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The United Kingdom has a long tradition of gambling, so it is no surprise that top UK online casinos are popular with punters of all persuasions. As a result, UK online gamblers can enjoy a considerable amount of choice when deciding which Internet casino to play at. In fact, when it comes to Internet gambling, the UK has established itself as the leading destination for online casino and poker players for one simple reason: it's tax free!
Here at CardsChat we compare and review dozens of legal sites that accept UK online casino players and to make sure you find the right one we've listed them here for you. These sites have been filtered by our experts so that our UK players are given the best Internet casino experience possible. To give you an idea as to how we rate our top online casinos, check out some of the questions we ask when conducting a review:
Once an operator satisfies these conditions and proves it's both legal and safe, we then outline its best features so you can see exactly what's hot and what's not with the best UK online casinos.
For December 2016, our top rated UK Online Casino is Betway Casino.
Sitting in comparison to grey and highly regulated Europe markets, the UK government doesn't impose tax on gambling winnings which means you can ante-up at any of our top online casinos and keep 100% of your profits. When Internet casinos started booming in the late 1990s, real money UK online casinos flourished as players saw this as a lucrative way to play the games they loved. In addition to offering a tax-free gaming environment, UK casinos online offer a greater range of games which are more efficient than their live counterparts. Highly sophisticated software allows Internet sites to deal more cards, spin more slots and settle more bets in per minute than live croupiers. This increased speed makes it possible for you to place more wagers, implement better strategies and, thus, make more money in a short space of time.
Thanks to this increased earning power, UK online casinos continue to thrive as more players migrate from the brick-and-mortar realm to the virtual world. Because of this it's now possible to ante-up with some of the biggest names in the legal online casino industry available for UK players.
To give you an idea of how profitable UK online casinos are, check out the actual amount you'd be entitled to if you won a progressive slot jackpot worth £1 million.
The UK: Thanks to a liberal attitude to gambling, residents of the UK aren't liable for tax on any of their casino winnings. That means you can ante-up, scoop the top prize and pocket a cool million just by virtue of being a British citizen.
The US: Despite being another grey area when it comes to legal online casinos, the US has a top tax rate set at 39.5%. That would mean a cool £395,000 would be scooped up by the tax man.
Germany: The top rate of tax in Germany is 45% and because gambler's winnings aren't exempt from this rate, a £1 million prize would be cut to just £550,000 after it hits your bank account.
Sweden: Although a grey area in terms of taxation, a Swede winning £1 million would be liable for the top rate of 56.6% tax which would mean £566,000 would be taken from their jackpot.
Essentially, if you're a fan of casinos, online or live, the UK is the best place to play in terms of making money. When you combine this tax-free culture and engage with some of the slickest software in the industry, your EV and, therefore, the size of your bankroll, will increase dramatically.
Unlike in some parts of the world, the legalities of gambling in the UK are clearly set out. In fact, as long as they play at properly licensed sites, UK customers face almost no restrictions at all. All of our recommended UK online casino sites conform to British legislation and can be played at freely.
Here in Britain we're also blessed when it comes to the law surrounding Internet poker. Brits wanting to play cards online can check out any of these UK poker sites and play safely and legally.
We have brought you the best legal options for UK gamblers, listing sites that offer you solid bonuses and promotions, as well as dimple, safe and secure deposit and withdrawal options that are tailored to the British market.
November 2014 marked a turning point in the UK's online casino industry. After years of relying on external licensing bodies to regulate sites, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) finally decided to take charge itself.
Part of a two-step process involving licensing and taxation, the legal change sought to regulate the igaming industry by pushing remote operators to hold a UKGC license in order to offer services in the UK.
Today, in order to legally operate and advertise in the UK, online casino sites need to make an application to the UKGC. Once an application has been processed, a site is then deemed as safe and secure for UK residents.
From a player's perspective, the changes haven't altered the way in which UK residents access their favourite online casino games. The only noticeable change on some sites is that players are now filtered through a special UK facing portal. The idea of this system isn't to segregate players, but make the process of defining UK-based players (for taxation purpose) a lot easier.
In addition to giving you a new platform to play on, the UK's gambling laws mean that your online activities are now a lot safer. Any site that is regulated by the UKGC is now one of the safest platforms in the world. Because the UKGC verifies each operator before a license is granted, you can rest assured that all of the sites it oversees are secure. By testing and verifying everything from random number generators, to the way online casinos hold player funds, the UKGC is able to ensure the safety of all UK residents.
Therefore, when you choose one of our recommend UK casino sites, you can ante-up safe in the knowledge that every game is fair and all your funds will be protected and insured by the UK government.
At CardsChat.com we thoroughly check all these features and more to make sure only the best online gambling sites are listed.
We have put together a detailed FAQ to answer all your questions about UK online play, to complement our list of the cream of the crop of UK casinos.
What laws relate to UK online casino gaming?
The only laws related to UK online casino gambling have to do with the way these sites operate. In other words, UK gamblers themselves have nothing to worry about when it comes to the legal system; it's up to the internet casino you choose to make sure they meet all the legal requirements of running a real money UK casino online.
As long as you are playing at a legal, licensed, and regulated site, you're in the clear. And the really good news for UK online casino gamblers is that all the sites on our above list are fully legal, fully licensed, and regulated by a recognized gambling jurisdiction.
Are there any other laws that apply?
As the gambler, you are not subject to any further laws that would make it illegal or unsafe for you to create a player account. You can fund your account with a deposit, withdraw funds, and play casino games to your heart's content at any UK online casino.
How did you select the best legal online UK casino sites?
We are very careful before adding a site to our list and put each one through a rigorous selection process. We look at welcome bonuses, game variety and the speed and efficiency of customer service departments. We also examine a site's software to ensure it runs smooth and is stable. VIP programs, jackpots and banking options also come under our scrutiny before we choose the best UK Internet casinos.
Can I make deposits at these UK online casino sites?
Yes, deposits at any of our list of the best UK online gambling sites are easy to make. Each of our listed real money sites accepts a wide variety of deposit and withdrawal methods, allowing UK gamblers to send and receive money legally and safely. Stick with one of the legal casinos on our United Kingdom casino list and you'll have easy access to funding and withdrawing from your player account.
What kind of games will I find in a UK online casino?
UK gamblers should expect the same line-up of games they'd find in a land-based casino, as well as endless options for placing sports wagers. All of the sites on our legal UK casino list include poker games, card-based casino games like casino poker and Caribbean Stud poker, as well as bingo, fruit machines, slots, baccarat, roulette, blackjack and video poker titles. Our list of the cream of the crop in UK-facing casinos includes everything you need to make sure you don't get bored with a small variety of games.
Are there welcome bonuses?
Welcome bonuses and other promotional procedures are as big a part of the Great Britain online betting landscape as the comp programs used by land-based casinos. All the real money Internet casinos on our list of sites that accept UK gamblers have top-notch deposit bonus offers on top of regularly-scheduled promotions and special customer VIP programs for their loyal customers. The idea is to give you bonuses the same way you'd earn them in a real life casino in England or the elsewhere in Europe.
In November 2014, the UK government altered the way in which is licensed and taxed online casino sites based offshore. The new laws ushered in a range of changes for operators and caused some uncertainty regarding the status of taxation for online casino games.
Fortunately, we're here to help and explain why your gambling profits are TAX FREE if you live in the UK:
How do the UK's taxation laws apply to our recommended online casino sites?
Since the end of December, UK-based casino players have been unsure about their tax status thanks to endless talk about the Point of Consumption (POC) tax. Covered by mainstream and gaming media outlets alike, the discussion has caused a number of gamblers to ask whether they now have to pay taxes.
Much of the coverage explained how POC affects remote gaming operators. However, it failed to state whether or not it applied to players. Essentially, the new tax levy, which is set at 15%, is only applicable to remote gaming operators. Pre-POC, remote online casino operators weren't required to pay tax to the UK government. However, following the legal changes at the close of 2014, any gross profits accrued from UK-based players by these sites will now be subject to the POC tax.
Does this mean I now need to pay tax on my online casino winnings if I live in the UK?
No. The UK is still a tax-free place for live and online casino players. The new POC taxation system is only designed for gaming operators, not individuals, and this means your profits are 100% yours.
Back in the 1960s when betting shops were legalised, it used to be the case that the operators charged a 9% tax on a punter's stake or winnings (each establishment had their own preference). This system either charged a tax on top of the wager or withheld a small portion of the winner's returns. However, change of law in 2001 altered this system and put the onus on the operator and not the punter.
Instead of applying a 9% tax on wagers or returns, gaming companies were forced to pay 15% on gross profits. This removed the need for taxing the player and meant that all gambling winnings, whether they come from sports betting, poker or casino, are 100% tax free.
What if I make a living as a professional casino player?
If you live in the UK and play on any of our recommended online casinos, then you don't have to pay any tax on their winnings. Even if you class your gaming activities as your job, you still don't have to pay tax.
Essentially, because your profession would be classed as gambling, it means that any money you make is classed gambling profits. In the eyes of the law, gambling profits aren't taxable, therefore, your income isn't taxable.
Many thousands of people in the UK enjoying gambling, be it the National Lottery or online casino games. Whilst for most it's a fun pasttime, for some people it can become an issue. There are plenty of resources on and offline - one of the best is Gamblers Anonymous who host local meetings for advice and support. We promote responsible gambling, though if you feel you have a problem, take a look at the GamCare site.
In this intimate casino setting, visitors will enjoy a choice of 10 top slot machines, 10 electronic roulette terminals, 4 blackjack tables, and 4 roulette tables, as well as a fully stocked bar.
This casino boasts a dedicated gaming floor and daily poker tournaments. There are 150 slot machines and 150 gaming terminals, as well as a full valet service and sports betting terminals complete with game TVs.
Fancy spread betting? You can do that here with spread bet roulette. This casino also offers low stakes poker tables and 100+ slot machines, leading table games, and 4 sports betting terminals.
Apart from Christmas Day, this casino is open around the clock. There are 100 slots and machines, PokerStars live cash games, and regular PokerStars tournaments. You'll also find three gaming floors and 45 casino tables.
Great selection of games... They have so many games it really keeps things interesting. I play on my mobile sometimes. There aren't quite as many games on mobile but still lots of fun ones available.
All legitimate, real-money online casinos like Betway Casino have strict anti-fraud screens, and that creates a short withdrawal delay.