The Best UK Licensed Online Casinos | 2018

UK Gambling Commission Casinos - Cream of the Gaming Industry

The UK licensed online casinos are sought by both UK and non-UK players, and non-UK players have a very good reason for doing this. The UK Gambling Commission, or UKGC, is the most advanced gaming authority in the world, with the most sophisticated enforcing systems, and probably the best regulatory rules. Instead of banning or restricting, it’s promoting fair and responsible gambling, monitoring and guiding operators to better the player’s experience.

Before we jump to what the UKGC is all about, have a look at the best UK licensed online casinos. It’s a list that comprises of the cream of the crop in the UK gaming industry. Below the list, you can get familiar with what the UKGC has done over the past two decades, and how it got where it currently is.

What are the Best UK Based Online Casinos?

Top 17 UKGC Licensed Online Casinos - United Kingdom

18+, New players only • £20 min deposit. 100% up to £100 Bonus. Bonus wins are capped at £500. To withdraw bonus & related wins, wager 30 x (bonus amount) within 90 days. Restrictions apply to deposit until wagering requirement fulfilled. Wagering req. vary by game. This offer may not be combined with any other offer. Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply -- 888Casino T&Cs Apply.
Opt in required. New customers to Casino page only. Available 1x per customer. Min Buy in £10. Bonus value 100% of Buy In. Max Bonus of £300. 40x wagering. Bonus expires 7 days from issue. Game weighting, player, currency, country, game restrictions & full terms apply.Full T&Cs Here
New UK players only. 20 Free Spins on sign up. Deposit bonus: 100% up to €/£100 Bonus + 20 Bonus Spins,on each of your first 4 deposits. €/£10 min deposit (Skrill, Neteller excluded). €/£5 min. wager to activate Bonus Spins. All spins only valid on Book of Dead and expire after 7 days. 35x wagering on eligible games (€/£5 maxstake) before Bonus, Free Spin or Bonus Spin winnings can be withdrawn. Eligibility restrictions apply. Please play responsiblyFull T&Cs Here
18+, New Players Only. Min £10 Deposit. NETeller/Skrill excluded. Maximum Bonus £100. Wagering 40 on bonus amount within 30 days. Bonus Max Bet £5. Spins paid 10 per day. Game weighting and T&C Apply.
18+, New Players Only. Gamble ResponsiblyFull T&Cs Here
Bonus Code
1LUCKY7
+ Info
*18+. New customers only. 10 Free Spins on registration and mobile verification (UK ONLY) 100% deposit match up to £200/$300. Available on selected Games only. 7-day expiry on Bonus. 40x wagering (max bet £/$5) before Bonus Balance can be withdrawn. Wagering is with real money first. Game contribution weightings apply to wagering requirements. £/$10 min deposit + 2.5% fee (min 50p/75c). Not available using Neteller or Skrill. Cash balance withdrawable anytime + £2.50/$3.75 fee. Full T&Cs Here

Brief Overview of UKGC’s Responsibilities

You don’t get the label “best gaming jurisdiction” without putting a lot of resources, time and expertise. This is exactly what the UK Gambling Commission has done over the past two decades or so. Over the years, the list of responsibilities on their shoulders extended, covering both financial, regulatory and the social aspect of gaming. Without close regulation, the gaming industry would turn into a “wild west”, and players would not be able to get what they want, a safe and reliable gaming environment. Here are some of the notable responsibilities of the UK Gambling Commission.

  • Anti-money Laundering - that KYC check every online casino is doing serves a very good purpose. The gaming industry has been at the center of attention mainly because of this particular reason. In the early days of online gambling, casinos were used as a platform for money laundering. Nowadays, making a deposit beyond the specified thresholds puts you under the lens of the casino’s financial department, requesting personal ID documents, and they can also request a source of income. So far, this has proven to be a successful measure in dealing with money laundering, and improving gaming’s reputation in general.
  • Player Protection - Should you decide to play at an unlicensed online casino, you put your money in jeopardy, because there’s no safety net. Even if you win, the casino can void your wins on vague grounds, never giving you a clear explanation of what happened. The UKGC ensures that all terms that are part of the casino’s rule book (the General Terms and Conditions) are respected, by both the operator and the player. If you win, you will get your money, one way or another, the UKGC is there to act on your behalf.
  • Game RNG Testing & Licensing - In order to provide a gaming environment where players can both have fun and have a fair chance at winning, the UKGC must test the games before they’re launched online. This is how and why UK licensed online casinos boast the RNG certified seal at the bottom of their webpages. Nevertheless, casino operators can bring 3rd party testing & audit agencies to double check the games’ RTPs. This is something non-UK licensed casinos usually do though. Certain online casino game providers license their products in Alderney, but in recent years, the UKGC has become almost mandatory.
  • Operations & Product Monitoring - Every single aspect that’s even remotely related to day-to-day operations has to be in line with the general guidelines of the UK Gambling Commission. How the KYC verification procedures are carried out, the storage of personal information, which games are provided, and how are bonuses and promotions advertised. All of the aforementioned are just the tip of the iceberg. Employees at online casinos are subject to background checks, and new games have to be audited before they’re uploaded to the casino’s servers. It goes beyond gaming, and has full control of the operator’s sportsbooks, live casinos and bingo!
  • Promotion of Responsible Gambling - Sadly, not all players enjoy casino games with a cool head, which is why UKGC’s help is much needed. Thanks to the UK Gambling Commission’s efforts, the gaming market has changed drastically, and in our opinion, for the better! There’s a whole range of mechanisms which helps identify players who might need professional assistance to put their gaming desires on a short leash, and put the player back in control. We will discuss this matter further later on.
  • Prevention of Underage Gambling - The last wave of change in regulation in regards to advertising was meant to improve the protection of minors and other vulnerable groups. How bonuses were promoted, what was included in the banners, and some games had to be removed altogether, the UKGC really made a bold step forward with these. Now, casinos look the way they’re supposed. There’s no material that would appeal to children, but once you register and you verify your identity with the casino, you will notice slight changes.
  • Setting Advertising Guidelines - the UKGC can’t take care of all the aspects related to online gambling, which is why it joined forces with other government bodies to bolster advertising rules and regulations. If you’ve been part of the online gaming community for at least 2 years, you’re well aware of the changes that took place because of the advertising restrictions. To be honest, these changes made the gaming market a safer place to be.
  • Privacy and Data Protection - In order to guarantee that all operators will strive to minimise the threat of data leaks, including personal and banking, the UKGC has been rather active in this area as well. The EU General Data Protection Regulation Act is the latest move authorities have made, and if not else, it INFORMED all players of what they’re getting themselves into. Moreover, operators are now obliged to conform to the specified rules on what kind of information they can track and store, and most importantly, the operator needs the customers’ consent to do this.

How to Identify a UKGC Authorised Gambling Site?

Due to the high number of casino games, casino players are welcomed by colorful thumbnails, promo banners, and various calls to actions, but the most important information regarding safety and security is placed at the bottom of the page. Seeing the UK Gambling Commission logo hints that this is a UK licensed online casino. In case you want to double check, the seal of the UKGC should take you to the official license number, showing you all related casino sites and the name of the company which operates the casino.

Now, you might come across a casino which is a White Label casino, meaning all of the licensing, legal and tech related aspects of the casino are outsourced. The operator simply handles the marketing and the customer support. This is why you might see a long list of online casinos operating under the same license.

In short, seeing the seals of the UKGC next to GambleAware and GamCare is enough proof that you’re playing a UK licensed casino. If you want to know more about the casino’s security systems and its reputation, you can’t go wrong with checking out our unbiased casino reviews.

No UK Gambling Commission, means NO UK Casino Players Are Accepted

But what if the casino does not show the UKGC seal? It’s highly likely that you cannot join the said casino. However, big, well-established brands are known to have several different domains, just because it makes their job easier, from a legal perspective. If you’ve shown interest in such casino, looking for the ".co.uk" domain can fix this. Then again, most renowned operators have state of the art IP recognition systems and players are automatically redirected to the most relevant domain. You can also try to fix this by looking for the language and region settings. The UK is ALWAYS a separate region.

UKGC’s Impact on Responsible Gambling Promotion

Gambling is a pastime which calls for heightened regulation and control, just because it’s so entertaining, and the people involved can get carried away. The UKGC has made great efforts in the past few years to improve the reputation of online gambling by adding a wide array of safety mechanisms which have a purpose to help players when help is needed. Nowadays, UK based online casinos are considered to be the safest online casinos with the most effective responsible gambling measures.

However, we cannot but mention some of the organisations which have a vital role in the promotion of responsible gambling and practices which put make the player’s well being a top priority.

GambleAware

Without any doubts, the leading responsible gambling organisation which is primarily operating in the UK is GambleAware. It’s playing such an important role, that casinos and community members had to put the logo on display, and inform any visitors of how they can be of help. Following the implementation of the said regulations, we saw many scandals show up, mainly because players became vocal. They realised that they have rights, and operators should provide an environment which will not harm anyone.

GambleAware, like the UKGC seal, should give you a sense of security and trust. It takes a few seconds and one scroll down to double check, yet it can spare you from unwanted, troubling situations.

GamStop

Some players simply can’t get enough of online casino games. Due to their thrilling nature, the authorities had to demand a mechanism, which will give players the opportunity to self exclude, become invisible to operators. Now, this is possible thanks to GamStop. All it takes is to register, with your up to date personal and contact details, and you won’t be able to join any UK based online casino.

GamCare

A hotline, live chat available round the clock, and invaluable advice which can help you or somebody close to you who’s experiencing gambling problems. GamCare is an all-inclusive responsible gambling advocate, which provides assistance where needed, but they’re also popular for their training and certifications of 3rd parties.

Common Reasons for Fines - UKGC Penalties

In general, operators make a few common mistakes, but we fear that this is happening more often than what we can see in the news media. Since the major change in regulation which took place in 2017, penalty fees have skyrocketed, increasing by 10 times! In just over a few months, the UKGC charged approximately £20,000,000 in fines from leading casino operators. To make matters clearer, here are a few examples with brief explanation how they affect players overall.

  • Inadequate Responsible Gambling Systems - When we say inadequate responsible gambling measures, we mean sending bonus offers and promotions to players who have shown signs that indicate they’re losing control over how much they spend on gaming. There have been occasions where operators let players spend more than half a million pounds, ignoring the player’s outcry that he has spent too much. Instead, they’ve offered him more free bonuses.
  • Accepting Wagers from Excluded Players - This is the worst. Some online casinos still don’t have their database in line with what the responsible gambling organisations have. Operators have been charged with multi-million fines because they have deliberately offered bonus deals to players who have self-excluded themselves.
  • Failing to Carry Out KYC - We are aware that many operators fail to request personal identification documents, but failing to do so even when a player has spent roughly £700,000 over a short period, now that must be fined. In addition, the same player has embezzled the money, stolen from his employer.

The aforementioned have all been under the watchful eye of the community. They serve as an example how the UKGC can be draconic if operators don’t respect the laws. The UKGC has in particular fined big, well-established gaming companies to set an example for others. We can confidently state that their efforts have better the reputation, and have raised the standards of the gaming industry.

This is why we recommend playing at UK licensed online casinos. They’re the best example of safe and reputable online casinos. Below you can find all UK based online casinos that accept real money wagers from UK players. We have tested them, reviewed them and rated them accordingly!

All UKGC Licensed Online Casinos