Whether you are a skilled and experienced gambler or a novice, you would naturally be looking for the best casinos to place your bets. The supersonic rate of growth of online casino gaming all over the world in recent years has brought about the emergence of thousands of gambling websites, which, in turn, has made setting top online casinos apart from mediocre ones a real challenge. Essentially, online casinos have been gaining massive popularity mainly because of the greater convenience associated with playing online. Yet a high-quality gaming experience requires more than merely having a player’s favorite games at their fingertips.
Here are some characteristics, which, in our opinion, every trustworthy online casino UK should have. The first step to indulging in rewarding online gambling is to ensure the operator is licensed by the Gambling Commission. After that, it is worth checking out what ratings are given to each of these legit casinos by reputable rankings and reviews. Finally, it makes sense to dig even deeper and read through the Question & Answer sections available on the majority of UK and global websites recommending the best casinos in order to gain sufficient insight into which the most highly appealing operators are.
Advantages of Online Casinos over Physical-Location Casinos
First and foremost, playing at the best casinos for the ultimate convenience of users being just a few clicks away from a number of exciting games accessible through their computers or phones. That means economizing on travel and food expenses can leave more funds for your bankroll. In addition, strange as it may seem, online casinos ensure a greater degree of safety as far as all the online transactions are concerned. That is because the money gets transferred directly into one’s gaming account, thus saving the hassle of needing to cash in chips or physically carrying large winnings.
Finally, online casinos are generally capable of boasting a wider range of games than their physical counterparts because computer programmes do not require physical premises and staff. As far as online casinos are concerned, there are practically no or very little overhead or maintenance costs so they can even afford the luxury of offering exclusive or niche games in order to please their customer base. For a review – take a look at our infographic.
Introducing the Most Trusted Online Casinos in the UK
This website sets out to provide a thorough list of the most reputable casinos in the UK which also offer the best features and player environment. Our detailed ranking of top operators is performed by experts in the field and is based on extensive criteria. Next, in referring to our Best Online Casino Rating chart, you can also take advantage of the detailed and up-to-date reviews of top online casino gaming operators which we feature on this website. We hope that our selection will help you make informed choices about those casinos that will best meet your requirements.
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Top 5 Online Casinos in the UK 2018
Assessing all the legit internet casinos in the country in terms of seven top-notch criteria yielded the following Top Five UK Online Casino Ranking:
- 1. 888 Casino
- 2. Betway
- 3. Lucky 247
- 4. Kaboo
- 5. LeoVegas
A Crushing Victory for 888 Casino
The undisputed leader, 888 Casino, secures its way to the top through its eCOGRA certification and a wide range of games and payment methods on offer. In addition, it has received the EGR ‘Casino Operator of the Year’ award on a number of occasions, which goes on to show that it has been given wide recognition. New members of the website are treated to a generous welcome bonus which is not bound to a fixed deposit. On top of it, they are entitled to another lucrative offer when they make their first bonus.
However, probably the major feature of 888 Casino that gives it the edge is that they have opted for their own software platform, customizing it in such a way that it fully meets their players’ needs. The numbers speak for itself as the top casino in the UK boasts somewhere in the region of 25 million users. Another competitive advantage of 888 Casino is their mobile platform operating on both iOS and Android, which allows players to bet directly through their smartphones or tablets. Last but not least, a usability study conducted among regular players at 888 Casino revealed that their software was found very user-friendly, which was another factor that generated high traffic to their website. Coupled with the 24/7 Live Support for players available in seven languages and accessible through chat, e-mail, or telephone, the services that these top online casino offers are indeed second to none.
Plus Points of the Runner-Ups
Betway Casino, which occupies the second place in our ranking for online casinos, takes pride in offering a wide selection of games, coupled with a trendy design and a flawless mobile experience. In addition, it features a variety of approved payment methods, which contributes to greater flexibility and choice for the players. Ranking third in our chart, Lucky 247 offers its customers plenty of Microgaming sessions and a privileged Loyalty Club enabling players to accrue points over time, which they can later exchange for online casino credits.
The next runner-up at the fourth place is the Kaboo Casino, which is another renowned and highly trusted UK online casino platform. It boasts an award-winning graphic interface and a unique reward system in the form of echoes which are traded for free spins. Players at the Kaboo Casino will also be spoilt for choice as the website offers multiple platforms featuring operators such as Microgaming and NetEnt, among others. Finally, the fifth place in this year’s ranking is taken up by LeoVegas who have made their name mostly through their fabulous Live Dealer Casino Games and enticing Welcome package, not to mention their latest award for ‘Mobile Casino Product of the Year’.
Our Evaluation Criteria in Detail
The process of putting together our top UK online casino listings involved collecting and examining data from the perspective of seven major criteria: accreditation and certification; choice of games; promotion and bonus schemes; software platform; mobile compatibility; customer support; and payout percentage.
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Accreditation and Certification
It goes without saying that being a regulated online casino operator is a pre-requisite to a quality gaming experience. Therefore, our selection of top UK Internet casinos includes only providers holding licenses recognized by the national gambling authority. These documents, once granted, certify that the website conforms to the necessary technical and security requirements as well as adopting anti-money laundering and anti-fraud policies.
In addition to certification by the UK Gambling Commission, trustworthy online casinos offer advanced technical security parameters such as enhanced encryption of the connection between the casino’s server and the player’s computer as well as secure payment systems. This is important in order to make sure you and your money are protected against Internet fraud which is a widespread phenomenon these days. Last but not least, most legit online casinos also adopt social responsibility policies against gambling addiction and take active steps in the information and prevention thereof. In a nutshell, these are the main attributes you should be on the lookout for when seeking reputable casinos in the UK.
How can you verify whether an online casino is licensed or not? There are two ways to do that. Most of the online casinos certified by the Gambling Commission list their license number on their website, along with the logo of the regulatory body so make sure to check this carefully. Another way to go about this is to consult the UK public register of authorized top online casinos.
Yet another method for confirming whether an online casino is trustworthy and legit, though it is not as reliable a strategy, is considering whether the casino has won any awards. EGR Awards, for example, are highly regarded in the industry so they may serve as useful pointers. A case in point is the leader in our ranking, 888 Casino, which has been awarded the EGR ‘Casino Operator of the Year’ twice, which really speaks for itself. Finally, even our experts sometimes resort to user opinions in forums or website reviews to get a better understanding of the actual image an online casino has. Luckily, in the era of global connectedness, Internet sooner or later exposes unscrupulous providers, forcing them to either adhere to the rules of the game or leave the web space.
Here is also a list of NOT VERIFIED casinos:
Choice of Games
Frankly speaking, an online casino with a limited range of games simply isn’t worth it. That is why a wide variety of casino game genres is another important characteristic that the best casinos have in common. From Online Slots and Roulette, through Blackjack and Baccarat, to Craps and Poker, such a vast suite of exciting games is a must for every reputable casino operator. These top Internet casinos offer you a great number of ways to win and in most cases, they also guarantee around-the-clock accessibility to the games and timely customer support. As we believe it is essential for every player to be able to find a game that will suit both their taste and their pocket, we have placed great emphasis on evaluating the number of opportunities available for casino members.
Promotions and Bonus Schemes
A reputable and well-established online casino will certainly provide its members with as comprehensive information as possible when it comes to opportunities for cashing in big time, and bonuses and special deals are among these noteworthy rewards. In contrast to bricks-and-mortar casinos, online operators are known for offering far more lavish welcome and/or daily and weekly bonuses. The majority of the best casinos also give their members a chance to increase their initial deposit two- or threefold, which is a tangible benefit. Some of the top online casinos go as far as setting no limit to this operation, which results in amazing deals. In addition, every subsequent deposit can be matched with a particular percentage of bonus (for instance, the second and third deposit – with 50%, and the fourth – with 25%). Finally, deposit bonuses often go hand in hand with free spins or loyalty points which can be redeemed for real online casino credits.
Site Of The Month
A few more key considerations that we take into account when calculating the ratings of the best casinos are the safety, fairness, and reliability of the software platforms Internet casinos run on. Indeed, for an online casino to be deemed trustworthy, the most important condition is for its software to operate on the basis of Random Number Generators so as to ensure just treatment of players. What is more, when a given Internet casino’s platform is powered by a reputable software provider, this automatically means that the quality gaming experience is guaranteed. Of course, if you add state-of-the-art graphics and sound features to it, there is hardly anything else that can be wished for.
With the advent of newer and more varied and sophisticated online casino platforms, users increasingly tend to test out the games before they start playing for real money. Therefore, we have assessed highly those casinos that offer their members the opportunity to play for free, while at the same time enjoying an equally realistic experience. Platforms running both in instant play mode and as a download client are also quite flexible and thus, preferable.
If you are familiar with the names of some of the leading software platform developers of the best casinos, you might as well have certain expectations of the type of games and, respectively, the level of quality. For instance, Microgaming boasts a wide variety of Online Slots such as Mega Moolah, Progressive Slot, and Thunderstruck II, while Playtech relies to a greater extent on impressive graphics and sound features. Besides that, Playtech is tapping into the potential of their global partnership deal with Marvel Entertainment by exploiting familiar superhero characters and films.
Another highly sought-after variation, NetEnt Slot Games, also features popular comics and cartoon faces such as Southpark and Aliens, which have been conveniently adapted to the world of online gambling. Last but not least, proprietary games such as the ones offered by 888 Casino are also all the rage because they are unique on the market. Some of the titles you can play at 888 Casino are European Roulette, Triple Card Poker, Classic Blackjack, and the slots Millionaire Genie, City Life, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Freaky Fruit, and Bejewelled.
Most of the online casino operators run parallel platforms for PC/Mac and mobile devices. Therefore, the same rules apply. In addition to what has already been said in terms of credibility and licensing as well as offering a good selection of games, the best mobile casinos will never disappoint you with poor functionality on a mobile screen or low-quality graphics. To the reputable providers, it is just as important to guarantee that customers enjoy their favorite game on their handheld device as their ability to play in front of the computer so the best casinos would actually go out of their way to ensure classy performance in a mobile environment. Most top mobile casinos also offer flexibility in terms of payment because deposits can be made either through credit card or by accruing the sum on the mobile phone bill. Again, bonuses and special promotions should be as enticing as what online casinos offer.
When it comes to live support, responsiveness and round-the-clock availability are the two vital factors that determine the level of customer care an online casino offers to its members. The range of the means of communication is also important, with top online casinos providing telephone, e-mail, chat, and form inquiry options. In addition, the best casinos will answer questions in a number of languages, the most popular being English, Spanish, and Russian.
Last but not least, a comprehensive FAQ section goes a long way to supplying players with key information and providing guidance on the structure, organization, and operation principles a given online casino employs. Needless to say, top online casinos take pride in exhaustive Q&A pages, divided into a number of sections.
This is another essential piece of information that is mandatory for trusted online casinos and the figure should be publicly available on their websites. Payout percentage refers to the actual amount of money a given casino is paying out to winners. In other words, while the odds provide a mere estimate of the potential earnings casino members can generate from wagering money into a bet, the payout percentage reflects the exact ratio between the total amount betted and the total amount paid out.
According to the indicator of payout rates, 888 Casino is reported by eCOGRA to be taking the lead on this parameter as well because its average payout percentage for blackjack games amounts to 98.10%. While these rates normally vary for different games, they should be in the region of 95% – 96% for the best casinos. In addition, casinos are scoring far better on this indicator than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts because the former can economize on maintenance costs and thus, on the basis of these savings, afford to offer a more generous payout percentage.
How to Recognise Fraudulent Online Casinos
In our experience, there is every likelihood that both novices and expert players might come across rogue sites while looking for the best casinos, so it is handy to know how to recognize these and what to do if you ever end up dealing with one. Let’s first break the good news. Compared to the situation a decade ago when online casinos were a novelty and there still were no laws to regulate their activity, things look much brighter now as the number of illegal gambling sites has dropped significantly. In addition, earlier in the article we mentioned the importance of playing only on licensed websites. Since these are subject to frequent audits by the relevant authorities or independent agencies, there is practically no risk of them rigging games or randomly banning user accounts. However, you can still fall prey to certain unfair practices so it is a good idea to know what you might expect even if you normally play only on licensed websites.
Especially if you have some experience in online gambling, you certainly know what we are talking about. Firstly, while being out of luck is one thing, playing on a platform that manipulates the game so as to strip you of your deserved winning is something totally different. Secondly, you are probably aware of the house edge which refers to the financial advantage that the casino has over the player on a particular bet (for instance, a house edge of 1% means that for every $100 bet by a particular casino member, the probable long-run result will be $99 received by the player, and $1 remaining for the casino).
The best online casinos are in a nutshell, the house edge guarantees that online casinos end up generating profit in the long term, but at some point, you begin suspecting that particular online casino of engaging in fraudulent behavior. You then try to track down the number of hands or spins and match them up against the values derived from applying the probability theory, and something does not seem right. In all likelihood, if out of a thousand roulette spins, the ratio between the reds and the blacks is 3:1, then your suspicion is most probably justified. For instance, a legit online casino would yield a distribution somewhere in the region of 1:1 for either color. At the end of the day, though, if you run into such an issue, there is no way that an online casino was a legit one. Hence, the best security measure to take is to avoid rogue online casino operators.
Misleading Bonus Schemes
It is common knowledge that through rewarding their members with generous bonuses, online casinos aim at getting players to try their luck more times. Normally the rule is: the more you deposit, the more you get back in bonus. However, before you even rejoice in receiving that fat amount, bear in mind that it cannot be withdrawn. Instead, you have to wager much more in return before you get to cash out. And no, this is not fraudulent behavior. In fact, it is common practice even for the best online casinos. In most cases, it is only outlined in the Terms and Conditions section of the Internet casino website so everyone and novices, in particular, are strongly encouraged to get familiar with the rules and regulations before commencing playing. The real issue, though, is when frequent changes are made to the terms and conditions governing bonus schemes. Even to the experienced gamblers, this may come as a surprise so it is advisable to set up an RSS feed from the online casino page so that you get an update anytime the content on it has changed
Randomly Banned Player Accounts
This is a trick that rogue casinos resort to when they are unwilling to pay out winnings. Also, players might be attracted to such Internet casinos because of the more lucrative offers that are often advertised in order to tempt gamblers. At first, everything goes pretty normal until, after a series of losses, you win, and would like to cash out. Of course, initially there may not have been a single sign of something fishy going on with that particular casino but the moment you hit the jackpot, your account gets suspended out of the blue. Upon sending an inquiry to the helpdesk to look into the problem, you get vague answers and no other action ensues. Unfortunately, if faced with a similar situation, there isn’t much that you can do apart from submitting a complaint to the relevant authority, and of course, staying away from scammers.
Bridging the Gap between Players and the Best Online Casinos in the UK
Starting as players ourselves, we gained considerable experience in the gaming industry and decided to share our knowledge with the wider public. This led to the creation of this website whose purpose is to provide a valuable and objective source of information as well as useful tips on the reputable online casinos in the UK. It is our firm belief that, armed with the well-researched knowledge and practical ideas we provide on our website, players will be better equipped to gamble enjoyably and protect themselves effectively against online casino scams. To this end, we have compiled a section of Questions and Answers to respond to the most burning questions arising when players are looking for the best casinos to place their bets. Of course, we have already tackled some of these topics in the article, so refer to the corresponding section above for further details.
FAQs about Online Casinos
- How to Identify the Best Online Casinos? There are three fundamental requirements that the best casinos meet. First, they are licensed by a statutory regulatory body. Second, the majority use software platforms of renowned providers. Third, they offer an exhaustive selection of games and outstanding customer support.
- Are Internet Casinos At All Secure? Yes, they are. For one, their license guarantees they comply with statutory technical and security requirements. In addition, they utilize top gaming software solutions as well as reputable payment methods.
- Can I Win Playing at an Online Casino? Yes, you can, according to gambling maths. However, do bear in mind that probability theories are in place with legit internet casinos only. Of course, not all of the games will result in winning but the chances of scoring a victory are not in the least negligible.
- How Do I Get A Free Online Casino Bonus? The most lavish rewards usually come in the form of Welcome Bonuses but returning players can also take advantage of periodic extra rewards and cash-backs. Sometimes a deposit may not even be required in order for you to qualify for a bonus. Yet do keep in mind that while bonuses count towards your bankroll, they cannot be withdrawn.
- How Do Online Casinos Manage Payments? First and foremost, it is essential to become well acquainted with the terms and conditions for using the particular payment method you prefer. Very often, Internet casinos will have minimum and maximum deposit requirements that vary on the basis of the selected means of payment. For instance, we wholeheartedly recommend PayPal because it is a very widespread online payment system that is 100% trustworthy and the majority of online casinos accept it. Another standard procedure to expect is being contacted by the support team upon your first withdrawal. This is frequent practice followed out of security considerations and is no reason for concern.
- How the cybercriminals use online gaming sites? (SC Magazine UK 2014)
- Online gambling carries the risk of criminal activity (Experts advice on online safety)
- Gambling legislation in the UK (Gambling Act of the UK 2005)
- From Casino Gaming to Mobile Commerce (Mobile Trends of 2013)
- Customer service by online gambling in the UK (Betting Survey – London 2008)