UK Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in UK

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in UK
  • Gambling authorities in UK
  • Online casinos in UK
  • and more

The gambling industry in the UK currently features various forms of gambling, which include all kinds of casino games, gaming machines, bingo and sports betting. All these services are provided in both physical and online casinos from a number of operators.

Flag of UKThe legislation concerning gambling operations in the country is relatively straightforward. There are some more complicated issues when it comes to gambling services providers, but for the UK players, the rules are perfectly simple to understand. The competent authorities have made the everything simple from the consumer side of things, with very little being requested in return.

Popular UK Casinos

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EuroGrand

100% up to £1,000

EuroGrand is one of the most prominent online casinos available to the UK public. This brand is owned and operated by William Hill Group International, one of the oldest and most respected gambling companies in the world.View More

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UK Casino Club

100% up to £100

UK Casino Club is one of the iconic British-themed online casinos that you can play at. Featuring a distinct UK aesthetic, this online casino is one of your best options. UK Casino Club is powered by Microgaming, one of the leading software providers in the industry.View More

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All British Casino

100% up to £300

A casino that seeks to emphasize what it means to be British, All British Casino represents what the online gambling industry is capable of. Featuring a slick, clean, and easy-to-use interface, All British Casino is inviting and accommodating to all players who open the casino website.View More

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Golden Tiger

100% up to £100

Golden Tiger is among the oldest gambling websites to be found on the Internet. First opened for business in the now-distant 2000, it has remained relevant despite the ever-rising competition and has acquired a special place in the hearts of gamblers across the globe.View More

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William Hill

100% up to £300

William Hill – one of the most prestigious brands in the world, where gambling is concerned. The William Hill Casino is the flagship of the William Hill Group, featuring the best of what the company has to offer. First established in 1998, the William Hill brand has been prominent in the online gambling world and is highly respected by players and critics, alike.View More

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Trada Casino

200% up to £25

Trada is one of the newer websites listed here, having only opened in 2011. Despite its relatively short existence, this online casino has gained critical acclaim, winning the love of both gambling news outlets and players alike. At Trada Casino, users will be treated to an excellent selection of games, supplied by a plethora of software developers.View More

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32Red

320% up to £160

One of the most beloved online casinos, 32Red has been going strong for more than 15 years. Awarded multiple time as Casino of the Year, 32Red offers users a large variety of slots, table and live games, all easily accessible from a modern Internet browser.View More

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Casino Action

100% up to £150

Casino Action, another member of the Casino Rewards Group, is a long-running online casino with a history for providing top-quality service and excellent payout times. This website has been on the Internet for the better part of two decades, first made available to the general public in the year 2000.View More

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Mansion Casino

100% up to £1,000

Mansion Casino is one of the best online casino available to UK players. It was established in 2004 and with more than a decade of experience Mansion Casino is able to provide all that you can ever ask from a gambling website.View More

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InterCasino

100% up to £300

One of the first online casinos to ever appear on the market, InterCasino has been going strong for more than 20 years at this point. A veteran of the industry, this gambling website has been running since 1996 and has consistently offered a fun and exciting betting experience to players from around the world.View More

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Guts Casino

100% up to £100

Guts is a highly respected online casino that caught the industry by storm when it first went live in 2013. Since then it has become popular with its amazing selection of games, as well as, the various promotions and bonuses extended to players. Guts is owned and operated by MT Secure Trade Limited, a company that runs a good number of online gambling websites.View More

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Leo Vegas Casino

200% up to £200

Leo Vegas – the so-called ‘King of Mobile’ – is a prime example of what all online casinos should strive to be. Powered by a whole plethora of software providers, Leo Vegas offers its user a massive library of games. With hundreds of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker and other games to choose from, you will be occupied for quite a long time.View More

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Slot Planet

100% up to £555

Home to one of the best slot collections, Slot Planet stands out from the rest of the competition by offering a solid online gambling experience complemented by excellent customer service. Slot Planet has been online since 2005 and in that time has been constantly improving to become a top-tier online casino.View More

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Rizk Casino

200% up to £50

Perhaps the newest online casino listed here, Rizk has already had quite an impact on the gambling industry. First launched in 2016, this online casino has already amassed a substantial player base by offering everything that players need to have fun.View More

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Yako Casino

100% up to £222

Another newcomer to the industry, Yako Casino was launched only in 2015 but you would never know that judging by how well it is designed. At first sight, Yako Casino looks like the company behind it has had decades of experience.View More

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Casumo Casino

100% up to £300

Casumo – one of the most attractive online casinos on the Internet and also one of your best options where online gambling is concerned. Casumo was first made available to the general public in 2012 and has sought to provide UK gamblers with one-of-a-kind gambling experience.View More

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Royal Panda Casino

100% up to £100

If you want to be treated like royalty then look no further than Royal Panda Casino. This gambling website was launched in 2014 and since then it has had a great effect on its users. Royal Panda is powered by companies such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, NextGen Gaming, etc.View More

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Luxury Casino

100% up to £100

Luxury Casino may very well be your ticket to luxury. This online casino was established in 2011 and it has been going strong ever since. Luxury Casino features a plethora of high-quality casino games which you can play when you download the dedicated casino client.View More

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GDAY Casino

100% up to £1,000

Yet another high-quality entry on our list, GDAY Casino seeks to provide players with the best possible online gambling experience there is. Started in 2013, GDAY has gained a major presence in the market and gained a dedicated following.View More

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Casino.com

100% up to £400

Casino.com is a major online casino that gives you the opportunity to play in a safe and enjoyable environment. This gambling website went live more than a decade ago in 2008 and it has provided a solid service ever since.View More

History of Gambling Regulation in the UK

Gambling has always been quite popular when it comes to the culture and traditions of the UK. At first, gambling in bingo became highly popular over the World War II among the armed forces, but after the War’s ending, the game was also spread amongst the population.

Commercial bingo halls were allowed to be initiated with the Betting and Gambling Act of 1960, which, however, demanded them to be accessible to members only.

Casinos shared the same fate after the end of World War II. They were allowed to be opened after getting licensing from the Game Board of the UK. The licences provided the casinos with the opportunity to place a total of ten gaming (slot) machines. It was not until the Gaming Act 1968 implementation when certain changes in the law were made and commercial casinos were allowed to offer more games.

There were a lot of legislative restrictions on both bingo and casinos until the establishment of the Gambling Act in 2005, which made the building of the so-called super casinos legal.

Sports gambling in the country was officially legitimate with the Betting and Gaming Act 1960, which provided more betting options to players.

Lottery, however, has a complex background in the UK. It was made illegal in 1698. Later, in 1934, small lotteries were legalized in the country, while further liberalization followed in 1956 and 1976 respectively. The first National Lottery was established in 1994.

Overview

Gambling Legislation in the UKThe UK proclaims most forms of gambling, including online casino operations, as legal. The industry in the country is also tightly controlled by a special regulatory authority – the Gambling Commission, which is subjected to the Government’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport.

As a whole, the gambling industry in the UK is regulated by the Commission, except for the spread betting that is put under the control of the Financial Conduct Authority. The industry is regulated under the terms of the Gambling Act of 2005 that is aimed primarily at controlling the remote gambling in the country.

There are more than 200,000 people employed in the gambling industry of the country, which has implemented special taxes for the sector-related businesses in addition to the duties paid by non-gambling companies.

The duties paid by the industry operators in 2009 amounted to a total of £1.4 billion, which makes their contribution to the UK’s economy considerable.

The social responsibilities of the industry are also not left behind, because of the firm system that offers licences under strict conditions only.

The Gambling Commission

The Gambling Commission was created as an independent non-departmental public body in the UK under the terms of the Gambling Act of 2005 in order to take care of the regulation of commercial gambling in the country.

Basically, the entire gambling market in the UK is being regulated by the Commission, which on October 1st, 2013 took over the responsibilities of the National Lottery Commission in order to control the National Lottery.

The Commission was established under the UK’s Gambling Act 2005, but it obtained its full powers two years later, after taking over the responsibilities of the Gaming Board of the country related to controlling and regulating betting, casinos, slot machines, lotteries, arcade games and bingo.

Spread betting is excluded from the Commission’s responsibilities and is currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Remote gambling, however, is still part of the obligations of the Commission.

The officially stated targets of the UK Gambling Commission are not only to permit gambling, but also to ensure it is crime-free, open and fair, and protect children and vulnerable people from getting involved with it.

Gambling operators that want to run their businesses on the territory of the country are obliged to obtain a licence from the Commission, which also specializes in carrying out investigations and prosecuting illegal gambling. The process of obtaining a license involves the gambling operator being subjected to rigorous tests and audits, which are meant to determine the legitimacy of the company. Any gaming website holding a UKGC license has met the needed criteria, which includes the ability to safeguard users’ personal and banking information from unauthorized parties, as well as, proving that the results of gambling event are produced by chance. The Commission also has advisory functions when it comes to gambling-related matters monitored by UK’s national and local government.

The licenses issued by the Gambling Commission cover all operations based on the territory of the UK, as well as the operators which remote gambling equipment is located in the country. If a gambling operator wants to advertise its services in the UK, but its headquarters are based overseas, it must first get a special licence from the Commission, or as an alternative, obtain one of the so-called “white-listed” gambling jurisdictions.

The actions of the UK Gambling Commission are primarily focused on the matters and operators that are considered as the greatest potential risk to the licencing objectives. The licences issued by the Commission come in correspondence with the Gambling Act and the Licence conditions and codes of practice.

In addition, the Commission is entitled with the rights to visit and monitor the operators it has issued licences to and also examine their financial activities. If there are some misconducts, the Commission can make certain recommendations and set or remove additional licence conditions.

Taking regulatory actions against the operators, which licences breach the rules in some way, are also among the responsibilities the UK Gambling Commission is authorized for. The latter has a certain set of tools and actions that it may need to take in order to ensure the compliance with the legislation.

The Gambling Act of 2005

Internet Gambling in the UKThe Gambling Act of 2005 has set three major goals as the main objectives before it. First, it aims at preventing gambling from being related in any way with crime or disorder. Second, it is focused on making sure that gambling operations on the territory of the UK are carried out in an open-minded way. And last, but not least, it has set an objective of taking care of children and other individuals in jeopardy from being harmed by gambling operations in any way.

And when it comes to online wagering, all online gambling activities in the UK are currently regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. According to the country’s legislation, gaming, lotteries and betting can be offered by a locally-based website in case that the appropriate remote gambling license is held.

The distinction between betting, gaming and participation in lotteries is made by the Gambling Act 2005, which also regulates certain aspects in each and every one of them separately. The main principle settled in the Act is that commercial gambling in all its forms is illegal unless operators who offer it are issued a relevant operating license.

In addition, the principle that both physical and web-based gambling will be regulated is incorporated by the Act, which also provides a certain structure of control and monitoring when it comes to the regulation of online gambling operations.

The legislation implemented by the Act 2005 must be applied by the UK Gambling Commission following the three major principles innately incorporated in the Act.
The operators of online casinos in the UK must hold some of the following licences in order to keep web-based operations in the country:

  • a casino operating licence
  • a general betting operation licence
  • a betting intermediary operation licence
  • a bingo operating licence
  • a lottery operation licence
  • a pool betting operation licence

However, betting businesses owners must be aware of the fact that according to the Gambling Act 2005, a licence permitting online casino and betting activities does not necessarily provide a licence for land-based casinos. Moreover, a licence may permit more than one of the activities listed above, if the operator offers both betting and casino operations based online.

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 came into force on November 1st, 2014. It is aimed at requiring any operator that wishes to make transactions related to gambling to get an operating licence from the country’s Gambling Commission.

It has altered the way of gambling regulation in the UK from a point of supply to a point of consumption basis. After coming into force at the beginning of November 2014, the Act has led to some severe changes in the regulation of remote gambling in the country.

The Act 2014 altered the rules and the regime for remote gambling operators, which are regulated at the point consumption instead of at the point of supply. This, basically, means, that remote gambling operators are now required to hold a licence issued from the Gaming Commission in case that their gambling facilities are used on the territory of the UK even if there is no equipment physically located in the country.

The operators are also liable to pay a remote gaming tax amounting to 15% on their profits generated thanks to the local players, no matter where the headquarters of the company is based. Moreover, the 2014 Act provides only licensed operators to advertise their services to locally-based players and proclaim such actions illegal if the operator does not hold a licence issued by the UK Gaming Commission.

Popular Games

The games that you see hosted on an online casino’s website are not created directly by the casino. This was once the case when the industry was still young and each website had its own proprietary software. Nowadays, the process has been streamlined significantly. There are many companies that make it their business to develop and license software to online casinos. Below we will list several of the top-tier software providers in the industry and give some information about their products.

Playtech

One of the first companies to start the online casino software development business, Playtech has been around since 1999. With nearly two decades of experience under its belt, this company is one of the leading software providers nowadays and their games are featured at many different online casinos. Playtech-powered online casinos are able to offer their user base a games library full of hundreds of unique slots, as well as, a good number of table games. Among Playtech’s most popular offerings we see Pharaohs Treasure, the Age of the Gods series, The Mummy, Stars Awakening, Plenty O’ Fortune and many more.

Microgaming

Another old-school software provider, Microgaming has been in the online casino industry since its very inception, having first opened for business in 1994. Over the years, Microgaming has amassed quite the games selection and users are now able to enjoy hundreds upon hundreds of high-quality slot and table games. Microgaming titles are characterized by their inherent ability to excite and entertain the player. When you register to a Microgaming-powered casino you will have at your disposal games such as Beautiful Bonus, Forbineed Throne, Jurassic World, Emperor of the Sea, Avallon I and Avallon II, as well as, many others.

NetEnt

NetEnt, formerly known as Net Entertainment, is one of the high-profile software developers in the industry. This company was founded back in 1996 and its products have remained relevant in the decades to come. NetEnt games can easily be recognized by their intense graphical fidelity and their beautiful animations. Presentation is very important for this company and as a result, it now has some of the best-looking games on the market. Among NetEnt’s vast games selection, you will be able to play titles such as Planet of the Apes, Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel, Starburst, Blood Suckers II, Jungle Spirit: Call of the Wild, the progressive Mega Fortune slot and hundreds more.

Popular Deposit Methods

As one would expect, online casinos do not deal in cash money and therefore, players are required to utilize some form of online payment service to make their deposit. Luckily, online casinos are quite accommodating in this regard and many of them support multiple easy-to-use and accessible deposit methods. UK players will have many payment solutions at their disposal, making it simple and convenient to fund their casino balance. These can range from credit cards to eWallets to prepaid vouchers. Each service is different from the others and will suit your needs differently.

Credit Cards

credit card payment photoCredit cards are a highly popular payment method, not just in the case of online casinos, but in general. They are offered by every bank and are very convenient and easy to use. Additionally, you can also use your credit card at nearly any online casino to deposit and withdraw money. Credit cards are very accessible and anyone with a bank account can qualify for one. When using this payment method to deposit to your casino balance, you will immediately notice how the transaction goes through immediately and the money appears in your balance within seconds.

One of the best perks of using a credit card is that the payment is instantaneous and you can begin playing your favorite games in no time at all. When you decide to cash in your winnings you can also have the money sent to your credit card, though the processing times are somewhat longer, taking on average between 2 and 5 business days. The most commonly accepted credit card brands are Visa, MasterCard and Maestro, though there is a good number of online casinos out there that will support Diners Club and American Express. MasterCard users should know, however, that due to the stance of MasterCard (the company) regarding online gambling, you will not be able to request a withdrawal to your credit card.

Electronic Wallets

Another payment method commonly used by gamblers are electronic wallets or eWallets for short. These services are very convenient and will allow you to store and move money. eWallets are accepted at the vast majority of online casinos and will be of great service to you. For example, deposits made with an eWallet are processed only seconds after you confirm the transaction. There are practically no wait times and you can immediately start gambling with your money. Moreover, they will also give you some form of anonymity online as you will not be required to submit the details of your credit card or bank account.

For most players, online security is an aspect of paramount importance and eWallets are highly appreciated just for this reason alone. Additionally, withdrawals issued to an eWallet are the fastest in the industry. Whereas credit card withdrawals can take up to 5 business days or bank transfers 2 full working weeks to clear, eWallet transactions are processed within 24 hours. There is no other service which can provide you with the same payout speed and security. Popular eWallets include Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz, PayPal and several others.

Prepaid Cards

prepaid cards payment photoIf instantaneous transactions and guaranteed anonymity are what you are looking for, then consider using a prepaid card to deposit to your online casino balance. Prepaid services will help you remain anonymous in an age where information is stolen on a daily basis. This is due to the fact that you will not be required to submit any personal data when purchasing or using a prepaid card. Moreover, deposits made with this kind of service are usually made available as soon as you confirm the transaction, so there is almost no delay.

A significant drawback that is inseparable from prepaids is the inability to withdraw your winnings. Since transactions can only be sent one way, you will have to resort to a different method if you want to receive your winnings. In such a scenario, online casinos will suggest a bank transfer. Among the more popular prepaid payment methods, you will find services such as Paysafecard which are widely available.

FAQ

Online casinos have some of the best cybersecurity on the Internet. As mandated by law, all online services which require the submission of personal data have to be able to keep it safe from unauthorized third parties. The technology used to accomplish this is high-end encryption, which renders any and all information that passes through an online casino’s servers unreadable. Basically, in the unlikely scenario that a hacker manages to obtain anything it will not makes any sense to them.

The encryption used is either 128- or 256-bit, both of which are very hard to break. With modern equipment, it would take on average several decades before that information is deciphered, which disincentivizes any potential wrongdoer. All in all, it is completely safe to submit your personal and banking data to the online casino and you can play without a care in the world.

All online gambling operations in the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom have to request some form of ID from its user base. This is demanded by law and this rule is meant to prevent any underage persons from gambling online, as well as, to prevent any potential money laundering schemes.

Identity verification is usually requested when the user wants to cash in their winnings. Usually, online casinos will ask for a government-issued ID card, bank statement, utility bill or something along those lines.

This question is on all inexperienced players’ minds but to put all doubts to rest – yes, US-friendly casinos utilize Random Number Generators (RNG) and therefore, are fair. This sophisticated software uses complex algorithms to replicate absolute statistical randomness of results so that everyone has the same odds at winning.

Of course, it will not hurt to make sure you are joining a gambling operator that is licensed and regulated. Licensed offshore casinos are required by their regulators to have their RNG software audited by third-party companies that are in no way associated with them financially to avoid any bias on their behalf. Once the RNG software has passed the audits successfully, the casino receives a certificate of validity to display publicly on its homepage.

Bonus funds are given out as part of some promotion run by the individual online casino. Usually, you are eligible to receive a monetary bonus when you deposit to your balance. Bonus funds are different from ‘real’ money. For starters, they are not immediately available for withdrawal and are subject to the rules of the promotion. In most cases, you will be required to meet some form of wagering requirement, which demands that you wager a certain amount with the bonus funds.

The terms regarding bonus funds will vary between the different casinos, but they follow similar guidelines. You will have to follow the rules of the casino if you wish to be able to withdraw the bonus, failing to do so may result in the bonus funds being confiscated.

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the regulatory body that oversees all gambling operations running in its jurisdiction. It sets the rules and guidelines that online casinos have to follow, but there are authorized third parties that are responsible for the enforcement of said rules.

There are several institutions licensed by the UKGC to handle disputes between the player and the gambling website. If you believe you have been cheated or have had your funds unjustly confiscated please refer to one of the authorized entities.

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