Top Gaming Sites in the UK
With hundreds of real money gaming sites and favorable gambling laws, the UK can be considered the mecca of online gaming. Many of the world's largest online gaming companies are headquartered in the UK and some of those are even traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Competition in the industry is at an all-time high, which is a good thing for players. The end results of all that competition are bigger bonuses, better promotions and low-house-edge games. These days, it's good to be a gambler in the UK.
As a player, you have the upper hand. The only thing you need to do is exercise a little caution when deciding where you take your business. The UK has an awesome licensing agency (more on that later), but there are many sites out there that fly under the radar and host games without any license to do so.
So first of all, get started on the right foot by joining a legitimate gaming site. Here are several well-known and trusted sites that we recommend:
Bet365 is one of the largest gambling sites in the entire world. They especially cater to UK residents and have everything that you could possibly be looking for.Read Review
The name William Hill has been around gambling since the 1970's. Their online portion is very extensive and offer one of the most reliable experiences available today.Read Review
Slots.lv is a relatively new gaming site but they have gained a very good reputation. They offer many different casino games with excellent quality and graphics.Read Review
The Legal Situation
The UK takes what we consider to be a common-sense approach to online gaming. Instead of attempting to ban online gambling like many countries, the UK passed the Gambling Act 2005 and created the framework for legalization and regulation.
All forms of gambling in the UK are regulated by the Gambling Commission. The basic goal of the commission is to regulate gambling for the purpose of keeping games safe and fair for players. All entities that wish to host real money games anywhere in the UK must register with the commission and demonstrate an ability to run a clean, upstanding business.
In short, the legal situation is good for gamblers. You can play online all you want and never have to worry about getting in trouble or struggling to find deposit methods. And if you play at large, licensed gaming sites, you can play knowing that your funds are safe and that the games are fair.
One of the big difficulties gamblers in other parts of the world face is trying to move money around. In the US, for example, credit card deposits are often banned and e-wallets are hard to find. In the UK, you can deposit instantly with any card, plus PayPal, Skrill and a variety of pre-paid vouchers that you can purchase with cash.
However, there is one glaring problem with the law. It is so expensive and burdensome to get a gambling license that most sites base themselves overseas and skip the process entirely. Only a few of the biggest sites are actually licensed to do business in the UK. All the rest are operating in a sort of legal gray area.
Unlicensed sites aren't necessarily bad just because they are unlicensed, but they do require a greater degree of scrutiny. Your best bet is to stick with the biggest names in the gaming world. If you join any of the sites recommended near the top of this page, you'll be in good hands.
How to Choose a Gaming Site
Although we all have our own preferences, there are several things all people should consider when choosing a real money gaming site. One thing we can all agree on is that safety is of utmost importance. Without safety, nothing else matters.
So first of all, check to see where any potential gaming sites are licensed. Are they licensed by the UK Gambling Commission? That's good news. Do they advertise on national TV and in major newspapers? That is also good news as it shows those sites are successful and comfortable in the public eye.
If any sites you are considering are NOT licensed in the UK, do a little extra research. Google the name of that site and see what other people have to say. Make sure it's a site that has a verifiable history with lots of customers. A few internet searches make it easy to figure out which sites are well-known and which are unknown.
Some other things to consider include the following:
- Size of the welcome bonus
- Deposit options
- How quickly withdrawals are paid
- Competence of customer support
- Variety of games
- Payout percentages
We don't expect perfection from any gambling site, but there are a few key areas in which all sites must get perfect scores before we consider them worth recommending. Most importantly, any potential gaming sites must have 100% perfect scandal-free histories. There are way too many options out there to make it worth risking money at sites with sketchy business practices.
Withdrawal speeds are also non-negotiable. In the UK, where online gambling is completely legal, there is no reason at all that a site should take more than a few days to honor and process any withdrawal request.