There are literally hundreds of online casinos available to players in the UK, with each offering a different theme, game selection, loyalty scheme and more.
But not all online casinos are created equal; some offer a far superior experience to others and these sites top the player favourite charts.
A top UK online casino not only gets the basics right, but it offers something unique that players simply can’t find anywhere else.
But what are these factors, and what should players consider when deciding which top online casino to play at?
First things first, the online casino must have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission – it is actually illegal for them to operate in the UK without one.
Online casinos are required to display that they are UK-licensed and provide a link through to the regulator’s licence listing page. You can usually find this on the homepage footer.
Aside from ensuring the online casino is UK-licensed, these are the other factors an operator must excel at to ensure they are considered a top casino.
Design and theme:
The way an online casino has been designed and laid out has a huge impact on the experience enjoyed by the player.
Top casinos will ensure that important tools and features – player account, cashier, customer support, etc – are never more than a click or two away.
They will also have considered how the player navigates the casino and game lobby to make it as easy as possible to find games quickly and easily.
The theme of the casino is also important; some are set in intergalactic universes while others are based around pizzas and wild west towns.
That said, some of the most popular online casinos available to UK players do not have a theme but look sleek and stylish.
Game lobby and portfolio:
One of the most important ways in which a top online casino sets itself aside from a good online casino is the quality and quantity of its game lobby and portfolio.
Players want to be able to access a huge range of titles – slots, jackpot slots, table games, live dealer, instant win, bingo, etc – from various developers.
This includes industry titans like Microgaming and Playtech, Scandi powerhouses NetEnt and Quickspin, as well as innovators like Red Tiger Gaming and Big Time Gaming.
Top online casinos will offer games from these providers and more; some will even launch exclusive titles to ensure their players are the first to spin the latest games.
While this is not a requirement for a top online casino, it is something we are seeing more and more sites offering to their players.
In short, players earn points for completing certain tasks on a nominated slot game over a set period of time – this could be ten minutes up to a couple of hours.
Players are ranked on a leaderboard based on the points they have scored, with prizes given out to the top three or sometimes the top ten.
Prizes can be anything from free spins to bonus cash right up to televisions, holidays and even brand-new cars.
Tournaments, or races as they are also known, add a level of excitement and competition to playing at an online casino and are a feature of most top online casino sites in the UK.
Competition is fierce in the online casino sector and brands like to reward players for choosing to wager with them and remaining loyal.
Traditionally, operators would run a points-based loyalty scheme were players would earn points for their wagering activity.
These points would be accumulated and when a set number reached, the player would move up a level in the VIP club.
The higher they would climb, the more perks they would unlock from unique bonuses to personal account managers.
But some of the newer online casinos have launched highly innovative rewards programmes based on missions and tasks that players complete to earn trophies and unlock prizes.
Others offer cashback schemes on all wagers – whether a player wins or loses – which can be cashed in at any time and with no wagering requirements.
Most online casino players like to access their favourite games while on the move, so it is vital that sites are fully optimised for play on smartphones and tablets.
Some casinos have done a better job at this than others, and top online casinos will offer a seamless and flawless mobile experience.
This can include features such as Face ID log-in, mobile banking methods and games that play in portrait mode. Look out for casinos that have also developed their own applications.
These are just some of the factors that make for a top online casino but, ultimately, the individual player will decide which is the best for them.