Online casinos for UK players
Our team of experts visit dozens of online casinos each and every month, but only the finest sites ever make it through to our list of recommendations. That’s because nothing less than the very best online casinos for UK players will ever be recommended by the RightCasino crew.
We pay particularly close attention to player safety at online casinos and can guarantee the highest levels of security from all the casinos featured on our site. Check out some the top rated casinos for UK players; simply hit ‘Sign Me Up’ on any of the best online casinos below to visit the site and grab your exclusive casino bonus – there’s even a link for you to get the lowdown on the T&Cs. Otherwise, hit one of the casino logos to read our in-depth online casino review of each and every aspect of that casino including all available casino bonuses.
Discover the right online casinos
About online casinos
Online gambling encompasses a diverse field of products, covering everything from popular casino games and slots to sports betting, poker and table games. There are also thousands of deals promoted through online casinos, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for UK players to get the best value for their money. We have written out a guide on ‘What to look for when comparing online casinos‘ that helps players choose their most suitable casino to fit their needs.
– Mobile casinos
Advancements in 3G, 4G and even 5G technology have made it possible to get the casino gaming you love on the go. Most of our featured online casinos support popular mobile and tablet platforms, so you can get stuck in whenever Lady Luck comes calling. Check out the best mobile casino reviews for more information about which of our casino partners support your preferred device, pay by phone bill casino options, and of course for the latest offers available.
– Casino bonuses
There are plenty of opportunities for online punters to get more bang for their buck. The vast majority of online casino websites offer a range of bonuses, deals and promotions to tempt newcomers and to reward their most loyal players. The most popular are the online casino welcome bonuses. Some of these bonuses can really add extra value to your gaming experience, such as the RightCasino no deposit bonus.
– Casino games
There are dozens of popular casino games available to play online, from iconic classics like roulette and blackjack to more niche games such as sic bo and casino craps. Many larger gambling operators offer a wide range of other gambling products, such as sportsbook, bingo and poker clients. Visit our online casino games page for more information about each type of game.
– Live casino dealers
A lot of players are uncomfortable entrusting their cash to the Random Number Generators (RNGs) that power virtual casino games. As a result, live dealer gaming has become exceptionally popular with online gamblers. Using cutting-edge live streaming technology, casino tables are streamed to millions of online players from functional casinos or dedicated studios. This means you can enjoy an authentic casino experience from the convenience of your desktop, tablet or smartphone as you would in a land-based casino! Visit our live dealer casinos page for more information and to find live dealer casinos.
For years, the only way punters were able to play at an online casino was to download casino software to their Windows PC. But now, thanks to HTML5 technology, the vast majority of online casinos offer a ‘no-download casino‘ alternative that can be played in a user’s favourite browser. Also, because of the versatility of HTML5, Mac users can now join in the gambling fun too!
Browser and download casinos
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of playing in-browser and on your desktop.
There are two main ways to access online casinos: instantly in-browser and on your desktop via downloaded gambling software.
Some casinos offer both and some provide one or the other. Both come with distinct advantages and disadvantages and different players have different preferences. This page will run through the characteristics of each so that you can make up your own mind.
In-browser or ’instant’ play?
- Instant gratification: you can get stuck into the action immediately with no tedious waiting around for software to install.
- No junk on your computer: you don’t have to contend with casino software eating up your virtual memory and slowing down your computer.
- Privacy: tracking software might be installed on your computer if you download a desktop casino suite (although this should be indicated prior to installation if you read the terms and conditions).
- Slowdown: the quality of your experience will depend on your internet connection or, in the case of live games, the integrity of the video stream. You could even lose winnings if a game cuts-out midway.
- Reduced catalogue: you will generally be able to access fewer games in-browser versus downloaded software and overall game quality will probably be lower.
- Compatibility: software updates can temporarily affect device compatibility with in-browser casino games. meaning you cannot always guarantee that you will be able to play from your smart device.
By downloading software to your desktop, you will be able to access a casino’s entire catalogue of games without having to actually access its website.
- Best quality experience: you’ll get ALL the casino’s products in the highest quality with absolutely no slowdown.
- Customisation: many casinos allow you to tailor your virtual suite, changing themes, your avatar and more.
- Security: cash transactions to and from a downloaded casino suite are regarded as far more secure than in-browser transactions.
- Delays: before you can play, you have to go through an installation process.
- Too close to home: many players do not like casino brands downloading content to their computers, fearing privacy breaches.
- Memory: casinos suites will take up virtual memory and could slow down your computer.
UK casino licensing and regulation
All iGaming activity in the United Kingdom is regulated by the 2005 Gambling Act as elaborated by the UK Gambling Commission. This legislation empowers online facilities located in the United Kingdom to make available betting, gaming and lotteries, provided the appropriate remote gaming license has been acquired
UK gambling law incorporates the following ‘licensing objectives’ which govern all of the Commission’s decisions:
- Preventing online gambling from being a source of crime, being associated with crime or being used to support crime.
- Ensuring online gambling business is conducted in a fair and open way;
- Protecting underage and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by online gambling (see Responsible Gambling).
With regard to licensing, if one is to operate an online casino in the UK, the business holder requires one of the following:
- Bingo operating license
- Casino operating license
- General betting operation license
- Pool betting operation license
- Betting intermediary operation license
- Lottery operation license
It’s important to note that a license permitting remote gambling will not also permit terrestrial operation. Also, it should be borne in mind that a license may permit more than one of the activities listed above – so an igaming operator that offers both casino games and sports betting would need only one remote gambling license covering both of these elements.
The 2005 Act makes specific reference to the provision of ‘gambling software’, which is defined as computer software for use in connection with remote gambling. To provide such software, the supplier will need a gambling software license.
The process under which an applicant applies for a remote operating license is detailed and thorough. In the first instance, the applicant must:
- Identify the activity which he intends to be authorised by the license.
- Specify an address in the UK at which the documents can be served.
- State whether the applicant or their relevant principles have been convicted of an offence.
In addition to the above, the Gambling Commission is directed by the 2005 Act to take into account the applicant’s suitability to carry on the business, as well as the suitability of the equipment which is to be used. The commission must also have regard to the integrity of the applicant and of other people relevant to the application, as well as the competence of the applicant to carry on the licensed activities in a manner consistent with the aforementioned licensing objectives.
As for the documents needed to apply for a license, they can be found at the official website of the Gambling Commission: www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk
International casino licensing and regulation
As you would expect, each nation sets its own rules for gambling much like it sets them for anything else. This means there is no one single set of regulations that applies around the world and it is a player’s responsibility to learn about what the legal situation is where they are.
That said, the team at RightCasino is a curious bunch and though we are located in Europe, we are very interested in what happens in gambling around the world. This is why you will find information about online casinos in USA (spoiler alert: it’s not great news), online casino reviews in Canada and Australian online casino reviews as well as the best casinos in New Zealand.
At the end of the day, our priority at RightCasino is to ensure that our readers get accurate, reliable information about gambling where they are and we always strive to deliver on this commitment.
How we find your right casino
At RightCasino, we employ a dedicated team of casino experts who rigorously evaluate dozens of casino websites every single month. The criteria of assessment include:
- Safety and security
- Customer support
- Game quality
- Product variety
- Software providers
- Bonuses and promotions
- Cashier and banking
- Design and usability
- Device compatibility
- Regional availability
Each of these factors is given a score out of 10, totting up to an overall score out of 100 for the whole casino. There are also nearly 600 secondary criteria entered behind the scenes. When users arrive on the site, they specify their gaming, language and banking preferences, for example. All this data is used by our experts to present you with the right gambling destinations for them. It is then up to the player to take this information into account when comparing online casinos.
Our goal is to find you your right casino – we will NEVER recommend any unsuitable or rogue casinos.
A history of online casinos
We may think of online gambling – a virtual version of something real – as a foregone conclusion. After all, so many things we used to do in person or over the phone have are now predominantly done online, from shopping to business to education and entertainment. However, we should remember that the internet itself didn’t start out as a way to do all these things and more. Initially developed by the US government, it was devised as a way to be able to communicate in case of nuclear war.
Thankfully, that war never happened but the web has evolved into a worldwide platform for all kinds of services, including online gambling. The internet was born in the late 1980s and by 1994, was completely commercialised. In that year, Barbuda and Antigua passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, which licensed companies to offer online gambling services. The very first was Intercasino, which began operating in 1996.
Another important name emerged in 1994 – Microgaming. Based in the Isle of Man, the studio was the first to use its software to power online casinos and the brand is still going strong, releasing many titles a year, both through its own creative teams and in partnership with others. To date, Microgaming has developed slots, table games, live dealer games, poker, bingo and mobile titles, as well as business-facing software.
With the birth of the online world came the need for online security, especially in online gambling where the ability to transfer money safely and securely is paramount. Cryptologic was the first out the gate with security software that could ensure the security of online transactions.
In 1996, the Mohawk Territory Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established as a licensing body, an interesting chapter in the history of gambling in the United states. That same year, a company called NetEntertainment (or NetEnt) was founded in Sweden and has since become a leading player in the provision of online casino games.
Within one year of the first online casino opening its virtual doors, the range of gambling services available increased exponentially, from a paltry 15 to upwards of 200 in just twelve months. A year later, reports revealed that online gambling revenues had reached $834 million. The meteoric rise of online gambling around the world could not have been predicted back in the early 1990s, when the potential of this strange new communications network was just being discovered. Of course, we are very glad it did!
Today, there are thousands of online casino brands and at least half a dozen licensing authorities around the world. Studios large and small are constantly contributing new titles and players have more options than they ever have before. Today, gamblers can enjoy their pastime on any desktop computer, via their smartphone or tablet and there’s even a growing number of casinos offering their products in Virtual Reality. In one of the fastest growing industries in the world, it is exciting to see what happens next.
Responsible gambling might be defined as staying in control of the amount of time and money one spends gaming or betting. With regard to online gambling, this means acknowledging that iGaming is but one form of entertainment in a balanced recreational lifestyle. As such, it is important never to spend more money or time than one can reasonably afford.
Likewise, as one should never gamble more than one can afford to lose, you should always resist the urge to chase your losses. To this end, it is best to consider any win to be a bonus.
With regard to online gambling, anyone experiencing gaming issues is advised to make use of the self-exclusion and spending limit tools that most sites offer.
Although problem gambling is far from uncommon, there are now a wide range of resources that are well equipped to help anyone with iGaming-related issues.
Top 3 most popular online casinos
As we move into and through 2019 (which sounds like a futuristic date from an 80s sci-fi movie, let’s be honest), we bring you the best casino bonuses to ensure you make the most of the year ahead. Therefore, we’ve highlight some of the most popular online casinos with great deals for UK players, so that you can rest easy knowing you’re playing with the best. So, let’s get to it…
First up, there’s bgo Casino, which counts super-rich socialite and bonafide businesswoman Paris Hilton among its fans – there she is on the homepage, look! And to celebrate this celebrity collaboration, bgo Casino is giving all new UK players 10 no-deposit free spins upon registering a new account and then a further 100 free spins from Paris when you make your first deposit of £10 or more. However, you’ll need to deposit £50 to make the most of this deal, as you get 2 free spins from Paris for every £1 deposited. So why not, to quote Paris, “live everyday like its your birthday” and try your luck at bgo Casino today?
It may come as a surprise to some, however there are casinos specifically for women. Aimed squarely at those ladies who love the colour pink, our second featured casino this month is none other than the aptly named Pink Casino. Branding itself as the “leading UK online casino for ladies” (or anyone who loves shocking pink tones if we’re being more inclusive about it), you can grab a couple of great deals as someone signing up for the first time. First of all, just for registering, you’ll bag yourself a £10 no-deposit bonus, enabling you to take the casino for a spin. And if you want to go all in, you can snag a 100% match deposit bonus of up to £50, which’ll double your dough in one fell swoop.
Last but by no means least, there’s a fantastic hidden gem for those who like to indulge in the finer things in life. Lucky VIP Casino is the place to be if you’re a UK-based player who wants (no, demands) the royal treatment. And their generous welcome bonus perfectly matches this entitled ethos down to a T. So, when you sign on the dotted line at Lucky VIP, you’ll be receiving a massive 150% welcome bonus worth up to £150. What’s more, the wagering requirements for this bonus are extremely reasonable (standing at just 25x), meaning you can be mixing it with the movers and shakers in next to no time.
Want to stay up to date on all the latest casinos launching in the UK? Keep your eye on our reviews section, where you’ll find our well researched, detailed and totally unbiased opinions of all the new online casinos welcoming new players this year.