Criteria We Consider When Assessing Casino Sites
- For an online casino to operate legally in the UK market, it must have a valid licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission, the gambling regulator in the UK. There are also several foreign gambling authorities with licences recognised by the UK regulator, including the MGA, GBGA, AGCC and others. However, an operator licensed by a whitelisted body of the UK Gambling Commission must also obtain a licence from the UK regulator. Having a license from the UK Gambling Commission guarantees that an online casino operates fairly and complies with all the gambling laws in the UK.The first thing we look for when checking a UK gambling site is whether it has a valid license issued by the UKGC. The license details are usually published at the bottom of the casino site’s home page. We also compare the license information with that published by the UK regulator on its website.
There are several independent auditing companies in the UK that independently audit gambling sites. Being certified by eCOGRA, TST, GLI, iTech Labs and several other auditors is additional assurance that the RNG algorithms work correctly and all game results are random.
- We always read the reviews users post, either on our site or on other credible online resources, to find out what they think about different casinos. This gives us an idea of the positive and negative aspects of gambling sites and also helps us to point out problem areas that need more research. In addition, experts from our team regularly attend industry conventions and conferences to meet operators and find out how they treat their brands.
- To ensure the security of their users’ personal and financial information, UK online casinos must use the best firewalls and advanced data encryption algorithms. For example, reliable UK online casinos use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a technology that greatly reduces the risk of hacking and sensitive data theft.
- We favour reliable and safe online casinos with well-diversified gaming portfolios featuring online slots, table games, live casino games, bingo and fast-paced lotteries. By having a comprehensive lobby, an online casino will be able to provide the player with everything they need without having to look for another gambling venue when they want to try something new.
- Before making a deposit and betting for real money, a player should be able to test the gaming platform in a risk-free demo mode. We only trust reputable online casinos in the UK that offer a demo mode on some of their RNG-based games. After trying a few games in risk-free mode, a player can decide for himself whether a gaming platform is a worthy place to play or not.
- We highly regard UK online casinos powered by reputable game providers having made a name for themselves in the industry. The operator’s cooperation with the best providers of software platforms and gaming products is an additional guarantee of the fairness and impartiality of the gaming process. Seeing big names like NetEnt, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, Evolution Gaming, Playtech and several others, you can be assured of getting the best gaming experience possible
- Although the concept of live casino gaming was introduced back in 2006, it’s now the case that live dealers are quickly gaining popularity. We’re assessing higher UK casinos that have jumped on the live casino bandwagon and are offering well-diversified live dealer portfolios including live roulette, live blackjack, live baccarat, live poker, and live show games from industry-leading providers such as Evolution Gaming, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, and others.
- Although online slots with their exciting gameplay and simple game rules dominate the industry, many UK gamblers still gravitate towards classic casino table games. Our online gambling specialists have a preference for gambling sites that offer their players a wide range of games, including table game options like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and poker. We also focus on betting ranges, also highlighting casino sites that cater to both casual and high-stakes gamblers
- With an increasing number of UK people preferring to access the internet via mobile devices, it’s no surprise that mobile gambling is already dominating over more traditional gambling. That’s why every well-respected British online casino also has a mobile version or a responsive website with content that adapts to the screens of mobile devices. We test each online casino on a variety of smartphones and tablets to make sure you won’t have any problems or hassle.
- While a casino platform itself may be adaptable for mobile devices, it’s frustrating when you encounter a limited selection of mobile-friendly games. We take a closer look at the UK online casino portfolios and their mobile versions to make sure that gamblers who prefer to play on the go also have access to a huge selection of HTML5/JS-based casino games that run smoothly on any modern mobile device.
- Games offered by UKGC-licensed UK casinos must operate fairly based on an auditable RNG. To make sure the games are fair, we carefully check the list of providers an online casino operator works with, as well as certificates from independent auditors recognised in the UK.
- While browser-based versions of mobile casinos are more versatile as they work on any device regardless of OS type, some operators also run native apps. Available for download from the App Store and Google Play, these apps provide an even smoother gaming experience thanks to deeper optimisation. That’s why we commend mobile-friendly UK online casinos for offering native apps.
- Bonuses with favourable terms and conditions and low limits on stakes and featured games can be a great boost to a player’s bankroll, so we commend British online casinos for offering bonuses to new and existing users alike. The best UK casinos offer both welcome packages and ongoing promotions including reward schemes for loyal users.
- We focus not only on what bonuses UK online casinos offer but also on what terms and conditions they come with. Our experts review T&Cs for various restrictions including maximum wagering limits, limits on the maximum amount of winnings available for withdrawal, as well as eligible games. In addition, we explain the bonus wagering requirements and how to calculate how much you need to wager to unlock the withdrawals of winnings earned from free spins. We only list the best UK casinos that offer bonuses with transparent and not misleading terms and conditions.
- While some websites strive to attract as many new players as possible, others use more long-term strategies involving loyalty schemes and VIP programs to keep existing users engaged. In our ratings of UK gambling sites, you will find reliable online casinos offering loyalty schemes with additional bonuses and rewards, cashback, personal account manager and other perks.
- Our experts test gaming platforms by registering real gambling accounts at all of the gambling sites we review. We give preference to UK casinos with a simple and intuitive new player registration process that does not take much time and effort. Our top-rated UK casinos include sites that allow you to sign up in a matter of minutes and offer tips at every step to keep even a complete novice player from getting confused.
- When looking to play at online casinos for real money, you should choose a site that accepts safe and secure payment methods. We rank highly gambling sites that support popular payment methods like debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid payment solutions, pay-by-phone options and cryptocurrencies. When selecting gambling sites by available payment methods, we check that the payment methods are safe, secure, fast and approved in the UK.
- Although the time it takes to credit your winnings to your account depends on the payment method used, some online casinos are running additional checks, increasing the duration of the cashout processing. We appreciate UK gambling websites that pay out winnings as quickly as possible without compromising the safety of user payment data.
- Although online gambling is more accessible than its offline counterpart, statistics show that online gamblers have a lower risk of gambling addiction. This is due to the fact that British online casinos offer their users advanced responsible gambling tools enabling them to limit their deposits and gaming sessions (in terms of duration and amount of money spent on wagers in the games). In addition, as required by the UK regulator, operators offer a self-exclusion option and provide links to resources that can help combat negative gambling habits. We thoroughly check each casino for responsible gambling tools to ensure that you can find a solution if you have a problem.
- While local operators only support GBP, some platforms licensed by regulators whitelisted by the UKGC may offer other currencies. In order to be compliant with current legislation, a UK online casino must support British pounds.
- Any UKGC-licensed online casino operating in the UK market must have customer support staff with English-speaking experts. This is especially important for platforms with operators registered in other jurisdictions.
- Knowing the RTP (return to player ratio) for the different casino games you can calculate an average value that will correspond to the payout rate of the online casino. For example, a payout percentage of 96% means that £96 for every hundred pounds casino players spend on games is deposited into the prize pool, while £4 goes to the casino operator. We only include sites with a payout percentage of 92% or higher in our rankings of the best UK casinos.
- No matter how good an online casino is in terms of honesty and reliability, we also don’t neglect such an important thing as usability. Our experts rate UKGC-licensed gambling sites highly with well-thought-out design, intuitive navigation and a good set of tools. We also evaluate the loading speed of pages and games so you don’t have to wait for a long time, which also spoils the gaming experience.
- Equally important is the experience of the experts on the CasinoHex team. We always check UK casinos ourselves by registering at gambling sites, making deposits and placing real-money bets. This allows us to learn more about a gaming platform from a regular gambler’s perspective to then share our experiences with our readers.
How do we determine that an online casino is a scam?
- Lack of a license from the UKGC or an invalid license
- Poorly drafted and evasive Terms and Conditions
- Unknown or unreliable payment options
- Bad feedback from users
- Poor design and confusing navigation
- Request sensitive details you should not reveal to anyone
- Poor or non-existent customer service
Who is responsible for compiling the online casino rankings?
- In the first stage, our experts register with the online casino being checked, make a deposit and test all the different promotions and games available on offer. We also check the withdrawal process to make sure everything is working properly and the money arrives in your bank account in full and on time.
- Then, on the basis of their experience of interaction with online casinos, our experts write a review that is then checked and edited by the content manager. We do our best to write interesting and easy-to-read articles about gambling sites.
- At the same time, a researcher contacts the online casino to gather all the necessary data first-hand. This includes launch date, license details, number of games on offer, providers, terms and conditions and other things. We check all the information for accuracy and validity and provide it in a readable format to our users.