Online casinos provide millions of players throughout the world with the option to enjoy a wealth of quality games without ever setting a foot in a landbased venue. Players, based in the UK are hardly an exception as most established casino operators welcome customers from the country. All one needs to do is open a real-money account, fund it and join the fun.
However, UK players, who are new to online gambling, may experience certain difficulties choosing a web-based casino provider. Even more so, when one considers the sheer number of online gambling operators which accept players from the UK.
The following guide aims at providing information on how to make the best choice when looking for a UK online casino on the basis of software, the game types on offer, the available payment methods and the bonuses and promotional incentives, offered by gambling operators.
Reputable UK Casinos
Choosing a UK Online Casino
With so many UK online casinos to choose from, inexperienced players from the country are often overwhelmed and find it nearly impossible to make up their minds. Prior to opening an account at any web-based casino, players from the UK should make sure they are registering at a reliable gambling website.
The simplest way to decide whether or not a casino provider offers a secure and fair gaming environment is to check which regulatory authority has issued its license. Players from the UK are recommended to look for online casinos which bear the stamp of approval of the UK Gambling Commission. Such information is typically displayed at the bottom of the casino’s homepage.
Once UK players have made sure their online casino of choice is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, they need to take a closer look at its games selection and the software the casino runs on. If the casino runs on software provided by a leading developer, this not only further cements its reliability, transparency and fairness, but serves to indicate the visuals and sound effects of the games are up to par.
Checking the Cashier menu in advance is also recommended as players should aim for web-based casinos that accept a wide range of secure and convenient banking methods. The average payout times of the casino need to be taken into consideration as well. Also, UK players should be able to open an account in their own currency so that they can deposit and withdraw in GBP.
A reputable gambling provider rewards its players and promotes flexibility. Prior to completing their registration, UK players should take a good look at the bonuses and promotions on offer. More importantly, before claiming a bonus, new players need to become better acquainted with its wagering requirements and the casino’s terms and conditions in regard to bonuses.
A good UK casino provides its player-base with adequate, efficient and timely customer support. When choosing an online casino, players from the UK need to ensure the gaming provider offers a range of time-efficient contact methods. Many UK casinos have a toll-free telephone line reserved for players from the country in addition to a 24/7 live chat facility.
Finally, most established online casinos aim to further players’ convenience and are compatible with widespread mobile devices, allowing for gaming on the go.
UK Online Casinos Software
Many online casinos, which accept players from the UK, provide them with the option to download and install their native casino clients on their computers. The installation is usually prompt and easy to complete.
Other operators are available only in Flash mode where no download is required – all players need to do is load the games in their browsers provided they have a stable internet connection. Then again, some online casinos are available in both Download and Flash modes.
In many cases, installing the native casino software is preferable as it grants players access to the entire gaming portfolio, while the Flash version often includes a slightly more limited number of games.
Many experienced players from the UK opt for registering at casinos running on software provided by Playtech. The developer is among the frontrunners of the industry, not to mention some of the most prominent UK online casinos, like Ladbrokes and William Hill, have adopted its software. Seasoned UK players are usually attracted by the progressive slots, available at Playtech casinos. Playtech’s collection of Marvel-themed slots is also among players’ favorites.
A number of leading UK online casinos have opted for software developed by NetEnt. The company was founded in 1996 and has secured a dominant position in the industry thanks to its authentic table games and its huge portfolio of enticing video slots with rewarding features like free spins and bonus games.
Some of the most well-known UK online casinos are powered by Microgaming and offer a vast range of quality games as well as a number of hassle-free and secure banking options. In addition, Microgaming is highly regarded by players due to its massive progressive jackpots on popular slots like Mega Moolah and Major Millions.
Types of Games on Offer
UK players can choose from a wealth of gaming options when they set up an account at a UK online casino. Without question, slots are among the most popular types of games to engage in any web-based casino – they are extremely easy to play which makes them suitable for people who lack experience and skill.
Additionally, many advanced video slots have special features like wild and scatter symbols, free spins, bonus rounds and multipliers, which can make players’ gaming session even more rewarding. Some slot titles also go hand in hand with massive progressive jackpots which can reach millions and change lucky players’ lives.
All UK casinos offer collections of traditional table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and baccarat. UK players can choose between many different variations of classic games but generally, the rules do not deviate much from those of table games, played in landbased casinos. What is more, the games are fair as their outcome is determined by a Random Number Generator to ensure everyone has equal chances of winning. Reputable UK online casinos typically publish the payout percentages of all games on their portfolios.
UK players get the chance to test their skills and experience against those of professional dealers without leaving the comfort of their homes. Most established UK gambling providers have set up Live Dealer casinos and broadcast classic table games like blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps and roulette in real time. The games are hosted by skilled and experienced croupiers.
Bonuses and Promotional Incentives
UK online casinos reward both newly-registered and existing players with a variety of bonuses and promotional offers, which aim to boost their chances of winning and render their experience more thrilling. Players can typically opt in for a Welcome Bonus after completing their registration and making a deposit into their new accounts.
Sometimes newly-registered players are offered bonuses which do not require a deposit to be made. Players can claim a No Deposit bonus simply for signing up with a real-money account at the casino. No Deposit bonuses do not necessarily take the form of actual money – often they come as free spins on selected video slots.
Other promotional incentives available at UK online casinos include Refer-a-Friend bonuses and loyalty programs. Players who refer one or more of their friends to a given casino are granted bonus casino chips to play with free of charge. Most casinos, which welcome UK players, have loyalty programs where players collect Comp Points each time they place a real-money wager. The points can be exchanged for free casino chips or cash.
Prior to claiming any bonus, UK players need to take into consideration two things. First, they need to carefully read the casino’s terms and conditions as usually bonuses have specific wagering requirements that need to be met before players’ winnings become withdrawable. Also, the bonuses for UK players should be displayed in the GBP currency so that they can understand precisely what they are being offered.
UK players must ensure they are registering at an online casino which accepts a wide range of secure payment methods. Typically, established and respected UK gambling providers protect their players and the financial information they share by encoding all banking transactions with SSL encryptions to prevent unauthorized third-parties from gaining access to sensitive data.
When choosing a method of payment, players should check the minimum/maximum amounts they can deposit and withdraw in GBP to and from their accounts. Deposits in most cases are processed immediately and do not involve fees. Often minimum deposits range between £10 and £25 but it all depends on the online casino players have registered with.
Withdrawals, on the other hand, might require several business days to process. Fees might apply depending on the payment solution one uses to cash out. Processing times for withdrawals also vary from one UK casino to another.
Some of the payment methods which enjoy great popularity among players from the UK include credit and debit cards by Visa, Mastercard and Diner’s International as well as e-wallets like those provided by Skill, Neteller and PayPal. Deposits via prepaid vouchers like PaySafeCard are also a convenient and secure option. Some UK players opt for depositing via bank transfers or cheques, but these usually require some time to process.
Pay by Phone
Mobile Casinos for UK Players
The advent of technologies in the past decade has enabled many licensed online casino providers operating on the UK market to reach a greater number of players by giving them the chance to play on the go. Most reputable online casinos which accept players from the UK are mobile responsive and work smoothly on widespread portable devices like those running on Android, Windows and iOS.
Players can easily load the games directly in their portable devices’ browsers from the comfort of their surroundings. However, some of the most prestigious UK casino providers have downloadable applications for iOS and Android devices which players can download and install free of charge. Sometimes the number of games on mobile casinos is more limited but still gambling enthusiasts get the chance to play a wide range of video slots, video poker and classic table games like roulette, baccarat and blackjack.
Some providers grant newcomers who register via their portable devices special mobile bonuses to enhance their gaming experience on the go. More importantly, the mobile applications of established UK gambling operators allow players to deposit and withdraw via a variety of secure payment solutions, to contact customer support and manage their accounts while on the move in a hassle-free manner.
Advantages of Playing at UK Online Casinos
It certainly is not difficult to see UK online casinos have many advantages to offer to players from the country. One of the greatest advantages for inexperienced players results from the fact they often get to test the games prior to committing with real-money wagers. Needless to say, this is not the case when one gambles in a brick-and-mortar venue. Less skilled players can try out the games in Fun mode to practice and get a better idea what expects them when they register with a real-money account.
Undoubtedly, the biggest perks online casinos have to offer are convenience and flexibility. UK players are granted instant access to a wealth of games without having to leave their homes in search for a landbased venue to gamble in. The only requirements are to have a stable internet connection and a computer, not to mention mobile gaming is also a rather convenient option.
Diversity is yet another advantage as some of the most renowned casino operators, accepting UK players, have hundreds of games on their catalogs. Moreover, the experience can be quite rewarding as players get to claim various bonuses, collect Comp Points and partake in different promotional incentives. Besides, more often than not online casinos offer higher payback percentages than landbased gambling venues.
Additionally, one can track their wagering history as the software allows casino operators to keep a record of every move made by the players when engaged in a given game. Transaction history, on the other hand, provides information in regard to deposits and withdrawals and enables players to track what percentage of their wagering requirements they have cleared.
Disadvantages of Playing at UK Online Casinos
Every now and then, players are expected to go through verification before they attempt to withdraw their winnings, especially when the sum is more substantial. This process is considered a slight inconvenience by some as it requires more time to complete. Players are expected to send scanned copies of their identification documents, credit cards and recent utility bills as means of proving their identity.
Some players cite system downtimes and the lack of social interaction as minor disadvantages. However, the second issue is easy to resolve as most UK online casinos have Live Dealer sections where the games are hosted by real dealers and are broadcasted in real-time. Communicating with the dealers is possible via a chat facility.
Online Gambling Regulations in the UK
Online gambling in the UK is legal, not to mention the industry is very well regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. The latter was established after the introduction of the Gambling Act of 2005.
The UK Gambling Commission has the right to issue and revoke licenses as well as to impose fines and resolve disputes between players and casino operators. Additionally, the Commission promotes responsible gaming and ensures gambling is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
As was mentioned previously, when registering at an online casino, players residing on the territory of the UK must ensure they are opening an account at a reliable casino which holds a valid license issued by the UK Gambling Commission. Players in the country can choose from a variety of UK-based gambling websites, but there are many offshore gambling brands which have been granted licenses by the Commission and are legally allowed to offer their services on the territory of the country.
Thus, UK residents who are of legal gambling age (18 years or older) can partake in online gambling activities and feel safe in the knowledge they are not breaking the law. On a side note, gambling winnings are not deemed a taxable income in the UK, so players in the country are not required to pay taxes on the money they have won while gaming on the web. Taxes are imposed only on the gross profits of casino operators offering their services on UK territory.