The online casino industry has grown by leaps and bounds from the time it first came into existence. Today it is a multibillion dollar global industry with millions of players registered with the thousands of online casinos.
There are countries where gambling is legal and online casinos are therefore very popular; there are also countries where the laws regarding online gambling is vague as far as the player is concerned the industry is still therefore thriving. One country where online casinos are legal is the UK.
Gambling on the whole is legalized in the UK and therefore you find a large number of UK online casinos. There are also a large number of overseas operators offering their services to players from the UK. On this page we discuss the different aspects that go into making it to the list of the top 15 UK online casinos.
How do we review UK Online Casinos
There are a large number of UK online casinos today. Many of these are best out of the UK, while there are others who are run by overseas operators. That makes the task of zeroing in on one casino that is the right fit for your gambling aspirations and requires a daunting task. One of the best ways of doing this is to connect to a portal that offers information on all top UK casinos. That is where we step in.
We are the leading provider of information about the top UK online casinos. We have a team of experts that come with enormous industry experience. They put it to good use as they test and analyze all UK online casinos on all the different parameters that go into the making of a top online casino. We also offer reviews of these casinos; so all you have to do is go through our list and read our reviews to find the right casino.
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Regulation of the Top UK Online Casinos
All the top UK online casinos are bound by rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are set by the regulatory body that was formed to regulate gambling in the UK, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). We take a quick look at the major laws that govern online gambling in the UK:
The Gambling Act of 2005
Online gambling is legal in the UK and completely regulated. The first act that was passed to regulate gambling completely in the modern era was the Gambling Act of 2005. According to the Gambling Act of 2005, gambling was defined as any form of gambling that required a player to place a bet over an electronic device or using electronic technology that made communication possible over any of the following media:
This Act was passed with the objective of regulating commercial gambling in the UK.
- It sought to ensure total regulation in collaboration with other licensing bodies in the UK.
- All major gambling activities in the UK were brought under the ambit of this Act, except spread betting, which continued to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- As per this Act, local and overseas operators could offer gambling opportunities to UK players.
- There was no independent licensing jurisdiction yet in the UK; this Act led to the formation of the first gambling regulatory body in the UK – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).
- Overseas operators could still function with a license from any of the recognized white-collar licensing jurisdictions across the world.
Later, the Gambling Act of 2005 was thought to be somewhat inadequate when it came to regulation. For instance, foreign operators were still not under the ambit of UK law. That was why, another Act was passed later.
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014 was passed in that year after approval by Royal Assent. The Law was brought to Parliament n 9th May, 2013.
- All existing and new gambling operators in the UK had to get a license from the UKGC.
- Overseas operators from white-collar licensing jurisdictions too would require a license from the UKGC to operate in the UK.
- They could apply for a license and obtain a continuity license till they get the full license, for which they need to pay a fee.
- This law has caused a furor among overseas operators because of the additional 15% tax imposed on them for accepting bets from UK players. Many have withdrawn their operations in the UK, including:
- The Fortune Lounge Group
- The Cherry Group
However, there have been many positives from the passing of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014.
- Over 1000 applications have been registered with the DCMS.
- 150+ companies have applied for licenses.
- More than 749 gambling licenses have been issued till 31st March, 2016.
- Many other overseas operators have taken alternate steps to continue servicing UK players like:
- Applying to the UKGC for a fresh license and using a continuity license till that is issued.
- Shifting their UK customers to a single casino that is part of their group and closing access to the others.
- Shutting out their UK players and either moving them to another casino within their brand or giving them pointers about casinos owned by other groups they could shift to.
Rules at the UK Online Casinos
There are quite a few rules that all the top UK online casinos have to follow in order to offer their services to UK players.
- They all need to pay additional taxes related to wagering and gaming duties apart from the standard taxes they pay like all other non-gambling businesses.
- All casino operators have to comply with the regulations laid down by the UKGC.
- The gambling industry must make voluntary contributions to fund research, regulation, and treatment related to gambling. Some of the recipients of this kind of funding include the Responsible Gambling Trust, which is owns and manages GambleAware®.
- Casinos have to ensure there is zero instance of gambling by minors. That is why they strictly ensure that only players above 18 years are allowed to play their games for real money. The legal gambling age for the National Lottery, football pools, and lotteries is slightly lower – 16 years.
- All the top UK online casinos ensure they have information and advertisement in place to enable players to gamble responsibly.
Software Providers Powering the Best UK Online Casinos
All the top UK online casinos are powered by software from some of the best in the business. This ensures brand recognition and also gives players the assurance of safety and reliability. The following are some of the software providers powering the top UK online casinos.
- Microgaming: Microgaming is one of the pioneers of the online gambling industry. That is not all; ever since it was launched in 1994, it has consistently remained at the top of the rung among online casino software providers. The bouquet of 850+ online casino games makes it the single largest provider of high quality games to the online casino industry.
- Playtech: Playtech is another leader among online casino software providers. With a substantial array of games of the highest quality, it has been consistently ranked among the best in the business. Among its range of games are the highly popular Marvel slots, brought out in associated with Marvel Comics, and also Hollywood slots that have been created through collaborations with major Hollywood studios.
- NetEnt: Another leading casino software provider servicing the UK online casino industry is NetEnt. This provider is known for its high quality games, all with amazing graphics and innovative features. Innovation has been at the core of NetEnt’s philosophy and you see it amply reflected in the slots and other games it provides.
- BetSoft: BetSoft is another major software provider servicing the UK online casino industry for quite a while now. This software provider is the first provider of the amazing 3D slots – slots with 3D graphics and outstanding animation work.
Apart from these individual software providers, quite a few of the top UK online casinos use software from aggregator platforms. These are companies that aggregate the software from the best in the business and offer them on a single platform to casino operators. The benefits are many for the casino operator and player, including, among others:
- A massive collection of games on offer, far more than what a single provider could individually offer.
- Games from all the big names in the casino software industry available together in a single casino; players do not have to go from one casino to another anymore.
- Games of the highest quality: you get the best games in the business at one go!
Games at the Best UK Online Casinos
You get to play all your favorite casino games when you sign up with any of the top UK online casinos. The games generally available depend on the software powering the casino. The most commonly found games at these casinos, include:
- Slots: You get a range of high-quality slots at all the top online casinos in the UK. These are all rich in graphics and animations, sound, and also game features. At some casinos you get even the amazing 3D slots, especially those using BetSoft software.
- Card and table games: You get a range of great table and card games at the top casinos in the UK. The games available include card games like blackjack, baccarat, and table poker games, as well as table games like roulette.
- Video Poker: Depending on the software powering the online casino you are playing at, you get a range of video poker games. All the top online casinos offer exciting video poker games.
- Progressive jackpots: Almost all the top UK online casinos offer at least a few progressive jackpots that you can take a shot at. The games depend on the provider; regardless of the software provider you are sure of a shot at a big win at most of these casinos.
Payment Support at the Best UK Online Casinos
All the best UK online casinos are on our list because they have passed in flying colors all the different parameters we have tested them for. One of the most critical parameters we test them for is the support offered for payment methods. Every one of the casinos on our list support a sizeable number of payment methods, including locally popular methods. At any of these casinos you will find at least the following methods:
- Credit cards: Credit cards supported at these casinos include Visa and MasterCard.
- Debit cards: You find a number of debit cards at most of these casinos, including Visa Electron, Visa Debit, Maestro, Solo, and Switch.
- E-wallets: All the top UK casinos on our list support an extensive number of e-wallets. The common names you will find include:
- Prepaid cards: Every online casino we feature supports the popular prepaid card – PaySafeCard.
- Banking methods: Banking methods like bank wire transfer are also supported at these casinos.
Online Casino UK FAQ
Do you need to pay taxes? How does an online casino prove its fairness? Check out our guide for answers to FAQs and concerns about UK online casinos.
The UK online casino market is one of the largest gambling markets in the world, with many casinos catering specifically to players from this area. If you never tried your luck at a UK casino but are considering giving it a try, take a look at the following FAQs to help you have a smoother start.
- License – The casino must hold a license from the UK Gambling Commission to be able to offer gambling to UK players.
- Software – Leading software providers like Playtech, Microgaming, and NetEnt only provide their games to trustworthy casinos. Thus, if a casino is powered by obscure software providers, it might be a sign of a shady place.
- Bonus Terms –If the bonus terms seem to unbelievable or unfair, it’s normally a sign of a bad casino.
- Banking Methods – Reputed casinos offer a variety of trusted payment methods to ensure their players get the safety and convenience they need.
- Audit Certificates –Some casinos choose to have a third-party audit of their casino software. If a casino holds both a license and an audit certificate, it means it’s definitely a trustworthy place.
Alternatively, you can also use the UKGC website to find the licensing information. There is an online registrar on the Commission’s web page where both authorized and blacklisted casinos are listed for any interested party.
The standard minimum deposit limit across most UK casinos is £10-20, while withdrawals will have different maximum limits with each casino. Some may choose to cap withdrawals at £3,000-5,000 per week, while others may have more liberal rules.