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UK Online Casinos

UKGambling has a long history in the UK and everyone here is legally entitled to enjoy a wide range of betting activities. Among the many options available to are land-based casinos, poker rooms, high street bookmakers, scratchcards and the National Lottery. All of these are also available online.

The industry is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, which is part of the Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and was established under the Gambling Act 2005. Recent figures from the commission show that from April 2013 to March 2014 the British gambling industry (excluding the National Lottery) generated a gross yield of £6.8bn, an increase of 6% on the previous year. The remote betting sector (including slots and online casinos in the UK) accounted for 17% of the revenue during that period, and has increased in value for each of the last five years that the commission has published figures.

Essentially, what this means is that if you are based here in the UK, you can access a huge variety of casinos, bookies and poker sites, safe in the knowledge that the industry is very well regulated. There is simply no need to even consider unlicensed or illegal sites, when there are hundreds of reputable choices available to us. Our list of the best UK online casinos are below.

Our Pick of the Top UK Casinos 2017

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
100% UP TO £800
2
200% UP TO £1200
3
200% UP TO £600
4
400% UP TO £1000
5
100% UP TO £250

Our Pick of the Top UK Casinos 2017

1
CasinoLand
100% UP TO £800
Play Now
2
Casumo Casino
200% UP TO £1200
Play Now
3
Dunder Casino
200% UP TO £600
Play Now
4
Spinit Casino
400% UP TO £1000
Play Now
5
All British Casino
100% UP TO £250
Play Now

Gambling has been legal in the UK since the Betting and Gaming Act was introduced in 1960. This allowed member-only commercial bingo halls to be established. The act also legalized off-course bookmakers, and from May 1961 betting shops were allowed to be opened. Casinos followed a similar path, and were required to be members-only clubs, registered with the Gaming Board of Great Britain. The number of gaming machines was initially limited to ten per casino, and the first legal establishments were opened from 1961 onwards. The Gaming Act of 1968 further liberalized the laws to allow more commercial casinos to begin operating.

One of Britain's oldest pastimes

The Gambling Act of 2005 was introduced to control and regulate all forms of gambling in the UK. The Commission was set up at the same time as the regulatory body which issues licenses to online betting companies and monitors their compliance with the relevant laws. This was the first time that remote operators had been subject to regulations here.

In 2014 our Government followed it up with the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act to ensure that all remote operators offering services to British consumers would be subject to consistent regulation. This act also introduced a ‘point of consumption’ tax, whereby operators must pay 15% tax on gross profits. Prior to 2014 online operators from outside the UK had set up shop in ‘whitelisted’ locations, such as Gibraltar and Malta, where they were not subject to UK tax. The law effectively changes the tax to point of consumption rather than point of supply – which would be outside of UK jurisdiction.

The change won’t affect players financially as winnings from online casinos and UK bookies remain tax free. The major effect has been in the number of operators providing services to UK players. When the deadline hit, many of the top casinos withdrew all operations from the British market for fears of legal repercussions. However, while many pulled out, many others completed the licensing process and are now fully licensed to operate here.

Peace of mind

From a player’s point of view, the good thing is that these new regulations require betting operators to be fully licensed, so there are very few risks to playing table games and slots online in the UK.

In fact, there is actually huge competition among operators to win your custom, and most offer a variety of promotions and offers to entice new customers to open an account. Opening accounts is generally a simple process which requires you to enter your personal details, such as name, address and telephone number. You will also need to confirm that you are over 18, which is the legal age for gambling in the UK. The exception to this is scratchcards and the National Lottery which can be played at 16, but most websites will ask for proof of age before activating an account or at the very least before they will authorize a withdrawal.

Some sites require you to download software to your desktop to access games, but more and more are developing Flash and HTML5 based games which run directly in a web-browser and require no download. This is a quicker and easier way to play, and with the boom in mobile betting, the trend towards ‘instant play’ games is expected to continue. All of this is good news for Mac and Linux users who traditionally have had less options due to the lack of downloadable software offered by gaming sites.

Protecting the players

Any details you supply to a casino, including bank details, are confidential and are securely encrypted to protect against hacking. It is your responsibility to ensure that any details you provide are accurate, and anyone providing false information could have winnings withheld and even face prosecution.

To ensure your own safety, the Gambling Commission provides information on what to look out for The first thing to do is check that the operator is fully licensed by the commission. Licensed operators must also provide information on how to gamble safely; a robust complaints procedure; and procedures to protect young and vulnerable people. They must also give information on gambling responsibly and include tools to help customers control their betting.

Easy to deposit and cash out

Players can use a wide range of deposit and withdrawal methods, including VISA, MasterCard and bank transfers, as well as e-wallets and online payment methods such as Paypal and Neteller. Certain payment methods may be subject to minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal amounts, some will incur administration fees, and others can take several days to clear. It is worth checking what payment methods are accepted and what limitations there are, before you decide to play for real money.

Illegal Betting Sites and Casinos

There are still illegal betting sites accessible from the UK, but these really should be avoided like the plague. With no regulation you leave yourself entirely unprotected, and there is nothing to stop the operator walking away with your money, refusing withdrawals, or worse, compromising your personal details. With so many great online casinos to choose from, which are perfectly legal in the UK, there is absolutely no reason to even consider anything else.

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