Online Casino Sites & Bonuses
The goal of any casino bonus is to allow you to try out an online casino, see if you like it and if you do you may carry on playing. With so many online casinos available however it helps to narrow the field down first into the casinos that are most likely to suit you, whether that be the sign up bonus type or amount, software available, rewards for existing customers or even if the casino is stand alone or has other features such as a sportsbook attached.
In this section we discuss only decent UK licensed casinos with information about the casino bonus (including full terms and wagering requirements), the brand, the software and games, platforms available (desktop, mobile, download), regular promotions, loyalty schemes and more. Click on the logo in the table or scroll down for a mini-review of our online casinos. We know players have different requirements from a casino site, therefore on this page you will find a varied list of casino sites all with different things to offer.
UK Online Casino New Customer Bonuses
|£100 Deposit Bonus||
|£500 Deposit Bonus||
|Deposit £10 Get £50 Free||
|10 Spins & £100 Bonus||
|£15-£888 Free & £100 Bonus||
|£1500 Welcome Bonus||
|£10 Free & 320% Bonus||
|200 Free Spins & £200 Bonus||
|£250 Matched Bonus||
|77 Free Spins & £200 Bonus||
|£10 Free & 400% Bonus||
|£10 Free & £300 Bonus||
|£200 Deposit Bonus||
|£100 Bonus & 20 £1 Spins||
|£150 Bonus & 150 Spins||
Latest Casino Offers
For each £10 staked in casino get a chacne to win a £5, £10 or £15 bonus
William Hill are giving customers £10 for nothing to try their revamped casino
Best Online Casinos For UK Customers
Bet365 are the true success story of the casino and betting industry. The company has grown from a local high street brand to a multi-billion gaming company in less than two decades. The success, which has made Denise Coates a billionaire and one of world’s richest women as a result, is founded on sound investment in both the product and the customer.
New players in the online casino can claim a 100% matched first deposit bonus from a minimum of £10 up to a total value of £100. This is by no means the biggest offer around but it does come with some great terms, a strong principle with this casino site. The wagering requirement is just 20x the bonus with only a few games excluded. Most slots – 100%, roulette – 20%, blackjack – 10%, see terms for others.
Read our review below to find out why Bet365 are one of the biggest, best and safest online casinos you can play with.
Software & Games
In total Bet365 host in the region of 1000 games from over twenty different software providers between the Casino, Games and Vegas sections. The main casino is powered by Playtech and is available as both a download and instant play. The download version is a perfect symmetry of Playtech design and gameplay with a sleek Bet365 interface and features around 400 games. The instant play casino is equally stylish, easy to navigate and runs about 200 titles.
Bet365 Vegas is mainly powered by NetEnt software and provides a further 100+ games. The Games section is where you will find the most diverse software with games from Microgaming, Virtue Fusion, IGT and Cryptologic to name but a few. The section host all the major games from each software with over 600 titles in total.
The main casino has ten live games run by Playtech and the games section a further 5 run by other providers. On the whole this is one of the most balanced casino sites in terms of the games available. There is a good range of software with covering all the major game titles with great depth in every category from progressive jackpots to premium slots.
You don’t become one of the Internet’s largest betting and gaming companies if you can’t keep your customers happy and rewarded. This has been a principle for Bet365 since their formation and as a consequence they only run good value long term promotions that give customers consistent rewards.
New customers at Bet365 won’t get second and third deposit bonuses as with other casino welcome packages. Instead the casino gives out weekly bonus chips and monthly deposit bonuses that are tailored to the way you use the casino and the titles you play. Considering the very fair wagering requirements for Bet365 bonuses this really does add long term value for regular players, even if you are only playing a little each month.
Other promotions include loss rebates on days when you actually want to play casino and enhanced loyalty points on games that you select. The loyalty points scheme at Bet365 is top draw and fairly structured at all levels too.
Bet365 Comp Points and VIP Scheme
This has to be the best casino reward scheme in the business, especially for more standard players. The terms and requirements are exceptionally straight forward. You will earn at least 1 comp point for every £10 played, other games and most slots earn up to 3 points / 10 units. Comp points can be exchanged in blocks of 100 for £1 in withdrawable cash, this equates to getting a 1-3% rebate every time you play.
When you join the Bet365 casino you immediately enter into the bronze level of the VIP scheme. This gives you a comp point conversion of 100/£1 and when you reach 50,000 points you will get a completely free £50 bonus (same wagering terms as sign up offer.). Reach 150,000 and get into the Silver tier, here you get a further £100 free bonus, your comp points are now worth 85/100 and you have access to higher matched deposit bonuses and even more tailored promotions.
The top tier, Gold, can be reached by earning 500,000 and you only need 2,500 points a month to stay in. Entry to the gold level immediately earns you a £350 in bonus funds and when you reach the milestone of 1,500,000 points you’ll get another £1000 bonus. The top VIP level also comes with some really high level hospitality, I mean look at Bet365 sponsorship portfolio. You will also get a private manager, huge matched bonuses and a comp point ratio of just 75/£1.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
Bet365 have ploughed literally billions into their product and since their formation they have never stopped innovating, in fact the casino industry as a whole owes a debt to Bet365 for driving many of the fantastic features we now have. The result of all of this is every Bet365 product and platform is supremely stylish, functional, packed with thousands of games and features and simply unbeatable as an all-round package.
Bigger however isn’t always better and one problem Bet365 do suffer with is most of their platforms are graphic heavy and fully stocked. Access the site or mobile apps on a decent mobile connection or Wi-Fi and you will be in casino heaven but when trying to run these products on slow devises or connections the features can be painfully slow. I would recommend having Bet365 as a home casino with a simpler less graphic rich online mobile casino on the move. LeoVegas would be a great option.
There are several mobile apps available for sports, casino, Vegas and live casino from Bet365. Each provides the full product with access to all banking, support and promotions. I’m not usually a fan of split apps but when you consider the size of the Bet365 brand you wouldn’t want it all in one application.
Bet365 rose from a small chain set up by Peter Coates, Stoke City football club chairman, in the 1970’s to become a gaming industry leader. Denise Coates, Peter’s daughter, was the architect of this transformation, successfully investing in both the product and players to consistently steal a march on other casino sites.
Today Bet365 are one of the UK’s largest companies, with online gaming operations run from Gibraltar and their headquarters still located in Stoke. The company employ over 3,500 people and boast a revenue that exceeds £1.5 billion.
The consistent growth of Bet365 shows no signs of slowing down and this is driven almost entirely by their loyal customer base of around 20 million players. You can see form the sign up bonus that Bet365 are looking for customers who want long term value over short term flashy offers. This really is the perfect casino site for regular players of all levels.
- Software – Playtech Main, 20+ Others
- Wagering Requirements – 20x Bonus
- Consistent Value & Reward – Exceptional casino for regular players
If when it comes to online casino you think bigger is better, then casino sites don’t come any better than Ladbrokes. The colossus of a brand has several gaming sections although the main casino is Playtech powered. The Games, Slots and Live Casino areas is where you will find titles from other providers such as NetEnt and IGT. The resources available at Ladbrokes means this casino has more regular offers and features for all types of player compared with anywhere else with.
New Customers can claim a three-tiered welcome bonus worth up to £1500. This is made up of a 100% matched first deposit bonus up to £500 (£20 minimum) with a 20x (deposit + bonus) wagering requirement in 30 days. Slots count 100%, other games less (e.g roulette & blackjack = 20%), Skrill & Neteller deposits are ineligible. On your 2nd deposit claim 50% up to £500 and on your third claim 125% up to £500 (same terms as first deposit bonus). See the Ladbrokes site for more terms or click more to read our Ladbrokes mini-review.
Ladbrokes Games – £30 Welcome Package
All Ladbrokes casino customers can claim a £30 cash bonus the first time you play in the games section. This is the section where you will find games from providers other than Playtech. The offer is open to both new and existing customers so long as you have not played in the games section before. If you are a new customer it may be worth taking the main casino bonus first and this offer later, just remember not to go play in the games area until you are ready to take this deal.
New games players who deposit £10 or more and play through £100 cumulatively on any slots will received a £20 real cash bonus (no rollover or expiry, can withdraw). Make a second deposit of £10 or more and play through £50 and get another £10 free, making up a total of £30 in cash.
For more about this offer click the button below.
Ladbrokes Live Casino – £50 Cash Bonus
Ladbrokes have an alternative introductory live casino promotion. Unlike the games offer above this cannot be taken in conjunction with the main casino bonus however if you think you would like to use a bonus to play live games then this may be a far better offer due to lower wagering requirements.
The live casino is a download feature with all the standard table games and variations. Simply deposit a minimum of £50 and play through this amount 15x and Ladbrokes will give you a £50 cash bonus. Click below to see more terms.
Software & Games
In 2013 Ladbrokes struck a deal with Playtech who now power their main casino. The site offers around 250 Playtech slot, table and live games through instant play, download and mobile. The download is Playtech driven and combined with the resources of Ladbrokes, it is, as you would expect, exceptional. The download provides about 50 extra titles and lets you try all games for free so is a good tool to have even if you prefer to use the instant play casino.
Within the main casino there are over 40 jackpots and 40 table games with a whole suite of playtech live games as well as hundreds of slots and other titles.
The other sections of the site, Games and Slots, is where you will find most of the games form other software providers such as IGT, NetEnt, NextGen, Barcrest, Quickspin, WMS and others. Overall there are roughly a further 400 titles available in these sections. Remember also you can get an additional bonus the first time you use the games area.
Ladbrokes Promotions, Comp Points and VIP
This is an area where the power of a brand the size of Ladbrokes really does shine through. There are different promotional areas within each gaming section of the site that provide a suite of daily to monthly money back, cash back, free spin and free play deals.
Daily deals include bonuses for playing various games at different times during the week, you can see this in advance and plan your play. There are also special deals for playing on a Sunday (the Market) and a Monday (10% Cashback up to £50).
There is something for every type of player, whether your looking for big value reload bonuses or just a few free spins to try out some new titles.
The Ladbrokes comp points loyalty system is very easy, honest and straight forward. You get 1 point for every £10 you play with (2 points when playing game of the week or during other promotional periods) and you convert these points to real cash at a ratio of 100:£1.
If you are a player who stakes at least £100 a week you will likely qualify for the Ladbrokes VIP programme. I always say if you want to get the best VIP treatment you may as well join the biggest brands such as Ladbrokes as these are the only guys with the real resources and power to offer something incredibly good.
VIP players get all the usual stuff such as personal managers, enhanced comp points and conversion, higher bonuses, reloads and cashback. However, it is the hospitality events that truly stand out, I mean just take a peek at the number of massive sporting and entertainment events Ladbrokes sponsor, this will give you an idea of the kinds of things you will get invited to.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
You certainly couldn’t describe the Ladbrokes casino site as bijoux, the brand is enormous and whatever they do they can’t make it too minimal and pretty. Despite this Ladbrokes do an excellent job of compacting all their games, sections and features into a relatively easy to use package. No page requires you to scroll endlessly, there is an excellent menu structure and search functional and you can usually find what you want in less than 30 seconds.
The instant play and download interfaces themselves are very smooth and professional, you can tell there are whole board committee meetings to decide even the most minor details. The resources of this casino become obvious whenever there is a problem, the Ladbrokes development is astonishing and will sort any issue, bug or error faster than pretty much any other operator.
The mobile casino is equally well developed. There are multiple Ladbrokes apps for sports, casino, games and live casino, this can be annoying although I doubt you would want to see all their products in one app, it would simply be too much.
Around 75-80% of the games on the main site are available through mobile. Players can do everything through the application too so there is no need to ever visit the desktop site if you wanted to.
About Ladbrokes Casino
Ladbrokes are unrecognisable now compared to company as it was when it was first set up in 1886 as a horse racing commission agent operating from Ladbrokes Hall in Worcestershire. Following a move to London 15 years later the brand established itself as an elite bookmaker and agent for the rich and aristocracy with a large list of wealthy clients.
This model persisted for decades until after WWII when the fortunes of the company began to change thanks to austerity, a declining wealthy client base and new forms of competition. Ladbrokes was sold in 1956 for just £100,000.
Ten years later in 1966, following the legalisation of betting shops in the UK, Ladbrokes fortunes reversed dramatically, they were floated on the stock market at ten times their purchase value, £1,000,000. Over the next thirty years Ladbrokes grew aggressively opening thousands of betting shops and acquiring a large portfolio of companies, by 1993 they were worth over two billion pounds.
Ladbrokes were one of the earliest operators to move online in 1998 and over the last few decades have gone on to dominate this landscape too. In 2013 they launched their latest casino in a deal with Playech and this has seen astonishing success to parallel its sportsbook. Ladbrokes finally merged with Coral in 2016 to create one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.
The resources at Ladbrokes are evident and this is reflected in their comprehensive support, banking and betting options too. Some will not like the Ladbrokes brand as it is too big to have that personal touch and feel, although many others will simply love the choice that comes from such a big online casino.
- Software – Platyech (main), NetEnt + Others
- Wagering Requirements – 40x Bonus
- Huge Resources – Colossal Operator
Coral have an incredibly high value bonus (500% of your first deposit) offer requiring a very low deposit amount to claim, perfect for anyone wanting to try a top class online casino out without laying out a large amount of cash.
The Coral casino welcome package gives you a £50 introductory bonus when you deposit just £10. The bonus comes with one of the lowest wagering requirements around of just 24x the bonus with a good amount of time to achieve this of 28 days.
Almost all slots and games contribute 100% to the rollover with roulette, craps, blackjack and some specialist games contributing 20%. This may sound low but then most casinos won’t let you use any of your bonus at all on those games.
Software & Games
The casino runs on several software platforms available for both desktop and through the main mobile app. The main casino section runs on Playtech software with both a download options (with around 350 games) and instant play (with around 600 games). Other sections include games, Vegas and slots running a variety of other software packages including IGT and NetEnt. This means in total the Coral casino gives you over 1000 games and slots to play with your favorites guaranteed to be in there.
Coral Casino Promotions
The Coral casino is one of the best in the business for rewarding regular players. First off all new customers can claim a further second and third deposit bonus. The second bonus gives you a £10 matched bonus to be used on blackjack (10x rollover in 7 days) and your third deposit get a £5 roulette bonus (20x in 7 days). Following this there are lots of weekly rewards (e.g. Bet £20 on a specific game get £10 free) as well as constant prize draws and great progressive jackpots where you can win well in excess of £2,000,000. Coral Priority points also give you cash rewards, £1 for every 100 points collected. Coral also have a wealth of banking options with £5 minimum deposits and withdrawals and all withdrawal requests are instantly processed with no maximum limits.
About Coral Casino
Coral are one of the oldest brands in British bookmaking with one of the biggest online casinos in the world. It all started with Joe Coral over 90 years ago who set up pitches at regular Greyhound and Speedway meetings. Coral really exploded in the 1960’s with the legislation of off track gambling, they were one of the first bookmakers to open a betting shop and by the 1980’s, when they were bought by Bass, they had reached over 650 shops.
Coral exploded into the online market far in advance of most other big players when they were bought out by a private equity company in 1999 and merged with an online gambling group to create Coral-Eurobet. When the site was launched in 2000 it became one of the first proper online betting sites following up with an online casino the following year. Coral have since merged with Gala, who own over 30 land based casinos, suffice to say there is no lack of experience in the Coral casino backroom.
- Software – Playtech, NetEnt, IGT & Others
- Wagering Requirements – 24x bonus
- Other Offers – 2nd & 3rd Deposit Bonuses
Royal Panda are a new casino site, founded only in 2014, although you would never guess that from the quality of the product and immense service. This is an independent online casino founded by previous iGaming professionals and they have created what is, for me, possibly the perfect mix of features for a virtual casino. The company’s focus is on clarity, trustworthiness and honesty and unlike with many other brands this isn’t just rhetoric, they genuinely reward loyalty and treat players with huge respect.
The sign up deal is decent in terms of amount on offer but it is also fantastic with regard to wagering terms. To start with get 10 free no deposit required spins for NetEnt’s slot game Starburst, winnings are added to your bonus balance. Then when you make your first account deposit they will match that amount from £10 up to £100.
As evidence of Royal Panda’s commitment to fairness the bonus has a low rollover of just 35x along with a long expiry time of 90 days. This is a great offer that is suitable for most casino players. It is not the sign up offer however that is the reason why I would recommend this casino site, they have a tremendous site with the best customer care I’ve ever seen.
Software & Games
One of the best aspects of being independent, and new, is you can pick exactly who you want to work with. Royal Panda have picked very well deciding to host games from 6 or 7 software providers but crucially this includes all the games from industry leaders Microgaming and NetEnt. This makes Royal Panda a paradise for slot lovers and especially for jackpot lovers.
The Royal Panda catalogue is one of the best around in my opinion making this a great option if you only want to sign up to one or two casino sites.
Royal Panda also have a large selection of live casino tables, including roulette and blackjack tables that they run themselves in house. Other live tables are provided by Evolution Gaming and others.
Loyal Panda Points and Regular Offers
The Loyal Panda Program is top draw. It must be one of the easiest to understand yet most rewarding casino comp schemes going. The best bit is it has reward levels to suit all player types, not just high rollers.
Basically for every £10 staked you will get a Panda point. These can be exchanged in the shop for all sorts of things, from the typical bonuses and free spins right up to amazing merchandise such as iPhones and iPads, even Las Vegas trips and Rolex watches. In another sign of Panda’s consideration for all types of players the points don’t expire or have minimum terms, so if you don’t login for 3 months you know you’ll still have your hard-earned points.
On top of the great reward program Royal Panda have absolutely loads of regular rewards from free spins and bonuses to things like the 21 club where if you hit blackjack on the 21st of any month you could win £210 extra. There is a weekly reload system that lets you get 50% up to £150 and there are also a lot of personalised rewards that will be sent to you directly.
All Panda bonuses come with the same wagering terms as the sign-up offer. This makes so much sense and is very reassuring for the user as you don’t need to worry about checking the fine print for every deal. I don’t know why more sites can’t be like this.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
Royal Panda are a prime example of what you can do with a casino site layout if you are new to the game. By not being held back by history they have designed a very user friendly website that is genuinely awesome on any sized device. This is a great example of a casino where you don’t need a mobile app as well as the main site is designed to be perfectly scalable and functional whatever platform you are using.
The general theme of Royal Panda, apart from being focused around a big fat Panda with a crown, is vibrant and colourful but open and user friendly. Due to the focus on open player terms with this company you never struggle to find information, text is big and clear and yet the site is sleek and minimalist.
When you are in the games section of the site that’s all you will see, games, this is all I want from a casino, I don’t want to have promotions in my face when I am trying to find a game to play.
Royal Panda ‘fun’ theme may not be for everyone, but if you are sick of the same old stuffy casino sites then seriously try this casino out, it is completely different to everywhere else.
About Royal Panda Casino
Royal Panda Limited was established by a group of Dutch guys who between them had spent many years working in online gaming and casino. They set up and launched Royal Panda Casino in 2014 with a strategy to cherry pick the very best aspects of online casinos.
The company has a very strong commitment to their players and because of this Panda have an astonishing rate of customer retention. For such a new brand, and considering they don’t have other products like a sportsbook, their existing customer loyalty is incredible, but not unsurprising when you consider their openness, fair terms and very good points scheme.
Licensed in the UK and based in Malta the brand is one that stands out from a crowd of new websites. This casino will be around in 20 years when others have failed let me promise you that – well that is if they retain their current business model.
- Software – NetEnt, Microgaming + 5
- Bonus Rollover – 35x in 90 Days
- Impressive Loyalty – Commitment to existing players is incomparable
If you’re looking for a trusted old hand in the world of online casino then you won’t get any better than 888. One of the very first casino sites to be launched back in 1997 the brand is now celebrating over 20 years in the industry and in all this time they have maintained one of the top positions globally.
The brand goes back so far that when they started there were no software providers around for games, they therefore launched their own, Dragonfish. This means most of the games on site are high quality and designed in house for 888 players only, if you’re looking for something unique you won’t find elsewhere then 888 is a must have site.
All new customers can claim a no deposit bonus to try them out, after signing up you’ll get an email link that will send you to the spin the wheel game. Here you can win a no deposit bonus from £15 up to £888 (30x rollover 14 days) max withdrawable winnings equal to free play awarded. Following this claim a 100% deposit bonus up to £100 (30x in 90 days) with slots contributing 100%, roulette 20% and blackjack 10% (max withdrawable winnings £500). There is also a premium package available giving bonuses on 2nd-5th deposits, click ‘more’ below to find out more details and read our mini review.
888 are a great casino for offering players of all levels rewards to suit them, and this begins with the welcome bonus. If you were thinking the £100 deposit bonus doesn’t sound very high, then you could instead choose to take the premium package (click the link below instead) that gives you not just a 100% up to £100 bonus on your first deposit but also gives you a 30% bonus on your 2nd to 5th deposits up to £350 each.
To claim this bonus instead enter the code Welcome1 when you make your first deposit. On your second deposit enter code Welcome2 and so on until your fifth deposit where you would enter code Welcome5. Minimum deposit is £20, to claim each of the 2nd-5th bonus in full you would need to deposit £1050 each time.
Each deposit must be claimed within 7 days of the first with all bonuses valid for 90 days with a 30x the bonus rollover (same game contributions). You don’t need to take all five bonuses you may instead choose to only take a few of them. For more terms and conditions see the 888 Casino offer below.
Software & Games
Back in the late 1990’s when 888 Holdings (then named Virtual Holdings Limited) launched their first casino site (Casino-On-Net) there were not many software developers around that made casino games. The company therefore set up their own software development arm called Dragonfish (originally named Random Logic). From then until today 888 have been developing their own games and you can only find them at 888 casino or other 888 owned sites. If you are a player looking for a casino site with games different to the crowd then 888 are a fantastic option.
Dragonfish have focused on making a couple of hundred high quality games rather than 1000’s of hit and miss titles (as you find with some software’s). The games are also tailored for 888 players and the fact that this is all done in house means the games don’t have errors, they are super-fast and they have generally better associated promotions. 888 offer around 130 slots and 30+ table games, 30+ jackpots as well as arcade games and a full suite of live games. Live games are also run in house and you can even find out who the dealers are.
The casino also runs some of the top titles form other software providers such as NetEnt, NextGen and IGT (plus many more) and so you can access the well-known titles too.
888 have a download casino too with around 20% more titles. This is one of the smoothest running downloads you will find and games run even faster than through instant play. This is only really possible because the run their own proprietary software.
888 Casino Comp Points and Promotions
Regular casino promotions for existing customers is an area where 888 Casino are particularly strong. They have been in this game long enough to know what their players want and I have to say they have the right balance with something to suit all types of players.
The daily deals really are superb, they allow you to plan your play in advance choosing the right offer for you. You can see all daily deals a week in advance and they give away things like 20-50% reload bonuses (with low 3x rollovers), freeplays, cashback on certain titles, enhanced comp points and more. There are also monthly features that give long terms cash back or rewards on specific titles or sections and there are even regular rewards for roulette and blackjack players.
The live casino section has a further range of offers, for example if your roulette ball lands on 8 get £8 free, whether you backed the number or not.
Loyalty rewards at 888 are exceptionally simple to understand too. Earn a minimum of 1 comp point for every £10 you wager in the casino; 150 points is equal to £1 which you can either play with or withdraw.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
888 have avoided the terrible peril that some older sites fall into, they get bigger and bigger and the consequence is their sites end up overcrowded and unusable. 888 Casino has a very minimalist feel; it is easy to read as major text is either fluorescent green or white against an always black backdrop. In fact, 888 go to a huge amount of effort to make all the text on their site big enough and clear enough to read – this makes finding information a breeze.
The site is very easy to navigate around and as the brand focuses on quality games over quantity there aren’t thousands of titles to search through. All banking information, contact information, support details and other features are easy to find in one click. The site also has a number of actually useful guides and blogs that help you get the most of the games on the site.
The 888 casino mobile app is equally smooth. They were one of the first to ever develop and app and the lead time certainly shows with this very refined package.
About 888 Casino
888 Casino along with the other 888 brands are all operated under Cassava Enterprises (based in Gibraltar), a subsidiary company of 888 Holdings. 888 brands in the UK are licenced under 888 UK Limited a further subsidiary of Cassava. This is a very convoluted corporate structure but they are a global brand operating in many countries so it is understandable. They are also very honest about their structure unlike some other big multinational casino sites.
The 888 brand was invented by two groups of Israeli brothers who set up shop in 1997 launching their first ever site, Casino-On-Net. This eventually gave rise to 888 Casino in 2010. The company are one of the biggest operators in the world with over 25 million customers and an annual revenue in the region of £500M.
The 888 group and casino have won tons of awards in the industry including operator of the year 2015 from Gaming Intelligence.
I do want to point out one drawback of 888 Casino. The company operate a pending period on withdrawals of 3 days (1 day for VIP customers) with no manual flushing. This is in place to allow you to reverse your withdrawal during this time but in reality it really isn’t necessary and it lets down the site as a whole. This means for example if withdrawing to an eWallet that should take less than 24 hours now takes 4 days. This does irk me a lot, on balance there are far too many good points to ignore 888 but make sure you don’t need to get your cash out in any hurry.
- Software – Own Software (Dragonfish)
- Wagering Requirements – 30x bonus
- Online Casino Expert – Running Since 1997
LeoVegas have got something for everyone with their sign up offer. Just for signing up all customers get 50 free spins with no deposit required (35x wagering requirement). Following this you can advantage of a 200% first deposit bonus up to £100 (min deposit £10, deposit £50 to claim full bonus) with a further 50 free spins. The bonus has no time limit with a 39x WR, the free spins are valid for 3 days with a 35x WR.
Following this all customers can claim a 125% bonus up to £500 on their second deposit & 50 spins, 100% up to £500 on the third deposit & 50 spins and 50% up to £400 on the fourth deposit with another 50 spins. All these bonuses have a 35x WR again with no time limit.
All slots count 100% to the WR, table games are weighted less at 10%. If you choose to take this introductory deal in full you can claim 250 free spins and £1500 in bonus funds, there are not many more generous offers around. Wagering requirements are also very reasonable.
Software & Games
LeoVegas have over 600 games available running on at least nine different software packages. The two main game suppliers are Microgaming (around 200 games) and NetEnt (around 150 games) with most live games supported by Evolution Gaming. All games are instant play on desktop and available through the mobile app (the best app in the business).
The casino has a live dealer room with a great range of live games in the live casino. LeoVegas have around 30 different versions of roulette and even have 18 different versions of live roulette. Due to the excellent interface and collapsible menu structure all games can be reached from the home page within seconds of logging onto the site or mobile app.
All games are also available to play for free before you commit any funds, and you don’t even need to sign in to play them.
LeoVegas Casino Promotions
LeoVegas have one of the best VIP loyalty schemes in the industry. To get involved simply opt in from your profile and you will immediately be entered in at level 1. A progress bar in the top menu shows you how close you are to the next level.
As well as all the usual VIP stuff like hospitality, private banking and service and enhanced bonus offers there is also a monthly prize draw. Unlike many prize draws these are actually winnable with prizes players will actually want. Tickets to prize draws are issued based on the amount wagered multiplied by the VIP level you are currently at. Prizes are given out down to the 100th position on the leaderboard so you don’t need to be a big money player to get involved.
Leo also have prizes randomly given out to players who play certain games during the week where stake, winnigns and loses don’t matter. This is a very fair way to do it and means that even low stakes players can get in on the action. LeoVegas are one of the best casinos going for retention and this is a big reason why.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
LeoVegas was created by in Sweden by two guys whos ambition was to make the best online mobile casino in the world. Two years in they were already winning awards for best mobile innovations and best mobile casino from the industry.
The mobile casino is frankly amazing, the interface is fantastic with every game available on the platform. The app and mobile site is vibrant, exciting, clear and ultimately useful while dispensing of any heavy graphic content. It’s just about the fastest and best app for online casino going today.
From this please don’t think LeoVegas are mobile only, they are not. They have a fantastic desktop site with all games available through instant play. The site is optimised for smaller tablets and computers this means they have done away with any sidebars and they have made all games reachable from the front page. The menu systems collapse in a very useful way that means you can access the site and find any game in just one click. The site is one of the fastest in the business too.
For such an established brand you might think LeoVegas have been around for years but in fact they were only formed in 2011, launching their first site in 2012. A Swedish company set up by two entrepreneurs it was designed from the outset to take advantage of the parallel rise of smart phone and tablet devices. Instead of following the usual route of creating an online casino and then making a mobile product these guys made everything that they do optimised for mobile from the start.
The LeoVegas brand as a whole is very user focused, giving players a fantastically easy to use package that is the primary reason that players always come back to play with them. The company is licenced under the name LeoVeagas Gaming Ltd, based in Malta and are a subsidiary of LeoVegas AB based in Sweden. The casino also has offices and 24/7 customer services based in the UK.
LeoVegas also have one of the best responsible gambling systems around allowing you to control how you play based on the parameter that matters most to you. With Leo you can set limits on deposits, wagers, losses, time and activity and even individual games.
- Software – Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution & Others
- Wagering Requirements – 39x 1st bonus, 35x other bonuses & spins
- Mobile – Best mobile casino in the world
BetVictor are one of my all-time favourite gaming and betting sites. The brand is all about quality and style providing one of the most refined, tasteful and professional online casinos available to UK customers. This is not a casino for someone after a lot of colour, lights, graphics and in your face features; this is a place for players who simply want a classy product with great rewards and loads of good games from lots of providers.
The sign up bonus is OK, nothing to write home about in terms of amount but it does come with very fair terms and conditions and ultimately the reason to sign up with BV is for the regular customer bonuses.
New customers will get 200 free spins which can be used on four NetEnt titles (Spinata Grande, Koi Princess, Gonzo’s Quest and Twin Spin slots). Any winnings need to be rolled over 30x in 5 days on the same games. Customers can also claim a bonus equal to their first deposit from £10 up to £200. The bonus has a 35x rollover, which is very fair, in 7 days. See the terms and conditions on the BetVictor site for game contributions, click more for extra information about the BetVictor casino.
Software & Games
BetVictor have a great balance of games from all of the leading providers. There are roughly 600 games available at any one time from NetEnt, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, Novomatic, IGT, Ash, Play’n Go and at least another five. The casino is very good at cycling it’s games catalogue too bringing in tens of new games each and every week.
For me if you were to only ever play with one casino this would have to be up there as one of your choices as it has all the leading titles from the best providers. The gameplay and games interface is also supreme, the mobile app is fantastic and the titles never crash.
If you like live casino then this is an amazing casino. BetVictor offer 13 games from three software providers (NetEnt, Evolution Gaming and Novomatic) as well as in house titles. This means there are over 50 tables and 140 dealers to choose from at any one time.
BetVictor Promotions& Loyalty Points
BetVictor do not offer comp points. Now this would usually be a big negative point for a casino but BetVictor can get away with it as in place of a loyalty points scheme they have some of the best weekly bonuses for regular customers that you ever will see.
Being honest comp schemes are not great value for average to low stakes players as you need to be playing a lot to get any decent cash returns. BetVictor focus nearly all their bonuses at standard players, they are low stakes (e.g. play with £20 get a £10 bonus) and always have low rollovers (20x usually).
There will be a new bonus for you every week on average, some will be game specific others simply require you to play in casino. The amount you need to play with is usually £25 or lower giving you at least a £10 bonus. Over time these deals really add up, in this year alone I’ve received around £300 back in bonuses from wagering around £1000 and that is unparalleled in my experience.
This is also a great place to play if you like linked promotions between sports and casino. BetVictor run a world class sportbook with some of the best odds, offers and market depth available online and it is very common to see deals such as ‘Bet £10 on a premier league match and get a £10 free casino bonus’.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
I absolutely love the BetVictor site, everything about it is screams classic style. If you like your casino site to just be a casino then call this place home. The whole ethos of BetVictor is quality delivery of top class games, everything about the site is set up to make the game titles the absolute focus and I really like that.
All games are held in one section, casino, so there is no jumping around between products trying to find what you are looking for, likewise all the offers are also displayed in one area. With a site like this you can go from logging in to gameplay in under ten sections and this is down to the simple structure, logical menus and fast loading time due to the minimal graphics.
The mobile site is equally nice to use and houses both the sportbook and the casino so if you are after one app for both products this is one of the best options on the market.
For me there is nothing to dislike about BetVictor’s interface and appearance although I could also appreciate that others might find it a little bland and boring.
About BetVictor Casino
BetVictor is the 21st century name of the old bookie Victor Chandler. Victor Chandler established a bookmaking business immediately after WWII and in the 1960’s expanded the company opening a series of betting shops to exploit changes in the law that allowed off site betting.
Following on from this Victor’s son, also called Victor, took the company into new markets and was one of the first to operate on foreign shores by providing for oriental clients from an office in Antigua. The success of this lead Victor to move the entire business to Gibraltar in 1998 to avoid UK gambling tax rules and whilst this has brought them in for some bad press they have passed on a huge amount of their tax savings onto their customers rather than their shareholders.
Today BetVictor are renowned for being one of the most professional gaming sites on the web. They have preserved an integrity that players, including myself, realty admire. They are one of the best at rewarding bog standard customers and they have one of the most diverse and quality casinos available.
- Software – NetEnt, Micro, IGT +++++
- Wagering Requirements – 35x Bonus
- High End Casino Site – Elegant Stlye
When Betway came on the scene back in 2006 many expected them to be just another run of the mill new online casino and betting site, they have become anything but. Betway offer customers an elegant and graceful design that many users absolutely love but they haven’t gone for style over substance, providing one of the fastest and easiest to use casino sites available.
The casino offers around 500 games from Microgaming (who they have hosted since the start) and NetEnt, in three sections, the casino, Vegas and live casino. The Betway Plus scheme is renowned as one of the best loyalty programmes around giving players rewards for both sports and casino betting.
When you sign up you are entitled to claim up to three bonuses on your first three deposits up to £1000. The first is a 100% bonus up to £250 followed by a 25% bonus up to £250 and finally a 50% bonus up to £500. All have a £20 minimum and a 50x rollover. You can claim as many of these as you like but you must claim all three within 7 days of registering, there is however no time limit on the rollover. For more see our mini Betway Casino review below.
Software & Games
Betway’s main software provider is Microgaming who they have had a relationship since the very beginning. This is a perfect match for Betway who believe in offering high end style in all their products. Microgaming games are renowned as being some of the best in the business for top level graphics and features and used at full throttle through Betway you won’t get a better Microgaming experience.
You can access all Microgaming instant play titles with Betway and Microgaming also run the live casino all the usual games you would expect, including immersive roulette, which is brilliant when played with Betway.
On top of the nearly 500 games from Microgaming you can also play around 100 top NetEnt titles in the Vegas section.
Betway Promotions and Plus Points
Betway are an exceptional casino site for rewarding loyal existing player with their Plus points system that goes far beyond what most casinos offer. Plus points are awarded for all betting from the moment you sign up and you can collect points for both casino and sports betting which is unusual to say the least.
Points are awarded at 10 for every £10 staked on casino or bingo slots and 2.5 for every £10 staked on table games or any sports bets. Points can be exchanged at a rate of 5000 for a £10 casino or bingo credit or a £3 sports credit. This is credited funds too so you can use them as you like, unlike say free spins, which is what you get form most loyalty schemes.
The Plus points system is also a VIP programme, as you acquire points you will move up levels form blue through to black. Along the way, you get better bonuses, prizes and some really ace hospitality. The Plus points system is better than other VIP schemes as normal casino players can actually move up the ladder without staking £1000’s. Betway also have excellent hospitably through sponsorship of West Ham, darts, snooker and other major sporting events.
On top of the points scheme itself there are lots of regular bonus rewards and enhanced points feature games. Betway don’t do daily offers as such but when they do launch a promotion it tends to be more valuable than many other casinos and also aimed at regular players rather than just high rollers.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
Betway have, for me, the most attractive casino website and mobile app on the internet. Every single aspect is well designed and all their products are a pleasure to use and play with.
This isn’t necessarily every one’s cup of tea however. The site is predominantly black with only a small amount of colour and there are no flashy side panels or promotions flung in your face. The whole experience is about bringing you to the games in the quickest, easiest and nicest way possible. Betway dispense with lots of the fanciful features that often get in the way, although some may say the site isn’t very ‘fun’.
This isn’t about form over function however. Betway have a perfect balance of a high-end interface mixed with a very fast site where you can be playing a game in seconds. The mobile website and app is equally as nice to use.
The best way to find out if this sounds like a site for you is to give them a visit and play a few games in demo mode. If you do think the site is too stylised and you want a bit more fun in your casino then maybe consider an opposite brand such as Thrills.
About Betway Casino
Betway are part of the newer breed of casinos in that they came along in 2006 as an online only entity. Unlike similar brands however they have resisted the urge to just throw up a site and try to earn money from as many products as possible, instead deciding to play the slow game of winning good customers by investing time and effort in quality products and services.
The Betway Group is a British company with licences across Europe, although in the main they are based out of Malta. The group have a very global outlook with games and markets to suit all types of users from different countries and backgrounds.
The brand has set itself up to be unique from the crowd by offering high class gaming and betting products but for normal customers. They have received many accolades and a lot of recognition for their style which is loved by many regular players.
A great company for rewarding loyalty and a fast-growing casino that in the future will no doubt be up there with the biggest operators.
- Software – Microgaming & NetEnt
- Wagering Requirements – 50x Bonus
- Plus Points – Excellent Loyalty Program
777 are a sister brand of 888 with the same games including their own proprietary software package, Dragonfish. That is however were the similarity ends, 777 has a distinctive look and feel to its cousin and I think many players would prefer the design of this casino site. You can only take either the 888 or 777 sign up offer so have a read of both reviews to find the best site for you.
New players at the 777 casino can claim 77 free spins just for joining, following registration you will be sent an email with a link to claim, do this within 48 hours. Free spins are worth 0.25 each and expire after two weeks, maximum free spins winnings is £20. Winnings must then be rolled over 30x with 90 days, maximum withdrawal of £500 (except progressive jackpot wins), slots count 100%, other games less, see 777 site for full terms.
When you make your first deposit enter the code WELCOME777, this will entitle you to a 100% matched bonus up to a maximum of £200 and a minimum of £20. This has the same wagering requirement (30x in 90 days) and game contributions as the free spins winnings. A larger £1500 deposit package is also available, click more to see details about this and more about the 777 casino in general.
777 Casino £1500 Welcome Package
Players who would prefer a higher value bonus can choose to take the premium pack which gives customers bonuses on their first five deposits. This starts with a 100% bonus up to £100 the first time you fund your account (£20 min) and this has the same requirements as the main bonus described above. Insert the code 1LUCKY7 instead to claim this deal.
For the second to fifth deposits you can claim a 30% bonus up to £350 each time, minimum is £20 in all instances. Replace the number at the start of the code (e.g second deposit bonus is activated by entering code 2LUCKY7).
All bonuses must be claimed within 7 days of the first, i.e. if you want five bonuses you need to make 5 deposits in the first week using the codes above. The bonuses do however have a 90-day expiry limit so there is a lot of time to play through the 30x wagering terms.
To claim this bonus instead and for full terms of this promotion click the button below.
Software & Games
The owners of 777 casino (888 Holdings) go back to the very earliest days of online casino and when they were established in the mid 1990’s there were very few games providers around, especially for online casino. The group therefore established their own proprietary software called Dragonfish.
As 777 is a new brand within the 888 group it means this is now one of the only places you can play Dragonfish games. Dragonfish have always had a focus on providing quality games over quantity and in the 20 or more years since they started they have created some fantastic titles. It is also worth considering that when you run your own software it is much easier to keep on top of game errors and bugs and this is one of the best casinos around for avoiding game crashes.
In total 777 Casino has around 120+ games, most slots with around 30 table games, 20 jackpots and all the major live casino games. It’s not all Dragonfish either you can also play leading titles from NetEnt, IGT, Barcrest and even a few Playtech titles. Live casino is provided by Evolution Gaming who are simply the best for live titles.
This isn’t a great casino if you want a choice of 1000’s of games but if you are after a reliable package that is inherently easy to use and navigate because of its size then 777 is a great online casino for good honest games.
777 Casino Comp Points and Promotions
777 certainly is a casino site for anyone that likes regular promotions. They really do have pretty much every type of deal you can imagine and these also have a good range, suitable for all stakes and player types.
Their daily deals allow you to plan your casino play in advance and ensure you get rewarded no matter when you choose to play in the casino. The offers include things like cash back, free spins, free plays and prizes.
Regular reloads are available pretty much all the time, some game specific and others general. There is also a whole suite of separate offers in the live casino to choose from.
The comp points scheme is a very sincere and open casino loyalty programme. The scheme gives 1.5 points each time you stake £10 and this is then switched back for real cash at a rate of 150 to £1. There are double points available for playing some games and at certain times through the daily deals.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
777 Casino has a 1950’s Nevada style, tastefully done and not over the top this is one themed casino site that does work. The site is like other modern casino sites in that it is unconstrained by history and so has been designed from the beginning to suit any device or screen size.
The graphics and game play are superbly sleek and fast but also functional and not too heavy on the system resources, this allows seamless gameplay on mobile and slow connections. The same is true with the mobile app, although because of the dynamic scaling on the main site you could happily play using either on your mobile.
About 777 Casino
777 is the latest spin off casino from the 888 holdings empire. It may be very similar to the 888 casino beneath the bonnet but I think this is one example where the aesthetics make all the difference. The retro and relaxed feel of 777 gives it a completely different overall attitude and that does affect how the game play feels to the user.
The 777 Casino as modern incarnation is not restrained by structure as you tend to find with older sites. In fact, I think if you compare the 777 and 888 casino between different devices you will find 777 is smoother when switching between.
For more about Cassava and 888 Holding see our 888 review.
- Software – Dragonfish (Own) + More
- Wagering Requirements – 30x Bonus
- Different to 888 – Unique style and experience
The 32Red Casino brand needs little introduction, unless you are a complete online casino virgin you must have heard of 32Red. The company have been running their casino site for nearly 25 years and are one of the most loved, respected and trustworthy online casinos on the planet.
New customers can claim a £10 completely free no deposit bonus when they join. Sign up and login where your bonus will be waiting for you immediately. The free credit is valid for one week with a wagering requirement of 50x the bonus amount. Maximum withdrawal from the bonus is £100, most slots contribute 100%, roulette 20%, Blackjack, baccarat and other games 10%. Live casino and craps do not count.
More customers go on to claim the main bonus following the no deposit offer with 32Red compared to any other casino. On your first deposit 32Red will match this with £32 in bonus funds for every £10 deposited (320% bonus) up to a maximum of £160 (deposit £50 to claim full amount, min deposit £10). This bonus comes with a 40x rollover but no expiry, you can use a maximum of £6.25 in any one bet.
32Red are a Microgaming casino, all games and platforms are restricted to Microgaming games but then again 32Red are probably the best casino for playing microgaming titles in the world. Games are available through download, instant play and on mobile with around 600 titles in total.
The download casino in particular is one of the most popular going. Like all 32Red products the graphics and interface won’t blow you away but instead focuses on functionality, after all playing games is what we want to do and 32Red make this incredibly simple. Lacking heavy graphics and too may additional features the download casino is very easy to use and never crashes.
There are around 30% more games available through download compared to instant play but this still means you can play hundreds of games direct on the site. Similar to the download package the main site is low on graphics and extra features but high on function. Games take center stage at 32Red and this means you can get in the site, find your game and be playing in less than 30 seconds. There are more stylish systems out there but none that can beat 32Red for reliability and usability.
32Red Promotions and Ruby Reward Loyalty Points
Over the years 32Red have built up a fantastically loyal customer base. Search online and you will see glowing reports from players as well as the casino industry as a whole. They have won so many awards it’s hard to list them but these include ‘Best Online Casino’, ‘Best Casino Manager’, ‘Best Customer Service’ and ‘Operator of the Year’.
The first thing you will notice is 32Red are old and wise and so don’t host loads and loads of offers. Instead they run a few good deals that can be relied on to give players consistent value. These include regular reload bonuses and freerolls. The real stand out feature however is the Red Ruby Rewards scheme.
One red ruby point is earned for every £10 played (at basic, this is higher in some games), 1000 points can be redeemed for 10 free spins (£10 basically). When you reach 50 points you enter the bronze tier of the VIP scheme, this gives you access to additional promotions and 1,000 points on your birthday. Silver gives 10% extra points and 2,500 birthday reward, Gold 20% extra and 3,200 points and Platinum 50% extra with 5,000 birthday points. Once you become a platinum member you will likely be invited to join Club Rouge, you can read about this below.
Players invited to Club Rouge can earn 200% extra ruby reward points, you get a personal account manager, personal banking with exclusive offers and hospitality. The real benefit of this tier is the ability to covert ruby points into cash not just free spins. For example, your 5,000 points given to you for your birthday can immediately be converted to £50 real cash and withdrawn.
32Red really do provide an online casino for all tiers of players, whether you play £10 a week or £100,000 a week there is something for you.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
For me the aspect I like and respect the most about 32Red is their simplicity. The company have strived to provide a user focused experience form the day they were established and this is entirely evident in the desktop, mobile and download features. With 32Red you won’t find lots of flashing features, sidebars and tons of menus, instead the system is relatively simple on all platforms placing the games at centre stage. Basically 32Red give players what they want to see rather than what the casino wants to push on us.
You will find more stylish casino sites and mobile apps around but I promise you that you will not find any that work better. The mobile app does constantly look like its two years out of date but then it has all the features you need to play casino with the added bonus that it won’t crash and works well on slower internet connections.
32Red were established at the turn of the century by a former Ladbrokes Managing Director, Edward Ware. From day one he set up his company to focus on what players want, this was probably influenced by his history at Ladbrokes who are an amazingly big bookie but often seen as corporate and faceless. Ed’s desire was to make customers of 32Red feel valued and unique and I think the fact that 32Red now boasts tens of millions of loyal regular players is testament to this. In the early days Ed Ware even manned the customer service lines, mixing in with the staff to make the casino his own. Not many bosses would ever be seen doing this.
The company launched online in 2002 and have never looked back. They have grown to become a household name in online casino but still maintain a more family business model over the big corporate structure. 32Red Plc are based in Gibraltar and employ less than 100 people but are listed on London Stock Exchange. They are renowned for having some of the highest security in the industry and promote some excellent responsible gambling features.
The casino is microgaming only although this means they have had a long time to create the perfect one software casino. Obviously you may want to have several online casino account open so you can play games from other providers but my recommendation would be to play all of your Microgaming games with 32Red.
- Software – Microgaming
- Wagering Requirements – 50x No Deposit, 40x First Deposit
- Trustworthy – Loved and Trusted
Sky Vegas, and the Sky package in general, including Sky Casino and Sky Bet, go together to make one of the best overall betting and gaming sites you will find in the UK. The absolute wealth of resources and knowledge at the heart of the Sky brand has been used to create one of the best online casinos, particularly for the average player, in the world. This isn’t about rewarding the big players but more about rewarding the 90% of loyal players that make casino what it is.
This is reflected in the Sky Vegas welcome bonus, from just a £10 outlay you can use up to £50 in bonus funds with some of the fairest terms you will find. This starts with a £10 free no deposit bonus for registering. The freebie has a very low wagering requirement (just 20x) and a long validity of 30 days. Slots count 100% to any rollover and table game 10%.
New customers who then go on to deposit £10 or more will be given £40 in bonus funds straight away. This has a 40x rollover with the same weighting and expiry as the no deposit offer. Click below to find out more.
Other Sky Welcome Bonuses
From the very beginning Sky decided to keep their products separate so that each could focus on delivering an uncluttered but highly functional service. You can however use the same central account wallet to bet and play between the different sections and for anyone who likes to play casino and bet on sports (or bingo and poker) this is a perfect set up. Each product comes with its own bonus so if you prefer you could sign up to another section, winnings and real funds can be moved around as you like but note that you must use the bonus/free bet in the relevant section:
SkyBet – Bet £5 Get £20 Free
Sign up, deposit and bet just £5 on any market of evens or higher and get a £20 free bet in the form of 2 x £10 that don’t expire. On top of this all customers can claim a £5 weekly free bet for betting £25 plus as well as some of the best price boosts and money back specials for football and horse racing in the UK. Read more in our SkyBet review or click the link below to see more terms.
SkyCasino – Deposit £10 Get a £60 Bonus
This section of the site offers just under 100 Playtech powered games and live games. If you prefer you could take you bonus here instead of the Sky Vegas deal. Here you get more bonus funds (600% instead of 400%) but you don’t get the £10 no deposit freebie.
The bonus comes with a higher rollover, 50x not 40x, but has a higher contribution towards table games, 20% instead of 10%. If you are thinking of spending your promo funds on table games or live games then take the Casino bonus. If on the other hand you are after more software and game choice and a no deposit freebie take the Vegas bonus.
The Sky Casino offer also comes with a matched second deposit bonus up to £250 (£20 minimum) with a 30-day limit and 30x rollover. Read more about the terms of this offer through the link below:
Software & Games
Sky Vegas has in the region of just under 300 games making it a medium sized online casino. There are over ten software providers with all the top game titles available so choice shouldn’t be an issue. These include NetEnt, NetGen, IGT, Wager Works, Endemol, WMS, Bluerpint, Crytologic as well as many others.
Most of the games are slots (~220) with around 50 jackpot games, 30 table games, scratchcards and arcade games. Sky also provide up to 25 completely excusive games that are run in house and can only be found here, these include exclusive jackpots and games link to the Sky Sports and Sky Football brands.
Each game comes with an information button that gives you literally everything you need to know to play from limits to payout percentages. All games can also be played for free so you can try before you buy on every title.
As you can play Sky Casino using the same account it is fair to include these games in the review too. Sky Casino is entirely Playtech powered with up to 100 games available. This is also where you will find all the live casino games available.
Sky Vegas and Sky Casino Loyalty and Promotions
Interestingly Sky don’t run a casino loyalty scheme and ordinarily I would say this is a shocking omission. Once you’ve actually played with Sky however you quickly realise that Sky deliberately do not run a loyalty programme so that they can pump all of that saved cash into running promotions that are actually more valuable for average players.
The thing about loyalty programmes is they often will be weighted to bigger players and therefore disproportionally reward higher stakes. Sky Vegas and Sky Casino offers however tend to be much lower stakes, attainable and ultimately more valuable to the general online casino punter.
For example, Sky Vegas and Sky Casino run very regular deposit bonuses for sensible amounts of cash. The last bonus I received gave me £25 free funds for depositing £50 and you can get these offers all of the time. Sky Casino even lets you pick the bonus right for you depending on your stake (e.g deposit £20 get a 40% bonus, deposit £50 get a 40% bonus, etc).
The other offer that this casino is great at is the cash back deal, refunding losses all of the time for specific or general game play. This is also a fantastic casino to visit during holiday and promotional seasons where you will see they tend to out match all of their competitors.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
Sky Vegas and Sky Casino are both instant play only so there is no download available. This isn’t such a bad thing with Sky however as they have one of the smoothest and sleekest instant play casinos available online. You don’t after all spend nearly 30 years delivering epic content to your customers online and through satellite TV without learning what the user wants.
The depth of resources and skill available to this casino site is plainly obvious, each section is superbly set out to be completely functional with great depth without overcrowding the site or slowing the system down. Sky Vegas are able to use some very attractive graphics without making the service liable to crashing, they have dispensed with all sidebars and flashy promotions in order to focus on the games and the user, the two things an online casino should be about.
The ability to switch between sections from the same account wallet means betting and gaming online is supremely easy. This is a little more annoying on mobile as you need to have separate apps for each product, then again if you can afford the space it is definitely worth it as each app is excellently designed and very functional. The Sky Vegas app carries around 150 games and is powered by a software company known as OpenBet, they don’t make games themselves but rather specialise in packing games from other software’s together on mobile.
About Sky Vegas and Sky Casino
Sky Vegas and Sky Casino are part of the overall Sky Betting and Gaming brand which is operated and licenced under the company Bonne Terre Ltd (based in Leeds, UK). The company are licenced from Alderney (Channel Islands) and to their credit are one of the few operators who pay nearly all of their tax (and employ most of their people) in the UK. This company is now only 20% owned by Sky Plc and 80% owned by a private capital group known as CVC partners.
Despite not being fully owed by Sky directly the brand is still incredibly important to Sky, if the casino was bad it would reflect badly on the broadcasting operation. The setup is therefore completely open with a huge amount of resource sharing between Sky and the gaming brands.
The overarching mantra of this company is about giving real rewards and a great experience to the normal average casino players that make up most punters who play online. This is very refreshing to see a company giving back to the majority rather than just remunerating the high stakes gamblers. Long may it stay this way.
- Software – Vegas multiple, Casino Playtech
- Wagering Requirements – 20x rollover £10 free, 40x deposit bonus
- Average Player Casino – Attainable offers & rewards for normal players
If you’re looking for rock solid online casino and betting site overall then you can’t go far wrong with William Hill. These guys have one of the biggest casinos in the world generating literally billions each year as a brand. This means if you want decent rewards, tons of features, games, software and access to a multitude of other products then this is a great place to play.
William Hill have a multitude of bonuses that can add up to a very nice package. To start with get £10 free, no deposit needed. Simply sign up and play through your £10 free on a minimum of 10 spins. The freebie is valid 3 days and must be rolled over 35x to turn it, and winnings, into cash. Maximum cash winnings £25.
Once you’ve used your £10 free you can then claim a matched bonus up to £300 (min £10) when you first deposit. The bonus is available immediately and valid for 7 days with a 25x deposit + bonus rollover requirement. All slots and most games contribute 100%, roulette 0-50%, Hold’em 25%, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps and some others 20%.
William Hill’s download casino also comes with its own bonus that can be claimed in addition to the main offer. The first time you transfer funds or deposit direct into the download casino get a 150% bonus up to £200 (£125 to claim in full, £10 minimum), same terms as the first deposit offer. High rollers who deposit/transfer £1000+ will get £500.Available to all customers the first time you play Vegas claim 100% cashback on any loses in the first 48 hours, up to a maximum of £20.
Finally, If you are after a lower introductory bonus with easier requirements deposit and bet £25 in the live casino, wager this 8x (all games included, some bets restricted) and get a £25 free bonus.
Software & Games
The online casino from William Hill is available through instant play, mobile and download. The main casino and download casino are playtech powered. The instant play casino also has games from over ten other software providers including Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT, Gamesys, Crytologic, Bally, Quickspin and more. Needless to say unless you play games on some very obscure software you should be able to find what you want here. In total William Hill have around 1000 games and slots.
Live games can be played on download, although restricted to playtech, with most of the desktop live games powered by Evolution. There are live dealer rooms in London and Eastern Europe with all the variants of roulette, blackjack, etc that you would expect.
William Hill split games between the casino, live casino, Vegas, games, scratchcards, Macau and poker sections. There are also several mobile apps available with full game coverage between them.
William Hill Casino Loyalty and VIP
Casino promotions at the William Hill casino are generally more about longer term value than flash in the pan offers. The operator is very good at rewarding regular play through comp points and free spins. Free spins are given regularly to customers to promote new games or simply just to give you something back for playing during the week.
Comp points are earned at around 1 point / £10 wagered (double points in download casino and on some featured games). Points can be exchanged for real cash, reload bonuses, merchandise and various prizes.
The VIP scheme at Hill’s is invite only, if you are playing £100+ a week this should get you in. The scheme gives you enhanced comp point exchange rates, special bonuses and promos, hospitality, private banking and account managers as well as higher limits and exclusive games. The programme is tiered from bronze to platinum.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
William Hill haven’t fallen into the trap of over complicating things. In some ways you may say their desktop site and mobile apps are a little boring on the eye. This does however mean the site and apps are quick to load, easy to navigate and don’t crash.
The desktop site and mobile application are sectioned and sub-sectioned so that all games are available within one click yet you rarely have to scroll more than one page. The download casino is driven by playtech so is a great product as you would expect.
Overall each individual product from William Hill is very decent, if uninspiring, but when you consider the range of products and features available this makes a very impressive package with something for all types of player.
About William Hill
William Hill rarely need an introduction, you would have to live on another planet to not have seen the brand through their adverts or high street shops. The brand has been going since the mid-1930’s, set up by William Hill himself, and has grown in concert with the gambling industry over the years. They are now one of the three biggest gaming companies in the world and you can see this clearly with the range of features and products available.
If you are looking for a casino that treats you as an individual with bespoke games and promotions, then William Hill are probably not for you. If, however you are looking for a safe pair of hands with pretty much everything you could ever want from an online casino site then Hill’s is a good place to call home.
The brand sometimes gets knocked for being a corporate machine, this is going to happen when you employ over 15,000 people and earn over £200 million a year. The fact of the matter is you don’t get to the top if you don’t have a good and useful product in the first place.
- Software – All the main players
- Wagering Requirements – 40x Bonus
- Download – Playtech Powered, £200 Bonus
The Virgin brand needs no introduction, created by Richard Branson in the 1970’s the company set its stall out from day one to be different from the crowd. Part of the brand identity is putting customers at the heart of their products, whether it be music, airlines or radio. Virgin games are no exception to this, run by the great casino software provider Gamesys under licence from Virgin the package comes together nicely to create a no fuss casino site with an exceptional interface and loyalty.
New players can claim a 200% bonus up to £200 (deposit £100 to claim in full), minimum deposit is just £10 (this will give you a £20 bonus). The Virgin bonus can be used across all products interchangeably including Bingo (4x wagering requirement), poker (20x), Slots (40x) and other casino games (80x +) with a long expiry time of 30 days.
The site is UK and Ireland only and this means its focused on providing for this market. Read the rest of the review below for information about software, promos and other features.
Software & Games
Obviously as the casino is run by Gamesys you can get full access to their games. They also tend to try out new games first on their own sites so if you like this software this is the best place to play. The other two main software providers are NetEnt and IGT with some games from Blueprint Gaming, WMS, Hasbro and others.The casino is entirely instant play and offers in the region of 100 games. This might sound a low number but in general most players won’t need more than this and they have every major game type you would expect. The casino site has decided to focus on providing the games they do have in the best possible way rather than trying to give players 1000’s of games without any focus.
Not having too many games is actually one of Virgin’s best features, it allows them to maintain a slimmed down site and mobile app where every game and section is accessible in one click. There are no heavy graphics either and this means the site runs at an astounding speed on all devices. Each game can be run as a demo so you can try before you risk any funds and all customers are given daily free spins every day on selected games.
The info button next to each game is a brilliant feature. It tells you all you need to know about the title in advance including main features, minimums and maximums. For anyone who just want a casino to be a casino with games at its heart then this is a must have site for your list.
There is a promotion to suit everyone, unlike many operators who tend to have a certain ‘type’ of offer Virgin actually deliberately diversify their offers to fit a range of players.
Cashback to suit you is an example of a stand out offer from Virgin. As the customer you pick a two-hour window during the week (any time including weekends) in which you will get 10% cashback on all gameplay.
Virgin run great prize promotions for playing certain games or at certain times, the nice thing about this is the amounts are attainable for the average player, usually play somewhere between £10-30 to qualify for a £10-100k prize. In addition to this there are daily free spins on new games for all customers and a top loyalty points scheme that pays in cash, you can read about this next.
Virgin V Points
V points is one of the most open and honest loyalty schemes you will see. Terms are perfectly clear and the best part is the rewards are in actual cash rather than free spins or other prizes.
There is no sign up to the scheme, you are automatically entered when you register. You will earn one point for every £5 staked on bingo and £20 staked on other casino games and poker (promotional games often have enhanced points). Points can then be converted at a rate of 1,000 to £10 or one point equal to one Virgin Airlines flying mile.
Points only expire if you don’t play at all for over 90 days too.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
This is one of my favourite sites in terms of how it looks and how easy it is to use. Less is definitely more with Virgin Games, every game is accessible through one menu option and you can flick between poker, bingo and casino with ease. All other information from banking to responsible gambling is accessible in one click from the home page of the site or mobile app.
Using Virgin Games on the move is a particular pleasure, the lack of frills, flashy graphics, long pages and sidebars means the site and apps load in seconds. Even on a sluggish mobile network you could be playing a game within 20 seconds of logging in.
If you like a lot of graphics and promotions flashing in your face then this isn’t a site for you, if on the other hand you just want to get on with playing games using an exceptionally functional but simple system then look no further than Virgin Games.
About Virgin Games
Virgin is synonymous with Richard Branson who set up his fledgling empire in the 1970’s running record stores in London. He had no idea what he was doing at first and so called the brand Virgin in reference to the fact he was a virgin to the industry. Not being part of the established music industry encouraged Branson to do things differently and one thing he did from the outset was to centre his products around the customer.
Now Virgin is a mutli-billion-pound brand with over 400 entities in the overall Virgin Group, somehow however they have managed to keep that slightly different feel that most corporations struggle with. This is reflected in the Virgin Games product, it is designed to optimise the user experience rather than to necessarily squeeze every penny out of you and I like that.
Virgin Games was acquired by Gamesys in 2013 and this massively rejuvenated the online casino. Gamesys as a leading casino and bingo software provider were able to update the product to the cutting edge while still retaining the Virgin feel that customers like. The brand is now licenced to Gamesys from Virgin and is run under their subsidiary Nozee Limited, based in Gibraltar.
Being a casino restricted to the UK and Ireland is also a great feature, it means the site has a focus that few other large online casinos have. This site will not meet all of your betting needs all of the time but is a great part of any portfolio, I would recommend this site for all Gamesys and IGT games in particular, especially if on the move.
- Software – Gamesys, NetEnt & IGT mainly
- Wagering Requirements – 4x Bingo, 40x Slots
- Brilliantly Simple & Functional – All games within a click
Thrills are what I would describe as part of the newer generation of online casino site. The brand is relatively new on the scene (2013) but they are already becoming a household name thanks in part to not being constrained by the ‘old ways’. What do I mean by that? Well everything about Thrills is designed to create a user-focused experience where the gameplay is central to everything and the format moves faultlessly between any type of device you play on. This casino is not a desktop or mobile casino; it is both and everything in between.
New customers (18+ in UK) can claim an initial first deposit bonus of 200% up to £100 (£20 min deposit) and 20 super spins, this is the first of a 4-tiered bonus worth up to £1500. It is completely up to you if you take one, two, three or all four offers. The first bonus has a 30x deposit+bonus wagering requirement in 30 days, slots = 100%, roulette, baccarat and blackjack = 5% and other table games = 40% contribution. The bonus contributes a maximum of £4 / spin. The 20 super spins are worth £1 each on Starburst and are cash spins, i.e. you get to keep the winnings with no rollover. For more about the 2nd/3rd/4th deposit bonuses, software and about the brand click ‘more’.
All customers are entitled to claim a further bonus on their second, third and fourth deposits. Simply click the “I want the bonus” box when making your deposits to claim. On your second and third deposits get 50% up to £600 (minimum deposit £20, deposit £1200 to claim in full) and if you take both to the maximum this could give you a further £1200 in bonus funds. The second and third bonuses are also valid for 30 days with the same game contributions although the wagering requirement is less at just 15x the bonus and deposit amount.
The 4th deposit offer gives you a 100% match up to £20, same terms as the other offers except now the wagering requirement is 25x.
It is your decision how many of the bonuses you want to take, the bonuses only begin when you make each deposit do there is no pressure to do it in a set time from registration. Of course, if you use the bonus to the max you will get £1500 free but you could also deposit lower or minimum amounts each time, for example if you deposit £20 each time you would get a £40 bonus first, £10 each on your second and third and £20 on your fourth. This means you’ve deposited £80 and received £80 back as a bonus.
Super Lenny – 150 Free Spins & £150 Bonus
Thrills are part of the Betit group, these guys run three brands in parallel, all have the same ethos of customer focused interfaces and the same games but slightly different feels. If you already have a Thrills account and you like the games and set up and want to take another bonus, or if you want the same games but with a different feel then Super Lenny is a great alternative option.
Super Lenny is a very quirky casino, the logo is a guy with a deer head and their moto is ‘Deer to be different’. I personally prefer Thrills but I know people who just love the craziness of Super Lenny. They also run a full sportsbook so and so are a good option if you want to place a sports bet on the side.
New customers can claim a 100% bonus up to £50 on the first deposit (same wagering requirement as Thrills first bonus) along with another 50 free spins. Players can then claim a second bonus of 50% up to £100 with another 50 spins. For more terms see the Super Lenny site.
Software & Games
Thrills have games from eight software provider in the UK at the moment including some of the biggest names, NetEnt, Mictogaming, Playtech, NextGen, IGT and others. This means you can get access to over 600 games on total with a good mix of top titles and more niche games. There are over 500 video and classic slots, around 40 live games, up to 20 jackpots as well as other classic and feature games. There are over 20 different blackjack and 15 different roulette versions too.
If you want a good casino with a large choice of games while maintaining a very easy to use navigable system this is one of your best options. The game play at Thrills is quite amazing, the whole system is designed to make the game centre stage with nothing else going on around. This not only increases enjoyment but it also makes the whole thing less prone to errors or crashes.
Thrill only offer an instant play casino there is no download available. This would usually be a drawback but then the instant play casino here is so good and resource light that I can’t see a situation where you’d need a download option.
Thrills Bonus-O-Meter, Loyalty VIP and Promotions
Thrills have got a great bonus widget tool called the Bonus-O-Meter, this provides all of the major offers rolled into one. This doesn’t necessarily give you more rewards than other casinos but it certainly makes the rewards more visible to players and you have much more of a ‘thrill’ in obtaining them.
Play any of the Bonus-O-Meter games, there are in the region of ten at any one time and these change periodically. Every win in these games means you progress further up the Bonus-O-Meter until you reach the treasure chests where you will receive rewards including cash free spins, reload bonuses, free cash and more. You don’t need to be staking lots of money to receive rewards either and using this tool means you won’t miss out as there is no need to opt in. The Bonus-O-Meter also has additional modes where bonuses are enhanced, for example on Sunday’s the game goes into lighting mode and you can earn double from Bonus-O-Meter games.
Thrills are one of the best casinos for running seasonal and special feature promotions too. If you like to play casino over the holidays, then this is a great casino option. Play games, achieve tasks, win prizes, it’s a simple but fun model.
The Thrills loyalty VIP scheme is also simple, you get better bonuses, lower wagering requirements, quicker withdrawals and private account managers. To get access you don’t need to be a high roller, just playing a few hundred a month. If you are a VIP player at another casino they generally just let you straight in.
Mobile and Desktop Casino
Most older casinos have distinct interfaces when playing on mobile and desktop however at Thrills the whole system works as one. Being a newer entrant to the industry Thrills could see form the outset that the lines between mobile and desktop are now very blurred. Most people now play casino on all types and size of device that don’t necessarily fit into either a desktop or mobile category.
Thrills have got a very simple games display; games are central to everything and displayed as tiles in rows up to 7 or 8 games across. When you play on smaller screen devices the games simply slide underneath each other, the row sizes become smaller but the interface and system stays the same, this creates a sense of familiarity when playing on different platforms, I personally love it.
There are no heavy graphics with Thrills, the games are displayed as fixed images and when playing the games there are no peripheral features or images buzzing around. This means you focus on playing the game and it also means the site is less hungry for resources. I’ve played Thrills casino on every type and size of device, on slow and fast internet connections, and I’ve never had a single issue.
When playing on larger screens you can use the game multi-view tool that allows you to play up to four games at once. Lots of casinos have these but I usually hate them, they never work properly and usually end up with the game or browser crashing. The Thrills multi-game feature is fantastic, if you like playing several games at once this is one of the best online casinos for that purpose.
About Thrills Casino
Thrills are one of three casinos owned and run by Betit Operation Limited, based in Malta with offices also in Spain. The company had a unique model when they started in 2013, they decided to invest heavily in people rather than tech by paying top whack for experienced online casino specialists. This has resulted in a series of brands that really do have a user focus based more around human resources than statistics and spreadsheets.
You don’t need to spend long on the Thrills site (or any of their other brands) to see that common sense prevails. Every interface, feature and even block of text have been designed to make life easy for the user. The whole casino is set up to get you playing games in the fastest possible time and afterall isn’t this the reason we play casino online?
I particularly like the effort the company has gone to create an interface that works on any devise. If you play casino on multiple different platforms, especially smaller screen tablet and PC, then this has to be on your list.
The customer support at Thrills is also worth a mention. Rarely have I encountered staff with such knowledge, consideration and common sensibility than at Thrills. You really do believe the company mission statement that they invest in people when you need to contact their support.
- Software – Microgaming, NetEnt + 6 more
- Wagering Requirements – 30x dep+bonus
- Excellent on all Devices – Seamless between desktop and mobile
You only need to look at the SuperLenny site for one second to see that this is not one of your bog standard online casinos. The brand originates from Sweden and has a half human half deer as the brand mascot with the tag line “deer to be different”. This is a very fun casino to play with, they don’t take themselves too seriously but serious enough to run a great casino with top games form the likes of NetEnt, NYX, Play N’Go, Microgaming and others. In total there are around 600 games available through the casino and live casino.
When you join SuperLenny you can will get 10 free spins just for registering and you can then claim 150 free spins and up to a £150 bonus on you first two deposits. 10 Free spins expire after 7 days and can be used on for use on Lights, Starburst or Dead or Alive slot games, winnings are cash, max win £100.
When you first fund the fund the account SuperLenny will give you a 100% match in bonus cash up to £50 (£20 minimum, 60x rollover in 30 days, £4 max bonus contribution per line) with 50 free spins (3-day validity). On your second deposit get 50% up to £100 and another 50 spins. As soon as you’ve staked £350 total in the casino you’ll get another 50 spins.
- Software – NetEnt, NYX, Betsoft & more
- Wagering Requirements – 60x Bonus
- BUX Points – Valuable Loyalty Rewards
Beginners Guide To Online Casinos
If you’re normally more of a sports punter who fancies a few spins of the roulette wheel but not sure where to start, then we’ve got the basics to help get you started.
How are Casino Odds Different to Sports Odds?
Casinos work differently to sports in how the odds and house edge works. In a sportsbook odds are generated primarily by trained odds traders who price up a market in which the aim is to incorporate a house edge (commission the bookie takes on any given market) while also balancing the book (taking an equal proportion of bets on each outcome so the bookie always wins).
Casinos are a little easier to run from this perspective as games and slots have a fixed structure with in built margins. This means there is generally less uncertainty compared with sports and so many online casinos can afford to run a lower edge.
Some games like roulette have a very high payout rate, European roulette has an edge of just 2.7% (or 1 in 37) and this is solely down to the 37th number (zero) on the roulette board. As zero doesn’t have a colour (it’s not red or black), it’s not odd or even and doesn’t fit into any of the columns or thirds it means when the ball does land on zero (which it will on average 2.7% of the time) the casino wins (as most bets will go down except those directly placed on zero).
With some games having such low margins playing in an online casino on the face of it can seem better value for money compared to say a sportsbook. Be careful though whilst this is the case on a spin by spin or hand by hand basis there is also a tendency in casino to place more bets in a short period of time. This means even though the commission the house takes is lower, overall if you play enough hands/spins the casino chances of winning increases. As a general rule it is better to play more money over less hands/spins to take advantage of the low house edge but without giving the casino the opportunity to win any money back.
One of the biggest benefits of playing online casino are the huge sign up bonuses, regular offers and loyalty schemes associated with them that you simply can’t get at land based operations. Why? Well online casinos have so many less overheads: they don’t need to run a physical casino and this means less staff, facilities, buildings to maintain and run, physical money to handle and bank, maintenance, etc. This is why players in the online world get far higher rewards for playing.
This does not however mean that every bonus and loyalty scheme are equally valuable and some offers have stringent terms that makes withdrawing your money very difficult. Here we list some of the major things to look for in a casino bonus.
This doesn’t just mean how much money is the bonus worth it’s also about what percentage the bonus is of your initial deposit. A £500 matched bonus will give you more bonus funds than a deposit £20 get £100 bonus. The first option however requires you to deposit £500 to get £500 (100%) whereas the second option requires just a £20 deposit to get £100 (500% bonus). Which is better? Well that depends what you want, more overall funds or a higher percentage.
In the old days you could get a bonus for nothing, you could spank it on one game and if you won simply take your cash. Those days have long gone and now all bonuses come with wagering requirements, or rollovers. This means you have to play through the value of your bonus several times over to convert the bonus from promo cash to withdrawable real cash.
Casinos don’t do this to stop you from winning, they do it so you use the bonus for the purposes that they intend you to use it for. A bonus is designed to give you some free funds so that you can test out a casinos games and features before deciding whether you want to carry on playing or not. Rollovers ensure that players must play multiple hands/spins before they can walk away. This is good for the casino and good for players wanting to find the right casino. It is only really bad for bonus hunters, people who want free money and then move on. Bonus hunters ruin the game for everyone as it’s their antics that have steadily caused the industry to tighten bonus terms.
Wagering requirements are usually around 30x the bonus for decent operators. Look carefully at the terms as some list the rollover as ‘deposit and bonus’. Here are two examples of a 100% matched £100 bonus with a 30x rollover, the first is a 30x bonus rollover, this means you need to play through £1500 of bonus funds (30 x 50) and subsequent winnings to withdraw. In the second example its 30x deposit and bonus, now you need to play through £3000 (60 x 50), double the amount.
A bonus will generally have a period of validly, you need to meet the bonus wagering requirements within this time to withdraw the bonus winnings. Failure to do so and you will lose all of your bonus winnings even if you’ve completed 99% if the task.
It’s also important to check what games are or are not applicable to the bonus rollover terms. Not all games will contribute 100% to the rollover requirements. Some games, especially traditional table games with a low house edge such as roulette and blackjack, will often contribute less (say 20%) or may not contribute at all. If you want to play roulette and nothing else it makes no sense to take a bonus for which roulette is not applicable. Game restrictions should be clearly displayed in the bonus terms when you sign up.
Many bonuses are also not eligible for progressive jackpots, this doesn’t mean you can play the game with bonus funds but it may mean if you did hit the big prize you might not get paid out.
Some operators restrict bonuses for customers who deposit by some payment methods. This is more common in sports than casino but still something to be aware.
Skrill and Neteller deposits for example as the most common to be ineligible for casino bonuses. This is due to fraudulent account sign ups in the past and the fact that you can get one of these accounts (with low limits) with little verification.
Payout & Withdrawal Limits
On occasion bonuses are restricted to a maximum payout or maximum withdrawal, say you take a £100 bonus you may not be allowed to win more than £5000 for example. Again something to think about, there are enough operators out there with no limits so in general it’s worth avoiding those that do, in case you do have a big win.
No Deposit Bonuses
These bonuses give you free money in effect and by doing this the casino will want you to use it to try out the site as much as possible. If you like the site then you can generally go on to make deposit and take a regular bonus on top of this. Therefore, no deposit bonuses come with high wagering requirements and also tend to come with withdrawal limits. Then again they are giving you free funds so what do you expect.
Software and Games
The vast majority of online casinos don’t make their own games, instead they run various software programmes that come with their own game titles. You may be familiar with some of them such as Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT, Play’n GO and others. There are around 20 major software providers for the various online games you will see, some specialise in just a few bespoke games whereas others host 100’s even 1000’s of titles.
Most online casinos now run games from a variety of software providers. They usually have a main software in the casino section with other software running in “games”, “slots”, “vegas” and other similar named off shoots of the main casino.
If you want to play specific casino slots or games it helps to know what software provides the title, you can find this out by simply searching for the game name and software in google. In our reviews above we list all of the major software run by each online casino if you want to check if they have your favourites.
If you’ve found an online casino running the software with the games you want to play why would you bother signing up with another casino? Well there are lots of reasons:
- Introductory Bonus – All casinos have attractive sign up offers, it makes sense to take a few of these to get the most value from your play. Make sure the bonus applies to the games you want to play first though.
- Regular Offers – Many operators will run promotions such as play £20 on a specific game, get £10 free, therefore it makes huge sense to play with a casino like this.
- Loyalty – The best online casinos award loyalty points that can be exchanged for things like reload bonuses, free spins and even real cash. You may as well get rewarded for playing your favourite games
- Coverage – Just because an online casino runs a specific software doesn’t mean they have to host all the games on that network.
- Choice – The more software’s and games on offer the more choice you have as a player, it often makes sense to play with operators with multiple software packages running.
- Platform – Do they have the games and software available on mobile, desktop or by download? See the next section for more on this.
Platforms – Instant Play, Mobile and Download
Before playing online casino think about how you would like to play games most of the time. The most common option is instant play, this is where you play the game live within your browser, usually as a pop out window. These systems are usually powered by Flash or Html5 and offer the quickest way to play casino. On the other hand running these resource heavy plugins can cause your machine to slow and even crash on occasion and can be more unpredictable on slower or intermittent internet connections.
Many people therefore prefer to download an application from the casino and play through the bespoke program. This has the advantage in that the software is running directly on your machine not through browser plugins, this makes it less liable to crashing and errors. To run a download application, you do of course still need an active internet connection (otherwise how does the casino know when to credit or debit your account) but as you need to download less data as you are playing you can generally get away with slower and patchier internet connections this way. If downloading beware that you will be restricted usually to the games from one software type (e.g Playtech) and not all games that are available through instant play are available in the download application. This is common with progressive jackpot and multiplayer games.
The third option is the mobile application. Playing casino on mobile and tablet has exploded in popularity since the arrival of the smart phone and in the near future will surely take over as the primary way to play online casino. Most casinos now have mobile apps; in fact some are now mobile only or mobile specialists such as LeoVegas.
A mobile app is a kind a kind of quasi version of instant play and download, in that you need to download the app but they games within the app are instant play. Mobile games tend to be more fun, especially those designed primarily for mobile, in exactly the same way that it is often more fun to play games on your mobile or tablet than on your desktop computer.
If you want to play a specific game or software type on mobile then check not only that the online casino you want to gamble with has a mobile app but also that the game is mobile compatible first.
Live casino is a little bit different to normal virtual online casino. Here there is a real dealer and real game being played but instead of sitting at the table directly the live action is streamed to you.
Many people prefer live casinos as they feel more real, you can even chat to the dealer as you would in a land based casino. Place your bets on the virtual game board within the time limit (there is a time limit because the game is real so will not wait for you to be ready) and watch as the dealer deals a hand, spins the wheel or whatever.
Live casino has a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, it is restricted to games that have a dealer (blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker) and you can’t play slots or virtual games in a live casino. Secondly the sign up incentives, regular promotions and loyalty tend to be less compared to a virtual online casino.
Having live casino as an option is a great addition however, I like to play table games in the live casino and switch back to the main casino for slots, jackpots and special table games. Many of the big players in the industry run a live casino in parallel with other casino products these days and you can often get a small bonus for playing for the first time.
Players like to play progressive jackpots because of the colossal prizes that can be won. Most progressive jackpot games have both an individual and multi-player element where smaller prizes are won on an individual basis within the game whilst at the same time a proportion of your stake goes into a pool that grows over time until one lucky winner takes the whole lot. By linking multiple small games (or machines) together the jackpot grows far quicker than it would in an isolated game.
If you want an easy way to understand what a progressive jackpot is think of a lottery, such as the National Lottery or Euro Millions. Here people buy tickets, smaller prizes are paid out at fixed rates (£25 for 3 numbers for example) irrespective of the number of tickets in the game. The top prizes however are not fixed and are defined by the number of tickets bought, the more tickets in the system means the jackpot prize is higher, if no one wins the prize rolls over and the jackpot becomes progressively bigger each week.
A progressive jackpot casino game is no different in principle. Each player can win small fixed prizes for various reel combination but the main jackpot prize is defined by the size of the pool. Each time you play a game a small amount of your bet goes into the progressive pool. The winner, if they are really lucky, will win the jackpot when it is very high, these jackpots can get into the multiple millions. Each time the jackpot is won the pool resets (although not to zero as no one would play, the operator usually starts the pool off with an injection cash). As jackpots get higher and higher the activity in that games increases as people are more tempted by the prize. Many players switch between progressive jackpot games to the ones that have the highest prizes at the time, this way when they do win they really win big.
It is always worth reading the terms carefully for a progressive jackpot game as just because you play doesn’t necessarily mean you qualify. Games tend to have a minimum stake to be eligible for concurrent entry to the progressive jackpot. If you play under this limit and hit the jackpot you would be paid out the fixed prize from the individual game rather than the big pooled prize.
Jackpots fall under two main categories. The most common is the contribution, where a proportion of your stake goes into the jackpot pool. Less common are pooled bets where all the bets go into one pool until someone wins the lot. The contribution games tend to take longer to reach the peak prize but pay out more little prizes along the way. Pooled jackpots grow quicker and tend to pay out faster but you get less in the way of little wins.
Video poker is a very popular progressive jackpot game. You get paid out at normal fixed odds for all the typical hands (pairs, three of a kind, full house, flush, etc) but if you hit a royal flush (odds of around 32000/1) then you will not only get the fixed odds payout but you also win the progressive jackpot which could be millions.
Casinos can afford to run these games by re-injecting a proportion of the house edge of the game back into the jackpot pool. Let’s say for example that a casino has a house edge of 5% on a game, they may decide to take 4% as profit and put 1% into the progressive pool.
Jackpots regularly get into the tens of millions for the biggest progressive games and you can read tons of stories online of big jackpot wins for normal players. Mega Moolah, for example, is a progressive jackpot game from Microgaming (you need to play with a casino with microgaming software to play) it has an average payout of around £4,500,000 with a highest win in the region of £13,000,000.
Remember the jackpots are software driven and so if you are playing a microgaming jackpot game then you are playing with players from multiple different online casinos that run microgaming.
What are Random Number Generators and How Do They work?
Casinos are effectively entirely automated, apart from the dealer, even when playing in a real casino or with a live dealer through an online live casino the games are still fixed in structure and so the odds of you winning online or in person compared to a virtual game should be identical. The dealer, as a human being prone to error, does have some influence however so real world games are in theory more variable than virtual games.
Outcomes for virtual games in online casinos, and in virtual games available in land based casinos, are dictated by Random Number Generators (RNG’s). RNG’s are not random by the definition of the word but are random in terms that the outcome cannot be predicted without insider knowledge.
Random numbers are generated based on mathematical algorithms (which are kept secret by the casinos and game providers). These algorithms use a series of ‘seed numbers’ (again kept a secret) and perform various mathematical functions on these numbers for each game/spin/hand by multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. Each time a new number is generated the RNG wipes the previous results and starts again. Without knowing the algorithm and seed numbers it is impossible to predict any outcome.
From a player’s perspective all the numbers generated in an online casino are ‘random’ in that no one can predict the outcome without hacking the system. They are not random by definition because ultimately the results are based on mathematical operations (which in themselves are not random) and algorithms (of which there is a theoretical limit).
Casinos and game operators RNG systems are tested by independent bodies to ensure RNG’s work correctly producing results with the correct probabilities. For example, an RNG used in a virtual roulette game is tested to ensure that the numbers are output in such a way that on average the house edge remains at 2.7%.
Taking a more complex example such as a four-reel slot with 15 different symbols. Here each symbol in the game is assigned a score (relative to the value of that symbol), the RNG then comes up with a value for each of the 15 symbols on each reel. The RNG then “randomly” outputs a symbol on each reel based on its algorithm, depending on the symbol result of all four reels the player is then paid out according to a chart. Over a very high number of spins the RNG should always return results that exactly match the probability of this occurring on a physical slot machine with the same parameters.
Can You Cheat a Random Number Generator?
Can you cheat a RNG? Well from a players perspective not really, not unless you’ve got serious insider knowledge. You would need to know not just the algorithm (which may change regularly) but also the seed numbers (which again may change regularly) and you would probably need a degree in computing to work it all out. It’s also illegal so there’s a non-starter right there.
The only guy I know of who managed anything close was Las Vegas resident Ronald Harris who actually worked as a computer programmer for the Nevada Gaming Board. His day job was to actually find errors and flaws in the software used to run virtual casino games. The lure of easy cash obviously proved too great as he decided to use this knowledge to cheat the system by taking the source code allowing him to access and modify some slot machines fooling them into paying out large prizes. He got away with this for years but then he got even more greedy. He moved onto cheating the game Keno and was discovered at Bally’s casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Harris got away with this because of insider knowledge but what he did was illegal. It was also in the mid 1990’s when the technology was in its infancy, doing something similar these days would be almost impossible even for someone of his position. The way the software and security works now not even the people who create these things can hack the results (well so they say).
Cheating can occur the other way around where the casino rigs the RNG produce unfavourable results. There are a couple of examples of online casino software providers trying this in the early days when the market was far less regulated. A high profile case back in 2008 suggested a virtual game of craps run by BLR Technologies and hosted by the casino Wizard Of Odds, was rigged to produce a win rate on pass/don’t pass bets of around 25% instead of the expected 49%. The owner of the online casino did his own testing and confirmed the result. It turned out the game had been rigged.
The chances of this happening in a licenced online casino, especially in the UK, are astonishingly small. Not only are all games tested by 3rd party bodies to ensure their accuracy, the casinos and software operators themselves are required to have a gambling licence. This licence ensures, by law, that all games and slots are conducted in an open, honest and fair environment with clear terms and regular scrutiny. In many ways the world on online casino is far less open to fixing than real world casinos.
Of course if you decided to gamble with an unlicensed casino (all of our listed casinos are fully licenced) then it is possible that all sorts of unscrupulous activities could be occurring under the bonnet. Be safe and only play with licenced operators.
Withdrawals, Pending Payments and Flushing
Unlike with sports payout limits don’t really apply in online casino as such. Payout limits are really set by the maximum payout form the game you are playing, if this is a progressive jackpot then it could be in the millions of pounds. Instead you are more likely to see withdrawal limits, these may be set at say £50,000 a month with some smaller operators. This is something to consider, there is no point in winning a £1,000,000 if it takes you over three years to withdraw the funds.
Some casino sites also have automatic pending periods for withdrawals. This is separate to the usually administrative processing time and is a system by which the casino puts your withdrawal on hold for a period of time (3 days, 4 days, even a week). They do this in the hope that you will change your mind, reverse the withdrawal and carry on playing. This is quite sneaky and you should look at the T&C’s to see if casinos have pending periods.
If a casino site does have a pending period, then they may also have a feature known as manual flushing. This allows you to bypass the pending period and flush the funds straight out back into your account.
Only Play With Licenced Online Casinos
This may be last in the list but in many ways it is by far the most important consideration of all. To operate in the United Kingdom all online casinos, no matter where they are based in the real world, are required to possess a UK Gambling Commission Licence. To obtain a licence an operator must meet strict legislation that includes things like having open terms and conditions, not using misleading language, preventing crime and fraud, protecting minors and vulnerable people and promoting responsible gambling. All of this is in place to protect you as a player and with so many great licenced casinos you would be stupid to go gamble with an unlicensed casino.
The Gambling Commission was set up as an independent body to enforce the Gambling Act 2005 and 2014. This means they can revoke licences and take legal action against any unscrupulous operators. It also forces casinos advertise responsibly and to handle complaints appropriately by using intermediaries such as IBAS. The gambling commission are not there however to check every website that accepts UK customers and there are plenty that do so illegally. If you decide to gamble with an unlicensed casino then you are in effect throwing out all of your legal protections. If that operator decides to not pay you out, cheat the games or even worse commit fraud using you payment details then there is little that UK law can do. This is especially true as most unlicenced casinos are based in off shore havens where they cannot be touched.
Gambling licence information should be displayed at the bottom of the casino site home page, if it is not then this should be a giant warning sign not to play with them. If you are unsure if an operator is licenced then visit the commission website and search for the website name, if it doesn’t appear again don’t play. Many sites can appear under a single licence, you may not even recognise the name of the licenced body but so long as the site you are playing with appears under that licence then you are covered.