In a little over 2 decades, the online gambling industry has grown to be huge. What started out at the turn of the Millenium with a few games available at online casinos that you download and install, today there’s a mammoth choice of online casino websites available to play in a browser, each offering a huge assortment of slots, table games and live dealer casino games. According to The Business Research Company, the global gambling market is expected to reach a value of around £565.4 billion, growing at an annual rate of 5.9% through to 2022. It’s clear that gambling online is ever-growing in popularity and overtaking the land-based business as a source of gambling and entertainment online.
Online casinos have made real money casino games accessible to everyone with an internet connection. Online casinos rival the experience you’d traditional experience in exclusive land-based casinos. Over time, game choice, technology, speed and accessibility have improved incredibly, to give you what’s on offer today in today’s online casino market.
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Online Casinos Reviewed
When it comes to the best real money online casinos, the UK is one of the biggest gaming markets worldwide. There are hundreds of great casino websites to choose from, that it can often be difficult to know where’s best to play. We’re aware of this and this is why we’re formed online gambling guide. We have over 20 years experience of reviewing gambling sites – we’re sure we have played at most of them, at one time or another. We’re confident that we know what makes a top online casino site and which ones should be avoided, as our experience has also taught us how to spot unsafe and unreliable casinos. In fact, our blacklist is full of them so that you know you can trust our casino top-recommended lists.
Our online casino reviews are conducted by a team of casino industry experts, which take a good couple of hours to complete. We always check each casino regularly to ensure that they are just as safe and reliable as they were when we reviewed them the first few times. All of our 100+ casino reviews are based on a number of important casino comparison criterion and checklists.
We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to get a feel for each casino’s gameplay and overall casino experience from our reviews and tables. Read on to find out more about our casino reviews, how we tackle them and join the thousands of other players around the world who we’ve helped to find the perfect suited casino!
How We Review Online Casinos
As mentioned, we go all out when reviewing online casino sites to ensure that we are recommending the best ones; and only the best ones. We don’t however, expect you to just trust that we do without us telling you how we review casinos and what we look out for. The strict criteria we go by below will give you some insight on what to look for when choosing a new casino site to join:
Security & Trust: First and foremost, it’s imperative that you play at safe and trusted casinos. This is so your money and your personal information is 100% safe and secure when gambling online.
As part of our casino review process, we check for legitimate gambling licensing and regulation for the fairness of games and casino bonuses. Plus, we look out to sure that a casinos website uses the best possible encryption on all pages and data; another benchmark for safety and legitimacy.
Also, a casinos RTP should also be displayed (or should be easy to find) on the casino’s site, so customers know they’ll be getting a decent payout when they win. This is sitewide and also games wide too.
Games & Software: We regularly check a casino’s game selection, not only to ensure there’s a large selection of casino games, slots (including large-paying progressive jackpots) and live games from premium and trusted vendors, but we also check games ourselves with real money, to really get a true feel for the games and the casino experience on offer. It’s also important to choose casinos with a “quality over quantity” approach. There are tons of superior games available – why opt for a casino where you have to sort the wheat from the chaff? Top casinos, like the gambling sites we recommend, only offer premium quality games and slots from trusted and well-respected providers. This means you’ll have ample choice of popular UK slots, award-winning live dealer games as well as progressive jackpots which offer real and legit jackpots in the multi-millions!
Bonuses & Promotions: One thing that sets aside an online casino versus a land-based casino is the bonuses and rewards you can get for your custom. Usually, land-based casinos reserve bonuses for their VIP customer, but online casinos offer every new customer a welcome bonus of some kind. Welcome bonuses provide a great initial addition to your bankroll and are usually easy to claim. We make sure that they have fair wagering requirements so you have the highest possible chance of cashing out your winnings (always remember to read the terms and conditions yourselves, however).
We’re also on the lookout for other promotions offered after you have used the welcome bonus. Bonuses such as reload bonuses, cashback bonuses and VIP bonuses are musts, as well are rewards programs and VIP programs which are designed to reward you for your loyalty. Whilst it’s up to you if you want to play with casino bonuses, it’s often a good benchmark when a casino offers competitive bonuses and offers so you have the choice
Banking Options: A trusted casino will offer a wide range of secure banking options so this is an essential check when we review casinos. It’s important that not only do you have enough banking options available, especially in your localisation, but it’s also easy and smooth to carry out. Depositing and withdrawing should be quick and easy, especially when it comes to cashing out your winnings. It’s not acceptable that a casino keeps you waiting for your money. Most casinos will have a 24 hour pending window, but after that, you should be able to get your winnings as fast as your payment method allows. This is what we check – and if casinos can offer lightning-fast and instant payouts, – that’s another tick for our checklist.
Customer Service Options: Hopefully, you won’t have to use a casinos support centre too often, but in case you do, you should be able to reach a support agent easily. Customer support should be available around the clock, with as many methods of reaching the casino team as possible. We look for live chat support (fast to answer and must be 24/7) as well as email and telephone options. Although you hopefully won’t need to use it, a good customer support service should be available around the clock.
Mobile Casino Accessibility: With over 60% of customers preferring to play casino games on their mobile or tablet, a casino must have a state of the art mobile casino site or mobile App. The casinos that pass our criteria test each has a faultless mobile site, which is easy to use, fast to load and has as good a game choice as you’d find on the casinos desktop version. Whilst we’re not too worried about mobile Apps, we understand some people like to download casino apps, so if a casino offers this function – then that’s just another pro point awarded in the review process.
General Accessibility: Whilst you may be reading this from the UK, some others may be reading from around the globe, which is why we look out for casinos that accept players from various different countries, but moreover – offer localised currencies, localised language support, specific currency bonuses and even localised interesting games.
Casinos should offer a tailored experience in different regions for those wanting to play around the world.
Online Casino Games & Slots
The best online casinos are the ones which offer an array of casino games in all varieties and limits. Top casino sites usually have over 1,500 casino games and slots available across all devices. Games are often provided by as many as 50+ different software vendors, with the most popular and state of the art being Netent, Microgaming, Big Time Gaming, Play ‘N Go, Playtech, NeoGames, Elk Studios, Yggdrasil, IGT, NYX, NextGen, Bally, Barcrest, Relax Gaming, Spinomenal, Evolution Gaming (top for live dealer games) Thunderkick, Quickspin and Blueprint Games. But there are so many more. The following casino games can be found in many varieties at UK casino sites:
- Slots (Including Progressives, Slingo, Megaways, Must Fall Jackpots)
- Live Dealer Casino Games (Including game shows like Deal or No Deal, Football Studio) Blackjack, Craps, Baccarat, Mega Ball, Teen Patti, Monopoly Live & Dreamcatcher.
- Video Poker
- Texas Hold’em / Casino Hold’em
How To Play at Top Online Casinos – Getting Started
It really is simple to play at online casinos. Most, if not all casinos are available across all devices and platforms, so it doesn’t matter if you intend to play casino games on your main computer desktop, mobile or tablet – you will be able to register and play games in a browser in no time. With that said, if it’s your first time playing, then simply follow our instructions below and you’ll be enjoying the best casino games the UK has to offer in next to no time:
Pick a Safe & Legit Casino
In order to ensure you pick a safe and licensed online casino, simply pick one of our top recommended casinos for UK players above. As mentioned on this page and throughout this website – we only ever recommend casinos that are safe, trusted and ones which we’d play at ourselves.
Register At The Casino
Once you have compared and picked the casino you can see yourself having a good time at, head to the casino and register a new account. You’ll be asked to complete a simple registration form with some personal details to get started. Once you’ve done that, you’ll usually have to verify an email or sometimes, your mobile phone number. This process should only take a couple of minutes.
Make a Deposit & Claim Your Welcome Bonus
Once done, you will now be able to get started playing casino games and slots. To play real money games, you’ll need to make a real money deposit. Head to the banking section of your casino account and select the payment method preferable to you. Common deposit methods at online casino sites include Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, PayPal, Boku, Pay By Mobile, Klarna, Trustly and good old fashioned Bank Wire transfers. The best casino sites like the ones we suggest on our website will offer new players a generous welcome bonus which you can usually claim when making a deposit. Make sure that you follow the onscreen instructions at this point so you don’t miss out on claiming the welcome bonus (if you want one). If you get into difficulty, you can always contact the casino live chat support staff who will only be too glad to help you out.
Start Playing Your Favourite Games & Slots
Once you have made a real money deposit, now’s the time to select the games you want to play! The best online casinos will make it easy for you to find games or browse different types of games and slots. Now it’s time to have fun and hopefully win big!
Online Casinos – Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re completely new to playing your casino games at online casinos or you’ve been doing so for a while, there are still many questions people like to ask us. Below, we have listed the most common frequently asked questions we hear from our reader’s and we see around the web. If you think we’re missing anything at all – let us know by contacting us on our contact us page below.
Can You Win Real Money at Online Casinos?
One of the biggest attractions of playing casino games and slots online (apart from the efficiency of it) is the jackpots and prize pool payouts available. Large jackpots and potential prizewinning payouts are available at most leading online casinos, however, we recommend always checking the games RTP % (“return to player” %) before you play it. If the game offers poor odds or requires a substantial minimum bet per round, this will reduce your gameplay and bankroll considerably, so find a real money casino game that offers better payout ratios for a better chance of winning and cashing out.
What Is The Safest Online Casino?
The online casino sites that we recommend here on iGambling Sites have been fully vetted for safety and security. We have incredibly high standards and work hard to weed out the casinos which are under par and not up to the task. As long as you choose from our list (or other reputable casino guides) you can rest assured your money will be safe.
What Does “Return To Player %” Mean?
RTP is the abbreviation for ‘Return to Player Percentage’ which is the payouts a player can expect to win back from playing online slots and various other casino games. The average slot usually offers an RTP % of around 96%. It’s important to realise, however, that the % RTP is an average payout achieved over time, which is performed over a significant number of game plays and not each time the slot is played. A slot games average RTP % is generally measured over 100,000 games or greater. As an example, if an online slot displays a 95% RTP, you should not expect to win an average of 95p for every £1 you stake during your play session. The 95% is the theoretical payout for all games played on that slot over time.
RTP percentages vary between different slots and software/game providers, so we always advise you to check this figure out before you start playing. Usually, the online casino/software provider will publish this figure under the games information or you will often be able to find the number within the rules of the game / on its paytable. Checking a slots RTP % is the best chance to play a game with the fairest odds – at least odds that will be more in your favour.
What Does Game Variance Mean?
We covered what RTP % means above, but a games variance (or volatility) is something completely different. RTP is often mistaken for the variance of a slot (and vice-versa). Whilst these two concepts are closely related, they aren’t the same thing at all. ‘Variance’ essentially defines the way in which a slot game’s RTP % is accomplished. Low variance slots are calculated in a way where you’ll have numerous smaller wins, that will help your bankroll stay in the plus and your head above water to play many game rounds without going bust first.
On the opposite side of the coin – high variance slot games normally have most of its RTP % located in the games bonus features (such as free spins, gamble features, pick and click features etc.) that can provide some really big wins. However, to counterbalance for these big wins, these slots don’t offer as many small to medium wins within the base game. This is why it’s important to read about slot games before you commence playing. By knowing how a slot machine behaves fundamentally, could result in you in going bust or not. You need to know how the game might play out to manage your balance correctly. High variance slots aren’t for everyone as they can eat much of your money before you see any big wins. Of course, this notion goes both ways – lower variance slots aren’t for everyone either, such as those who like to win large or engage in a games risker betting tactics.
Can You Cheat Online Casinos?
You cannot cheat any games or cheat the casino but there are some ways people try. The most common and probably easiest way to cheat an online casino is to bonus abuse their sign up welcome bonus. You could argue that isn’t cheating if a casino is offering a bonus with loopholes, however, over the years, casinos have become savvier when it comes to bonus abuse. This is why casino bonuses come with many terms and conditions attached. The casino wants to protect itself from certain games and slots that players could take huge advantage from. This is why we always recommend reading bonuses full terms and conditions. Whilst we don’t condone bonus abusing, we do believe that low wager bonuses are the best way to go. You cannot cheat with these bonuses, but the casino will offer these often smaller yet fairer bonuses as they’re wager free. Low wager and no wager bonuses are both fair for the customer and the casino. Here are our latest low wager bonuses that you might be interested in.
Are Online Casinos Rigged?
As long as you choose a reputable casino, the chances of playing at a rigged casino are slim. All of the sites listed here at iGamingSites.com have been rigorously checked for security and fair play. They’re also licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (and often the Malta Gaming Authority) to ensure, as a player – you are protected. It goes without saying that there are unfortunately some rogue casinos lurking about, but if you do you research and trust us to do our job in delivering the best casino site recommendations – you’ll easily avoid those. We also constantly check the casinos which we do recommend to ensure they are upholding their obligations (if they don’t they would lose their prestigious UK Gambling license) so we often check the UK Gambling Commission website to make sure we’re up to date on all matters. Luckily, its incredibly rare that we see our recommended casinos end up going down a less than savoury route. Remember; if a casino bonus or casino offer is too good to be true – it usually is!
Do I Have To Pay Tax On My Winnings?
If you are gambling online in the UK, the good news is that you don’t need to pay any tax on casino or sports betting winnings (no matter how much you end up winning). Tax funds collected by the UK government come from gambling companies and their affiliates. Disclaimer: having said this, don’t get confused with certain types of financial betting where some tax may be applied. It’s always best to check your local jurisdiction and with your accountant when it comes to tax matters, to ensure you are well within the lines of the law.
Do I need To Download Casinos To My Desktop or Mobile?
Whilst there are a few older style online casinos lurking around that still have a download option, in this day and age, we don’t think that it’s necessary to download any software to your devices. We are not talking about mobile apps, however. Some casinos offer an App which is downloadable via the App Store or Via Google Play and sometimes offers an easier experience when it comes to logging in, but it’s entirely up to you if you want to install their app or not. All of our recommended casinos are playable in browser on both desktop and mobile, offering a full range of games and competitive player bonuses.
Why It’s Important To Play at Regulated (licensed) Online Casinos
It’s important for not only your security and safety that you play at regulated casinos but also to ensure that the industry stays safe and healthy too. The UK Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in the UK in partnership with licensing authorities.
The UKGC is there to help gamblers in the UK stay safe and stay in control. Playing at regulated casinos will give you tools to help you gamble responsibly, offer you fair and unrigged games and fair bonuses that will make sure that if you win money fair and square; you’ll see it in your bank account. We can’t stress enough the importance of playing at UK licensed casinos because the licensing is there to protect you.
Staying In Control – Responsible Gambling
Essentially, responsible gambling means that you’re having fun, and feel in control of how you play when you gamble online. If your gambling is creating financial stress, worry, depression, or it’s affecting your life in a negative way overall, then it may develop into a problem. This is why it’s important to remain on control.
Many online casinos have developed handy tools over the years to help you stay in control, including deposit limits and time outs. If those don’t work, you can also join the Gamstop scheme which will basically ban you from every UKGC licensed casino. Here are some tips on how to gamble responsibly at online casinos:
- Gambling is for entertainment; working is what will make you money. Make sure that you treat online gambling as an entertainment expense, rather than a way to make yourself money.
- Only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
- Take a break at regular intervals: if you gamble continuously without taking a break, your judgement will become impaired.
- Know your limits: be clear about what your limits are before you start playing
- Don’t gamble when you’re upset, sad or depressed. Talk to friends or family or if you feel you need to talk to someone outside your social circle, then use the support contacts which can be found on our main responsible gambling page to talk to someone.
- Engage in other hobbies and pastimes aside from gambling online. It’s important to have a well-balanced lifestyle.
- Don’t go chasing bets or losses.