Casino Sites UK: Most Popular Online Casinos February 2024
Gambling in the UK has significantly changed in the last 20 years. During this period, the online casinos market widely expanded, partly due to technological innovations, but mainly due to some legislative changes, which we will discuss down below.
With the new changes after Gambling Act 2005, the government counted as responsible for granting the gambling licence. This was the main reason behind the creation of the regulator in this industry – United Kingdom Gambling Commision.
In this article we will explain how the UK legislative framework controls the gambling industry to this day. As well as tell about the eight UK online casinos with the offered game and bonus variations.
List of UK online casinos
Obtaining a gambling licence in the United Kingdom is a mandatory procedure for companies that want to start a gambling business. For a long time the Gambling Act law was based on its 2005 version and regulated gambling in three forms: games, betting and lotteries. That regulation does not apply to Northern Ireland because it has its own legal framework based on Gambling Act 1968.
The basis of the Gambling Act was changed in 2014. Previously, it applied only to legal persons who were physically located in Britain. This new Act ensures regulation of companies in any UK jurisdiction who provide gambling in a remote format.
Today the gambling licence requirement in the UK and the gambling duty apply even to remote gambling providers outside the Britain jurisdiction, all over the United Kingdom.
Gambling regulations in the UK are called LCCP (licence Conditions and Codes of Practice). These regulations place an obligation on UK casino, which includes:
- Obligation of social responsibility;
- Prevention of money laundering and financial crimes;
- Transactions transparency;
- Protection of consumer rights;
- Transactions transparency;
Gambling operators work under the regulations of the British Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commision (UKGC).
ASA is a self-regulatory organisation, not financed by the government. Main task is to regulate the content of advertising companies – the commission examines incoming user’s complaints and checks providers for compliance with certain appropriate norms.
IGRG stated the creation of an open base for more responsible gambling in all sectors of the UK. The organisation is heading to create a united structure for the open information exchange, supporting transparent gambling and providing necessary mental help to those who are struggling with gambling addiction.
However, if these regulators are independent entities that do not directly belong to the government, UKGC has direct control over licensing for gambling operators. The organisation and conduct of gambling in the UK is allowed only by their permission. The Commission monitors transparency and legality of the UK gambling business.
There are three main UKGC operating licences that allow gambling related activities in the UK:
- Hardware and Software Provider licence. This licence allows to produce, sell, configure and install online gaming software.
- Licence for online betting or tote. Allows to create and accept bets in remote format. It is given only for betting on real existing events, for example, officially announced sports or eSports matches.
- Online casino licence in the UK. The licensee gets the right to run online casinos, advertise their activities and make transactions with players from the UK.
How does the UK Gambling Commission protect players
According to UKGC rules, online casinos UK are required to keep gaming funds intended for winnings in a separate account not mixed with operating funds. By that, the government protects players from insolvent operators.
The commission also checks and controls all software and equipment. Besides that, UKGC works similar to the consumer product safety commissions and allows players to hold operators accountable if they violate certain regulations.
UKGC safety requirements set the standards that operators must be observed at the legislative level. This includes privacy of personal information, banking transactions and protection from unauthorised users.
A special place in UKGC regulations takes the principle of responsible gambling. Commission strives to help and protect players who are at risk of the potential gambling addiction.
Together with a GamCare, UKGC provides various tools and support to help players whose mental health is affected by gambling. If the player themself or someone who knows them requires help, you can write a message on the gamcare.org.uk site or call the free of charge 24/7 hotline 0808 8020 1333.
Here is tools a person can use to help prevent mental condition from getting worse:
- Block gambling payments for person’s bank account via their bank operators;
- Use trackers for control amount of time and money person spend on gambling;
- Restrict or block gambling activity in certain websites;
- Self-exclusion from any existing legal casino UK.
In addition, all legal casinos under the UKGC prohibit the use of credit cards for gambling. By that the Commission prevents the additional risk of harm from gambling and strives to protect players from debts, because they are betting on money that they don’t even have.
How to Choose a Casino Site that Suits You
Since online casinos are available to almost everyone – a person can get to the site by one click or by using the smartphone – it is important to determine the criteria that help users choose a trustworthy platform.
This is what you can look for when choosing the fitting online casino site.
Considering everything written above, it is important to trust only sites under a UKGC licence. This will allow you to be sure that the UK casino site and software providers are able to meet you with the needed level of transparency and the necessary hardware.
You can also pay attention to the casinos that have eCOGRA certification. It is an alternative non-profit organisation that can also help with various disputes. The list of regulated online casinos can be found on ecogra.org. This organisation helps players who have problems with withdrawals, bonuses, account blocking and so on. However, please note that you can only file a complaint about a casino that has placed a Safe&Fair icon in its footer.
The main nuance is eCOGRA works with reputation rather than legal aspects. Unfortunately, even if a complaint against the casino is seen publicly, the casino still has the one-sided right to decide whether or not to follow eCOGRA instructions.
Variety of games
Of course, quantity is not equal to quality. However, if online casinos UK offer great variability it is always a big plus. It not only gives players almost unlimited access to find something interesting and unique according to their preferences. But also shows that the casino is reliable enough to handle a large number of online software providers and games providers in general.
Online casino games are typically divided into several types. You can see them as separate site sections.
So, by visiting almost any gambling website, usually you will see the following sections:
- Slots. Aka slot machine aka “one-armed bandit”. Is a common game for almost every casino. You definitely see them at least once in land-based casinos. So it’s as simple as that: the online version simulates the physical machine mechanics. Player makes a bet, presses the button and waits for the combination of reels, lines and symbols to appear on the screen. If the combination is winning, the multiplied bet goes to the player as a prize. Online slots are constantly evolving in terms of mechanics and designs, offering new variations of the already famous classics. For example, Megaways by Big Time Gaming. With the dynamic creation of payment lines, their available number changes with each turn.
- Live casinos. It is also an analogue of initial live interaction from land-based casinos. But instead of a computer on the other side of the screen is the real dealer or the host. In many cases live casinos are available even from smartphone. The dealer can’t see your face, but certain games have a voice-chat function if you use a microphone. The most common games at Live casino are roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker. Providers constantly expanding this list or developing alternatives for already familiar games.
- Table games. These games include a collection of everything you might usually experience at land-based casinos on the playing tables. Blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and many more. Unlike Live games, you play with a computer, not a live dealer.
- Slingo. These slot machines look like a classic slot machine, but include online bingo features. Classic bingo games give the player a 5×5 card containing the random numbers to mark. The player must turn the reel of the slot under the card and see if any numbers match the numbers on the card. Unique symbols and bonus rounds can provide an additional bonus to the win.
- Poker. One of the classic card games in online format. Casino sites offer various variations, from Texas Hold’em Poker to the exclusive Wild Seat Poker. Online casinos also provide participation in various tournaments. For example, Grosvenor Casino hosts the biggest poker Goliath Poker Tournament that contributes to the National Poker League.
The list does not end with these options, we have just named some of the most common variations. Online sites always try to surprise their users with something new, sometimes providing even their own exclusive options.
Slots and providers
Once again, quantity does not always mean quality. The most important thing is that casino sites work with top proven providers under the local legitimation.
Slots can be exclusive to a particular casino. 888slots have an entire section dedicated to slots available only to those exclusive. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Rise of the Pharaohs, Wild Invasion, and many more. Jackpotjoy can offer its users their unique Da Vinci Diamonds and Double Bubble.
Registration bonuses and offers
Various bonuses are something that can attract both new players and keep the attention of experienced ones. Most casinos use deposit bonuses, but one UK casino in our selection allows players to enjoy no deposit bonuses. 888 Casino gives 88 free spins once you have completed the registration.
It is also important for online casinos to have tournaments and promotions, such as weekly cashbacks, tournaments and so on. A huge plus is the availability of a loyalty program that provides a variety of conveniences to players who decide to dedicate their time to a particular casino.
The more flexible and convenient the payment or withdrawal options available to online casinos, the better. The most common payment methods in the UK are:
- Debit cards. The most common way for an online casino deposit. Payment data entered on the site will be encrypted by the casino operators, so users can not worry about the leak of personal data. The advantage of using a debit card is the huge amount of casino bonuses that will be available to the user. There are also low deposit limits. The disadvantage may be the speed of withdrawals, which can take up to several hours.
- VISA / VISA Electron. Also one of the most common payment methods. The most important feature of this payment method provides fast transactions. You can also use a prepaid card that has several advantages as you can’t spend more than what is uploaded to the card, which can prevent the unnecessary gambling spending.
- PayPal. Not surprisingly, this payment system is also one of the most used in the UK. Most often, this method of payment guarantees instant transactions, but depends on the type of account. Sometimes with a tied debit card the waiting time can be around 48 hours. The main advantage of PayPal is its security and anonymity, as your card details are not listed on the online casino site.
- Neteller/Skrill. Acts similar to PayPal, but has some additional features that make it a worthy alternative payment method. Users can use a multi-level VIP account. This has the advantage of low transaction fees compared to other e-wallets.
Among other not-so-obvious, but noteworthy or gaining popularity payment systems we can name:
- EcoPayz. A relatively new method of payment, which is gradually gaining popularity. Pretty handy tool, working on the basis of any electronic wallet. Allows you to receive and send money through one secure transaction point.
- Paysafecard. The most significant pros is anonymity, which is comparable to the anonymity of Bitcoin payment. With Paysafecard, you purchase a physical card from the store. Its name is a 16-digit pin that can then be used on the casino website. The problem begins with the need for winning’s withdrawal, as these cards are not suitable for this.
In our casino online UK selection, 888casino offers the largest selection of payment methods – up to 9 options with the minimum deposit limit £20 with it you will receive £20 free credited instantly to your account
Having a mobile app is a big plus, giving an additional convenient option of the opportunity to visit online casinos from any comfortable place. However, having a mobile application for only one OS is certainly a downside in 2024.
UK Online Casino Games Available
- Roulette. Classic game with numbered squares and bets on red, black or zero. The most common type among players are European, American and French. The same list includes automatic roulette and Double Ball.
- Blackjack. Players can play both against the dealer and against the casino as a dealer. The player at the table must place a chip and dealt a hand. The right combination of cards that will bring more points – it will be considered as winning. The most basic version of blackjack is US and European. They are based on Spanish 21 (or Match Play 21), Face-up 21, Pontoon, Blackjack Surrender and Blackjack Switch. Fun fact: Antigua and Barbuda is the first country to establish an online blackjack casino. It was Microgaming that provided the technical support for the game and earned its first millions.
- Baccarat. This game requires a certain skill. Traditionally, there are 14 seats at the baccarat table, numbered from 1 to 15 (number 13 does not include due to bad luck). The most preferred variant of the game is the classic and Baccarat Squeeze, where with three cards you need to score as many points as possible. Tens and face cards yield zero points while the ace retains its numeric value throughout the game.
- Video poker. This is the online version of Draw Poker. Name was given due to the fact that the main part of this game is the screen, where you can not only play with the computer, but also maintain concentration on what is happening. Many players prefer video poker precisely because of the seclusion feeling without additional distraction from the other players or dealers. The computer shuffles and deals cards, and the game process is generally very fast.
- Bingo. The basic idea of the game is simple: players mark numbers on their card as they are announced by the host. The winner is those who first mark all of these numbers. In online bingo instead of paper card you will play with its program counterpart. The numbers in the online version of the game are generated randomly by a special computer program.
- Instant Games. Instant win games are designed specifically for those players who don’t want to spend their time waiting. According to its name, the fast nature of those type games implies a rare or total absence of bonus rounds. Also these games highlight the total dependence on pure luck. The most common variations of such games are 7Up, Big Eats Little, Popping Candy and many others.
- Scratch cards. It’s the online equivalent of instant lotteries. The main pros of such games is the availability, as they can play anyone at absolutely any time, and the result reveals instantly. The player had to erase the face of the card at a certain point. Under the erased layer is the result of a raffle, either a prize, or an offer to play more. The main disadvantage of such games is the absence of particularly large wins.
The Best Online Casino Software Providers
The main mission of software providers is to create a stable program as well as unique ideas, design and simply enjoyable pastime for players in any online casino games. They are responsible for the quality of the product, be it slot, live casino or any other game.
At the moment, we can name several providers that have a certain level of trust in the UK.
Swedish developer NetEnt, which for now has been working in online gambling for two decades. In 2018, Net Entertainment presented the first-ever slot game featuring over 100 paylines – Archangels: Salvation.
NetEnd specialises in creating slots, live games (debuted in 2013 with NetEnt Live Casino), branded slots, and pooled jackpots.
Endorphina from the Czech Republic is one of the youngest providers working since 2012. Known for their non-standard themes and designs. For example, the Satoshi’s Secret slot is an homage to the mysterious disappearance of the Bitcoin creator.
Provider creates online slots, and their portfolio has more than a hundred games.
British slot machine provider Betsoft Gaming notable for their love of variety, interesting stories and high-quality 3D graphics. In 2018, G2E Asia named them the best software manufacturers and the leading B2B platform on the Internet.
BetSoft provides users with slots, table games and video poker.
Microgaming was born in Durban, South Africa, and was established in 1994, but moved to the Isle of Man a few years later. The company’s portfolio spans over 500 games. A distinctive feature are advanced settings slots that allow you to customise the machine to your preferences.
Microgaming creates slots for many casinos. They also have a licence with Betway, a member of our selection – for this casino provider creates exclusive slots.
The Austrian Novomatic creates convenient slots with a simple interface. Their immortal hit is the Book of Ra slot, which started numerous sequels with a “Book of” theme.
Among the works of the provider listed slots, multi-game mixes and electronic table games.
There are two Playtech studios: one in the Philippines, it was established in 2003 and operates within the Asian market, and the other in Latvia, has been operating since 2009 and provides servers for Europe. Players from the UK will be very comfortable playing live games with native-speaking hosts. One of the most famous games is the Unlimited Blackjack Table, which offers Perfect Pairs side bet and can hold an infinite number of players.
The distinctive feature of the provider is TV gaming, which means the ability to play in a live casino with both a TV and a special TV app using a smartphone as a remote controller.
Of course, the list is not limited to these providers. Player’s favourites include Evolution Gaming, Play’n Go, Playson, Amatic and many others.
How to Start Playing at an Online Casino
It’s not a difficult process to start playing online casinos. After all, you do not need to go to other cities in search of the right casino for playing slots, roulette or blackjack. It only requires a few minutes to register and then make a first deposit into account. However, to do this, you should choose a suitable site that will satisfy all your preferences.
Choosing a casino
When choosing a casino, read carefully the terms and conditions of bonuses. Also, you can use our selection to simplify your choice. To be sure of the fair results in the games you need to create an account on the platforms with licences.
The licence information can be found in the rules section or at the bottom of the site. The player can check the permission:
- When switching to validator, it is necessary to click on the logo of the controller in the footer of the site;
- On the licensing organisation’s website in a separate section. For example, UKGC has an official register where you can check domain or operator name permissions.
Depending on the layout of the site, the registration button can be located either at the top or at the centre of the main page.
Usually the data required for registration are similar to the most of the online casinos: first name, last name, date of birth, gender, email and phone number. But the process can be different, it’s perfectly normal.
For example, Grosvenor Casino firstly will ask you to enter an email:
Then, if the system recognizes your email address as correct and existing, you can continue the registration process. Next, you will need to:
- Choose a nickname and choose a strong password;
- Enter 4-digit pin code as an additional way to protect your account;
- Select the country of residence and enter the address;
- Confirm registration.
According to UKGC regulations, all legal online casinos in the UK must request proof of your age and personality before you can start playing.
Companies can compare the data you provide with the available information from a database, such as credit reference agencies or a electoral list. But if that information is insufficient, you will be asked to provide an identity document.
The casino can ask you to provide one of the listed credentials:
- Driving licence;
- Home Bills.
Choice of deposit and withdrawal method
You can use electronic payment systems, as well as bank cards or a bank account. This feature will be available after registration and confirmation of your identity. You can see the corresponding section in the menu of your profile. This step can also include making the first deposit.
Receive the welcome bonus
Although a welcome bonus is usually given after making a first deposit (usually is $10 a minimum), there are casinos that provide bonuses immediately after registration. Speaking of our selection, is BetFair and 888casino. For receiving these offers you need to enter a special code in your profile.
Choose a game and make a bet
Now you can choose the game that suits you the best. To make a bet, carefully read the instructions on the site, although usually games have a clear native interface that will help to understand the functionality
Casinos for Real Money in the UK — Advantages of Online Versus Land-Based Casinos
It is believed that online casinos are often inferior to classic land based casinos in matters of atmosphere and engagement. In addition, some players still have difficulty trusting the web versions of gambling establishments.
In fact, online casinos have a number of advantages over the classic “ancestor”. In addition, Grosvenor Casino can be cited as an example, which not only provides online services, but also has 53 casinos located in major cities across the UK. And two unbranded sister casinos in Belgium.
|Reliable sites have a high degree of security as they are regulated by the legislation of the UK government.
|High level of safety as official casinos are regulated by the UK government.
|Available on any browser or in the mobile app, only requiring stable internet connection.
|Available only in a specific location, so you probably have to get to a physical place. Maybe even a trip to another city.
|Full offline format involves active interaction with players and dealers.
|The interaction either includes player-game format or player-dealer, if talking about the live game. So engagement depends on the types of games the player prefers.
|Variety of games
|Mainly classic games, as well as very limited designs and the absence of any variety of unusual mechanics.
|A wide variety of slots and table games formats.
Online Casino FAQs
What is an online casino welcome bonus and how do I claim it?
A welcome bonus is given to new registered players. This could be some amount of Free Spins, a first deposit bonus, and a no deposit bonus.
How do I know if an online casino is legal?
Legal casinos are either marked with a special banner UKGC (it says GAMBLING COMMISSION), or you can find them at the public register on the UKGC site.
Is it safe to play at an online casino for real money?
If you have checked the casino for compliance with all necessary law regulations, it is safe. However, do not forget about your mental health and control your game.
What are the best payment methods at online casinos in the UK?
You can choose any convenient payment method: debit cards, eWallets, as well as payment cards. The only difference may be the availability of bonuses for certain payment methods. Debit cards win in this field.
Which UK online casino has the best selection of games?
Each casino in our selection provides a fairly wide selection of games. Any player can find something for their taste.
Which online casino game has the best payout percentage?
We can’t give you the exact answer because even with the declared RTP, the percentage cannot be said for sure. We recommend playing in proven casinos that work with the largest providers. These are the ones you will find in our selection
Does the casino always win?
As UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) gaming research says, the casino always wins – in the long run – because of the mathematical advantage the casino has over the player. But people can win too.
Can I win real money at an online casino?
Yes, the casino winnings are withdrawn into the player’s account as real money. However, most popular online casinos have demo-accounts, which are free and run on in-game currency. That means, gains are not measured in real money.
Where do I go if I have a dispute with an online casino?
You can write a complaint and ask for help in a UKGC as a directive law structure. Or contact eCOGRA, but keep in mind that this is a self-regulating entity that does not work as a legislative regulator, but rather a reputational institution.