simple and straightforward experience. The design would be clear and crisp and finding things would be easy.
We’d offer a wide selection of slots from industry giants as well as up and coming software providers who are challenging the status quo with their innovative new releases. The catalogue would include plenty of old favourites, top new arrivals, plenty of Megaways slot plus progressive jackpot games.
Finding what you want would be easy. You’d be able to filter slots by theme, developer and even volatility. We’d have a mobile app that offers a top selection of content for players on the go.
The customer support team would be helpful and polite and we’d offer clear and transparent bonuses and promotions for both new and existing players.
By reading through our online casino reviews, you’ll find the best online casino sites in the UK which offer a combination of those qualities.
The answer to that question depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want a huge variety of games? Slots from a certain provider? Progressive jackpots? A big new player bonus or regular giveaways for existing players? Check out our list of the best online casinos in the UK then choose according to what suits.
The casino sites reviewed here are all regulated by the UK Gambling Commission which is one of the most stringent regulators in the online gaming world. They ensure that UK casinos abide by the rules to ensure that games are fair and that players and their funds are protected. Check out our detailed section on licensing and security.
Yes, you can win money on online casinos. Like all forms of casino gambling, it’s a matter of luck. One lucky player pocketed €19.4 million playing Absolootly Mad: Mega Moolah in April 2021. Some slots can pay up to 50,000 x stake per spin. Find out what casino games you can play at a casino.
Customer support at most top online casinos is now done via live chat. Some still allow you to talk to a person on the phone. Many operators also offer Skype, Twitter and Facebook interactions as well as WhatsApp messaging. Check out the various ways you can get in touch with support teams.
Withdrawal times vary depending on the method used and the online casino you’re playing at. Withdrawals to money wallets can take just minutes at some of the best UK casinos. Things to consider are processing times, cashout fees (if any), account verification and weekend cashouts. Find out more in our casino banking section.
Some, but by no means all, online casinos offer their players a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The best of them offer slick design, a great slots catalogue and plenty of bonuses. A good example is LeoVegas Casino. You’ll find a top selection of titles and you can also take advantage of no deposit free spins.