This section is all about online casinos – covering everything from what you can play and where you should do it. Plus a few hints and tips thrown in for good measure.
To kick things off, we’ve compiled a list of recommended casino sites which you can find below. Some of these are better known as bookmakers but that also offer casino games, whilst others are dedicated stand alone casinos.
And, just like the bookies we list in our sports section, all of the following casinos are licensed and regulated in the UK. Remember the welcome offers listed below are for new customers only, you must be 18+ to gamble and other terms and eligibility criteria will apply.
Coral is something of a one-stop-shop for those who enjoy a variety of games. From well-known slots to playing against live dealers, there is something to suit every taste. Although the lack of 24/7 customer support may be off-putting, Coral Casino has some of the lowest deposit and wagering limits, highest payout and withdraw limits, and a choice of almost 1,000 games run by well-known software names, such as Playtech. There are second and third deposit bonuses for blackjack and roulette too, which is rare.
Sign Up: Read the Coral review for full offer details.
BetFred are one of the last truly independent casino sites, they have not merged or sold out to anyone and this means you get a unique experience that you won't get elsewhere. A professional casino site with games from IGT, Playtech and others, there is no shortage of great existing customer promotions and features. This is a fantastic option in particular if you want a UK focused world leading sportsbook alongside too.
Sign Up: Stake £10 (on 5+ game rounds within 7 days) and get 50 free spins for selected slots with all winnings in real cash. Opt in within 3 days to accept spins, these are then valid for 7 days once credited.
Ladbrokes operate one of the biggest gaming and betting products in the world. What you won't get here is a niche, minimalist casino site, but what you will get is a colossus of an online casino that is able to out some serious resources behind itelf. This starts with a massive welcome bonus, superb value regular promotions and some of the fastest and most diverse banking and customer support options around. Limits are also extremely high.
Sign Up: Visit Ladbrokes or read the main review for offer details.
To customers in the UK, 10Bet are probably better known for their sportsbook which has been around since 2003. The casino was a relatively new addition, launching in the UK in 2015. The casino offers games from Netent, Microgaming, Quickspin, iSoftBet and Evolution which can all be played without download. 10Bet offer regular reload bonuses and cashback, as well as season themed promotions and giveaways.
Sign Up: Visit the 10Bet casino review or their site to see and redeem the latest UK casino welcome offer.
If you are looking for an old hand who knows what they're doing you cannot go wrong with 888 Casino. The casino began all the way back in 1997 (that is really old for a casino site) as casino-on-net. 888 were in fact created so early on that there were no software providers around so they went and set up their own, Dragonfish, and to this day most games they provide are unique to them.
Sign Up: No deposit bonus of £15 to £888, spin the wheel to find out what you've won (30x WR in 14 days), then get a 100% matched deposit bonus up to £100 (30x in 90 days)
Royal Panda is a fantastic all round instant play casino website powered by several software's including giants Net Entertainment and Microgaming. The fairly new and independent site doesn't take itself too seriously and this lends itself to creating a fun and exciting site. There is also a professionalism about the brand that gives players confidence. The company are also no nonsense with a clear, honest welcome bonuses and regualar promos.
Sign Up: 10 free spins on Starburst, no deposit required, then 100% first deposit bonus from £10 to £100, spins and bonus have a 35x wagering requirement in 90 days.
32Red boast a more loyal customer base than pretty much any other casino in the world. They have achieved this by staying true to what their users want, good games, a simple usable interface and a first class loyalty scheme where you earn Red Ruby Points that can be converted to free spins and cash at a very good rate. The casino is a microgaming specialist with over 500 games through either instant play or download.
Sign Up: £10 Free no deposit (50x WR in 7 days, £100 max withdrawal) followed by a 320% deposit bonus up to £160 (40x WR no time limit).
The BetVictor casino is probably the most stylish and professional online casino that you will ever see. This is not a site with flashy features and quirky offers, rather this is a casino for serious players who want to play good games on a great interface. The casino runs games from 9 different software providers with solid good value offers each week that give ordinary players real extra value. BetVictor can also boast one of the best all round packages with an exceptional sportsbook alongside.
Sign Up: Opt in and wager £10 in 7 days to get a £20 slots, £10 live casino, £10 table game and £10 instant win bonus.
SuperLenny are not your usual breed of online casino site. Their motto is 'Deer to be Different' with a logo of man with a deer head! Bedsides the quirkiness this is a thoroughly professional casino with games at its heart. The site has all the major software providers and over 500 games and works seamlessly on all devices. Earn BUX for playing, these can be converted to cash extra spins with no wagering requirement, great for regular customers.
Sign Up: No bonus is available in the UK at present, if you are from a different region click the button to see if there is a welcome deal in your territory.
Betfair are one of the biggest online gaming providers in the world, if you value choice of games coupled with very regular promotions and a huge range of features then this is a great option for you. The brand as a whole is massive and this makes them a little faceless compared to more bijoux online casinos but for most of us that won't matter. The game play is fantastic with titles from leading providers such as Playtech and NetEnt.
Sign Up: See the Betfair casino review for full details of the various welcome promotions available.
Betway have very much made a name for themselves as a very modern and stylish brand. They stay ahead of other casino sites when it comes to new design and innovation but still retain the simple features that make game play fun. A Microgaming specialist with a suite of NetEnt games to complement, this is a site that is all about doing things properly and this shines through whatever titles you play, excellent sportsbook and top loyalty scheme too.
Sign Up: Three tiered bonus, 100% up to £250 first deposit and then optional to claim 25% up to £250 on your second and 50% up to £500 on your third deposits, all come with 50x rollover.
ComeOn may have a relatively small welcome bonus but they are worth a go for many other reasons. The brand has a fantastic reputation for rewarding loyal customers with a hugely generous rewards points scheme and shop coupled with the clearest and most honest terms you will see from an online casino. Take a look around their site, you will see they have nothing hiding away and are upfront about everything including exact numbers of games by software.
Sign Up: 100% first deposit bonus from £10 up to £25 & 10 casino spins, a fair 35x bonus rollover in 30 days and in an example of their clear terms all games contribute 100% except roulette and card games. 10 Spins for starburst, cash winnings.
Whatever Virgin turn their hands to they just always look better than their competitors. The Virgin Games casino is a licensed brand but none the less there is a relaxed and classy feel about this site like many other Virgin brands. Virgin is owned by the leading software provider Gamesys and I think this makes a perfect combination of both style and substance. Lots of titles and providers are available with some very valuable existing customer deals.
Sign Up: 200% up to £200, a very fair and easy to use bonus with a wagering requirement as low as 4x (when used on bingo games) and 40x when used on most casino games.
William Hill need no introduction, they are the biggest and most visible gambling brand in Great Britain to the point where they have a presence in every town in the land. The online casino site from William Hill has huge resources available and for customers this translates into hundreds of top title games from all the leading software providers including Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT and many more.
Sign Up: See the William Hill casino review or visit the site below to see the latest introductory games offer.
Video Slots are the superstore of online casino sites offering over 1800 games from over forty different software companies including of the big names and top titles. This online casino site is a must for anyone who likes to play the very latest games and progressive jackpots or for anyone who wants to try new software companies. Video slots have some great regaulr reward deals and a very generous welcome package too.
Sign Up: 11 Free no deposit spins on Starburst when you join (40x rollover, 7 days, £20 max win) followed by a 100% bonus up to £200 with a fair rollover of 20x (in 7 days, £10 min).
If you want to get away from the usual looking stuffy and overcrowded casino sites then Casumo are a good option. Casumo is a thoroughly modern and independent casino only site and you will know from the instant you land if this type of casino is for you. They have games fromt eh like of NetEnt, Microgaming and others but manage to present them in a way I've never really seen before.
Sign Up: 20 Starburst spins no deposit (30x rollover, 30 days), first bonus 100% up to £300 (30x deposit+bonus rollover in 6 months).
There is an obvious nautical theme at Casino Cruise but this also comes with the elegance and style you would expect from cruising. The NetEnt, Microgaming, Evolution and NYX powered casino provides around 600 games in a very pleasing interface on both desktop and mobile. The welcome bonus is good but the sailing themed regular promotions are even better offering lots of value for loyal players.
Sign Up: First deposit matched 200% up to £200 (£10 min, 40x rollover in 14 days) with 200 free spins (awarded 20/day for 10 days), 50% up to £200 2nd deposit bonus followed by 25% up to £300 on your third and fourth deposits..
Spin and Win are part of the Daub Alderney group and so you know there is a lot of experience and good resources backing this casino. The multi-software (NetEnt, Daub, Micro, Play'N Go, etc) site offers over 300 instant play games on desktop and mobile and comes with a hugely rewarding and valuable welcome package.
Sign Up: 100% first deposit bonus from £20 up to £200 (30x deposit+bonus rollover) with 100 free spins (20/day for 5 days, 25x rollover). Second and third deposit bonuses, 100% up to £250 and 100 extra spins.
Guts is an instant play independent casino site great for anyone who just wants a good looking casino with top games without all the other products you get from big betting companies. Guts offer over a few hundred carefully picked games from leading providers such as NetEnt, Scientific, Microgaming and Play N'go.
Sign Up: Four tiered bonus, first 100% up to £100, 2nd 50% up to £50, 3rd 25% up to £50 and 4th is a huge 200% up to £100. Each bonus comes with 25 extra spins. Bonus 1-3 35x rollover, fourth bonus 45x, all valid for 30 days.
How Do Casinos Get Licences To Operate in the UK?
We’ve already had a look elsewhere at bookmakers, but it’s only right that we explore the way that online casinos work, too. They’re a tad different from bookies, you see, so it’s important to know how they are licensed and the ways in which your money is protected when you join them and have a flutter on their games. In principle an online casino can operate from anywhere in the world, after all, so it’s vital that you know as much as possible about they operate in order to look after yourself. That’s why in practice companies can only work in certain parts of the world if they want to gain a licence to have a UK customer base.
In many ways there aren’t a huge amount of differences between the laws that apply to bookmakers and those that are in place for online casinos. They still have to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and they need to abide by the rules set out by both the 2005 Gambling Act and the 2014 Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act. The criteria laid out before companies hoping to open an online casino for punters in the UK are stringent and those applying for a licence have to offer huge amounts of information. That info is looked at by independent bodies in order to ensure transparency and fairness throughout the proceedings.
How Do Online Casinos Make Money?
There’s a slight difference between the way that bookmakers make a profit and the way casinos do the same. Bookies normally balance the odds to ensure that there is a margin built in to things and to give themselves the greatest possibility of making money. Even so, there are multiple outcomes possible and bookmakers don’t have any control over what is going to happen, so on occasion it’s out of their hands and even the bookie can lose. This is not the case with casinos, mainly because of the fact that the games you’ll play in a casino, either physical or online, have fixed odds that guarantee them a margin.
The key to a casino’s ability to make money is the fact that they think long-term. If you flipped a coin one hundred times it might land on heads 59 times and tails 41. The next time it might land on heads 48 times and tails 52, meaning that heads will still be ‘in the lead’. Keep flipping it, though, and eventually things will even themselves out to ensure that the coin has landed heads and tails an even number of times. That’s what casinos do, they know that over time the odds of a specific event happening will even out so as long as they’ve got their edge built in to whatever it is that you’re betting on they’ll always come out on top. One player might win every single hand they play, but another player will lose all of theirs. That’s why they say ‘the house always wins’.
On a bet by bet basis casino games are better value for money than sports bet, some versions of roulette for example can have over a 98% payout. The difference is we tend to place many more casino bets in one session than we do with sports, so over time the odds even out and on average the house always wins. There are occasions where the odds are in the favour of the player, this can happen with games of skill and progressive jackpots.
Random Number Generators: Are They Fair?
Sometimes referred to as RNG, Random Number Generators are the computer systems used by online casinos to ‘ensure’ that games are as fair as possible. The only thing is, they’re not really random. That’s not because casinos are cheating – they’d be shut down if they did – it’s just that nothing is truly random when it comes to mathematics. 2+2 will always equal 4, so there’s only a certain extent to which the randomness of RNGs can be guaranteed.
You might be wondering why this matters, after all you don’t play a game called RNG so it’s not your problem. Except it is if you’ve ever played a game online without a human dealer. Whether you’re talking about online bingo, blackjack or slot machines, Random Number Generators are used to ensure that the outcome is as random as it can be. When it comes to ensuring that, it’s all down to the external companies that test the software involved in RNGs to make sure that it’s working as it’s supposed to. Licensed casinos have their software checked on a regular basis and there might be an edge built in, but it’s always as far as it can be.
How Can Casinos Afford To Give Generous Bonuses?
Join an online casino for the first time and you’ll doubtless be offered what seems like a ludicrous welcome package. “Deposit £100, Get £200 in Bonus Money!”, as an example. How on earth do casinos manage it? Well, as mentioned before, the fact that they have that built in edge means that they make a pretty healthy profit every year. Online casinos also have far fewer overheads than their land based cousins allowing them to use more of their profits directly on the customer.
Giving away some free money to people as an enticement to get them to place their wages with that specific casino will work out in the casino’s favour in the long term. There’s also the fact that casinos normally apply terms and conditions to the welcome offers that means only some people end up walking away with cash from a introductory bonus.
For example, there are often also turnover requirements, ensuring that you have to bet your free money, say, thirty times before you can withdraw it. The more times you need to roll your money over the more likely it is that you’ll lose it. As we said before, casinos play the long game and are happy to take a short-term loss in order to generate a long-term gain.
These bonuses are still worth taking, eventually you will win cash if you take advantage of several sign up bonuses. Only do this if you are going to play casino games online anyway though, don’t spend money you wouldn’t have otherwise spend just to get offers, this is a sure way to lose.
How Do Casinos Reward Loyal Customers?
Casinos have two major ways of rewarding punters that stay loyal to them. The first is by offering Loyalty Points for playing games and doing things online. If you deposit money into your account, for example, you’ll earn some Loyalty Points.
These points can be accumulated before being swapped for things such as free spins, computers or even tickets to gigs or holidays. Lots of casinos also offer VIP tiers that will see their most loyal customers rewarded with invitations to events or the like. In short, if you bet big with a specific casino then they’ll find lots of ways to say thank you.
Most good loyalty programs give you at least 1% of your stakes back, and higher percentages the more you play. Again only take advantage of these schemes if you are going to play casino games any way, playing games just to get points is a false economy.
Why Trust Our Casino Reviews?
Much the same as with bookmakers, we don’t recommend a casino that we haven’t been using ourself for some time. We wouldn’t tell you to do something that we haven’t already been doing ourselves, so you know we’ve inspected the casinos to make sure they’re reputable.
One of the key ways we do that is by refusing to recommend an online casino that isn’t licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. If your money isn’t safe then we’re not going to be recommending you deposit, no matter how good the welcome offer might be.
The best way to find a good casino is by trying a few different types. We try to list a varied range of casinos so that you can find the right one for you. Remember you don’t need to claim the full bonus to try a site out, most deposit match offers start with deposits as low as £10.
Gambling in Online Casinos Responsibly
It really doesn’t matter who you are, the temptation will sometimes be in front of you to have one more bet. Perhaps you’ve just lost and you’re hoping to recover those losses. Maybe you’ve been told about a system that will ‘guarantee’ you a profit and you want to put it to the test. It’s important to ensure that you never gamble with money that you can’t afford to lose and you always do your best to gamble responsibly.
Casinos will do their bit to help, and this is a condition of their licence, offering limits on how much you can deposit into your account and also allowing you to exclude yourself from the site if things are getting too much. If you feel like you need help then make sure you take it. There are many independent sources of advice available, Be Gamble Aware.
If you believe that an online casino has done something wrong or you want to make a complaint about something then start by contacting the casino directly. By gaining a UK Gambling Commission licence they have made a promise to sort out any differences with customers as well as they can. If you feel they aren’t listening or things have come to a deadlock then you might want to contact the UK Gambling Commission directly and you’re allowed to do that.
Alternatively you might choose to turn to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, who will look at your case and assess your claim if it is relation to a bet or series or bets. If you feel that you’ve been sold something under false pretences then you can also speak to the Advertising Standards Agency.
Do You Need To Pay Tax On Casino Winnings?
If playing in the UK the short answer is ‘no’.
The tax laws of the United Kingdom as they currently stand mean that you do not need to pay tax on money you’re staking on, or profits you’ve won from, gambling.
Online casinos will need to pay tax at the point of consumption. Many casinos used to get around betting taxes by basing their headquarters in tax havens, however a point of consumption tax is now paid by all companies on profits made in the UK if they want to operate in this market (legally).
The fact that casinos are taxed directly on UK profits means at some level they are still simply passing the tax money onto their customers via increased margins or smaller free bets etc. The most important thing to note is that if you win big on an online casino then the money you get paid out is yours, all yours.
If you do have a large win it is worth declaring this to HMRC anyway as gambling winnings, you won’t be penalises for this and it means you can explain where the money came from if you are questioned later down the line.