The Top 10 UK Online Casinos of 2017
Playing casino games online can be awesome fun; however, the choice of online casinos is now so wide that deciding which of them to try can be arduous. We are here to help you to make such a decision; on this site, we precisely detail what different casinos offer across their games, bonuses and much more.
We have spent a lot of time researching and testing the UK's leading online casinos before providing in-depth reviews of our experiences. We always look at these aspects of a casino site:
- Game selection - This includes the number, range and quality of the games. Popular ones like blackjack and roulette should have several variants, while slots should also vary hugely.
- Bonuses - Virtually every operator offers a welcome bonus, such as free spins or more money to be added to a deposit.
- Promotions - These can include ongoing and one-off promotions. We also negotiate exciting promotional offers from casinos, which influences where they rank in our often-evolving list of the 10 best online casinos.
This list also enables you to quickly see how different casinos compare in their welcome bonuses and how well-received they are by ordinary users like you.
What are the implications of regulated online casinos?
Before November 2014, remote operators that provided gambling services to UK players tended to be licensed and regulated in the European Union, with Gibraltar and Malta particularly popular bases. Less than 15% of these operators were licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
However, when the Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act 2014 entered force, it required all offshore operators to each hold a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. This change was aimed at further protecting UK players by making the regulation of these operators consistent.
Each of these gambling brands must adhere to particular, strict standards in order to both obtain and keep its UKGC license. These technical standards include testing its Random Number Generator software to verify that its games and payouts are fair.
Operators also need to clearly inform customers about how their funds are being protected and comply with policies and practices aimed at tackling money-laundering. They must also exercise the social responsibility of preventing minors from gambling and act to prevent compulsive gambling.
Each online casino that we work with has a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. This ensures that the casino is regulated and meets specific standards for safety and security.
How online casinos differ in software and graphics
If you have sampled various online casinos and developed a strong feeling of déjà vu, this could be due to the same software purveyor providing many games for all of these casinos. It is rare for a casino to use software that it has made itself; third-party firms instead usually supply the software.
As these firms tend to supply this software to numerous brands, strong similarities can result between casinos; however, there can remain precise differences in the game selections. You should be able to trust that a reputable provider's software is stable and reliable.
If a casino uses a low number of software providers, this does not necessarily mean that the game selection is narrow, as some providers offer a much broader range of games than others. The reputation of the providers, rather than their number, should hold greater weight in your thoughts.
Differences between casinos can also arise in the graphics and interfaces. We favour sites that look slick and contemporary while also making useful information easy to find. Such information should cover the likes of deposit fees, payout rates and terms and conditions for specific bonuses.
Different types of online casino games
- Roulette - Roulette, one of the most popular casino games, sees players bet on where a ball will fall on a revolving wheel. The odds and excitement can vary across multiple variations of roulette, which include European roulette, French roulette and American roulette.
- Blackjack - In blackjack, players aim to obtain cards, the total face value of which is exactly 21. Online blackjack is especially exciting for offering bonuses on deposits, unlike the blackjack that is commonly available at standard land-based casinos.
- Slots - These are the most frequently played games at both online casinos and their brick-and-mortar equivalents. Online, however, you can play slots games in a more streamlined way and enjoy a near-limitless number of bonuses.
- Live casino - This recreates the feeling of a land-based casino by providing a live video feed of a human, rather than computerised, dealer. You can interact with this dealer and watch them as they arrange components on the table. Here are our favourite live casinos online.
How to find the best online casino
There can be noticeable, sometimes even significant, differences in features between online casinos. We are here to draw attention to what these differences are and along the way, assist you in choosing the casino that best meets your particular requirements for online gambling.
You should resist simply taking the casino's word for what they offer, as this is unlikely to provide an entirely objective viewpoint. Our reviewer base includes people who are thoroughly experienced with the industry and highly enthusiastic about online casinos.
For each casino site that we review, we give a score out of 10 and also allow our visitors to provide their own ratings out of 5. Read each review, and you will see that we assess the casino's welcome bonus, variety of games, customer support, payment options and payout policy.
However, when visiting an online casino, you should also look out for these:
- Promotions - A casino can offer both permanent promotions and one-off promotions; either way, there can be exciting cash prizes and other bonuses to win.
- Software - Many casinos source their games from third-party software providers, good examples of which include NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech.
- Security - It is common for a site to have an FAQ section that includes details of the procedures and policies for keeping customers' money safe.
You Can Enjoy Playing at Mobile casinos, too
People who have frequented online casinos since their infancy might recall how, back then, many such sites would give players software to download straight to their desktop and laptop computers.
With this software, a player could sample the casino's games without needing to load and play them within a web browser. While such desktop software still remains available, many online casinos now tend to promote their mobile apps more heavily.
It's worth pointing out that mobile casino offerings remain highly functional when you are playing within a web browser. HTML5 has enabled casinos to make the quality of their desktop and mobile offerings largely equal. Nonetheless, mobile apps can differ greatly to in-browser casinos on mobile.
Some gambling brands might choose to slim down the features of certain games, like slots, on the app. You should also consider that mobile apps, unlike web-based games, will always take up space on your device, while the software updates will not necessarily occur automatically.
The question of whether you should use a website or app for your on-the-go casino exploits is therefore very dependent on personal preference. Still, we hope that whatever way you ultimately choose to play, the decision won't be a tough one – perhaps due to valuable assistance from our casino reviews.