Safe Online Casinos UK

Gamble for fun and you will gamble safely! Here is a guide that will teach you how to play legal casino games at safe UK online casinos!

Safe online casinosAnyone who looks at our site regularly will know that safe casino gambling is one of our obsessions. You can go to any site and find dodgy advice on how to win (more on this later), or 5-star reviews from people who patently haven’t looked at the game, but we think our commitment to keeping our readers safe helps us stand out as a site you can trust.

The lessons here aren’t complicated. In fact, they’re very simple and can be summed up easily, but actually following this advice can be tough because we all like to cut corners at times. Perhaps the greatest appeal of the internet is that it offers everything instantly. Stopping to check details and run through routines isn’t part of internet culture.

Where that culture clashes with real possibilities of losing large amounts of money then we’d urge you to ditch the culture and keep your cash.

We reckon you should look at your safe casino gambling in these areas:

  • Your computer or phone,
  • Legality,
  • Site safety,
  • Financial safety,
  • Cybersecurity,
  • Mental health and safe gambling.

Keeping on top of all these shouldn’t be a chore, and if it takes you a couple of minutes to go through it, believe us, those are the most valuable two minutes of your gambling session. But at the end of the day, you’ll know how to recognize a secure online casino, a UK licensed casino that offers safe online casino games.

Safe Online Casinos UK – Legal & Licensed Sites

Plaza Royal
Up to £200 Bonus + 100 Spins
Welcome offer:
T&Cs Apply
First Deposit Only. Min. deposit: €20, max. Bonus €50. WR of 60x Bonus amount (only Slots count) within 30 days. Max bet is 10% (min €0.10) of the Bonus amount or €5 (lowest amount applies). Bonus Policy applies - Full Terms Apply
50% up to £50 + 30 Extra Spins
in Starburst
100% match bonus up to £200 + 30 extra spins
in Starburst
minimum deposit £20
T&Cs Apply
Notification under the button - Full Terms Apply
Get Up To
£50 Matched Bonus + 50 Free Spins
on Starburst™
New UK customers only. Opt in required. 1x per customer. Min. £20 deposit. 1st deposit only. Selected games only. Max. Bonus £50 with 35x wagering and 50 Free Spins at £0.20/spin on Starburst™ with 35x Wagering. Free Spins and Bonus credited once deposit amount has been wagered on slots. Bonus and Free Spins expire 7 days after issue. Game weighting, game, country, currency, player restrictions and terms apply.

How to find a safe and legal UK online casino?

Safety and legality go together. Without legal licensing, you should assume that a site is unsafe and retreat to a safe distance – much more than 2 metres.

You’ll find secure UK online casinos easily enough. Or rather, you can check that the sites you find are legal easily enough.

The first way is to use a review site that you trust and that you know fully checks out sites (don’t be shy about checking their work until you’re happy you can trust them).

And you should also do your own due diligence.

Any safe UK online casino site with a licence will display it on the front page, with a link to the UK Gambling Commission’s copy of that licence. You can go and check it out if you want (most are very boring, but there may have been sanctions against a site, usually for marketing and customer care problems).

Safety is more than a licence though. Sites should also have good quality payment options. PayPal is a good sign, but any legitimate online wallet and the big debit card companies are good to see.

The safe UK online casinos should also advise you of your rights with regard to data protection and privacy. Checking this out is not a waste of time. And they should show you that they use good quality cybersecurity systems.

And they should advise you how to get help if you need it, both from the site and from safe gambling organisations if you feel your gambling is getting out of hand.

Safe UK casino sites are usually good quality sites. Ripping people off is usually done on the cheap.

This might seem like a lot to look through, but it really is worth your while to carry out a simple checklist like this before you play at any site. A mistake could be costly but avoiding one is pretty easy.

Do UK online casinos cheat?

Legitimate, licensed UK online casinos do not cheat.

You should never play at a casino that is not licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, and you should go as far as to check the site’s licence if you’re new to it.

Licensing should ensure that you get a fair game and a number of other regulations are followed, including facilities to support safe gambling.

Cheat is a big concept though?

Most gamblers will lose money in the long run. The gambling industry is hugely profitable. All its revenue comes from players bets and all its profits are lost bets.

It’s not a hard sum to do. So, while a UK online casino site will not cheat you, you should be sure that you don’t cheat yourself by failing to play safely and within your limits. Enjoy your games, but do it safely!

The Dangers of Online Casino Gambling

Safe gambling

We don’t want to go overboard here, but it is possible to get ripped off online, and the internet gaming industry is particularly susceptible for it.

That’s inherent in the industry, and it’s been a part of the gambling industry since long before the internet or even the computer was invented.

Almost any statement about a group of people is worthless (it’s why prejudice is such a loser’s game): all human groups contain a lot of variety. But, gamblers have enough in common to have coined their own logical fallacy: the Gambler’s Fallacy (it’s even got its own Wikipedia page) to record the common belief that games or machines or tossed coins are “due” to fall a certain way.

The stereotypical view of a gambler might also note a tendency towards superstition and the belief in lucky charms or routines and the like. In a way, it’s quite a natural way to try to impose order on something that is in reality completely random.

Sadly, gamblers are often vulnerable. If you need the money and you don’t have much then one way of trying to get more, and potentially lots more, is to gamble: “the last throw of the dice”. Where there are vulnerable people, you’ll never have to look far to find unscrupulous people willing to exploit them.

Gambling’s illegality (particularly in the United States) for many years made it the toy of organised crime, and that linked it in with other sorts of illegal activity, most obviously money laundering – and most of the restrictions and checks on your online gambling account will be to do with preventing money laundering.

A lot of your vulnerability to unsafe gambling will be found within yourself: your own behaviours and needs. Unfortunately, if you don’t have loved ones around you, that leaves keeping an eye on things down to you, particularly in online environments where there’s no human interaction.

Gambling should be safe and fun. “When the fun stops, stop” is great advice. And also take a bit of responsibility for ensuring your own safety online.

This is where we do our bit to help with our safe casino gambling guide.

1 – Your Computer or Phone

Before you start gambling you can do a lot to keep your session safe.

Hackers would love to find the password to your casino accounts, and perhaps the bank accounts or online wallets they’re linked to.

Before you go online make sure you’re doing so from a safe device, with a safe internet connection.

If that means waiting until you get home rather than using a public Wi-Fi connection that you don’t know then so be it.

Making Your Phone Safe

Keeping things updated is one of the best ways to keep them safe, as security vulnerabilities are addressed as they are discovered. Keep your operating system, any apps you use, and so on updated. Any antivirus protection you have should be updated regularly.

The physical security of your phone is also important. Use all the locking and security options that your handset and provider allows. Turn your Wi-Fi connection off when you’re not using it.

If your phone does go missing report it quickly, and get online to change passwords at the sites you use: starting with financial ones and working down your priority list from there.

Making Your Computer Safe

Similar advice should be applied to your computer. Turn on firewalls, install antivirus software, and update all the programmes you use regularly and so on. You can buy security suites that will handle all of this for you automatically.

Make sure you use a good, modern browser, and make sure you always update it when prompted.

Safe Internet Connections

Wi-Fi is great, but make sure you don’t play for money or log-in to sites over unsecured public networks. Do everything that your internet service provider (ISP) suggests that you do to keep your home network safe too.

2 – Legality

Once you’re online safely you can start to look for somewhere to play.

And the first thing you should check is that the site you are playing at is legal.

In the UK it is illegal for a site to offer gambling games to players without a valid UK Gambling Commission licence.

And there is your first test. You must look for that licence: it’s usually at the bottom of the front page. And, it doesn’t hurt to click through or Google the licence to discover if it’s extant and in good shape.

It’s possible that you’ll see some form of a note on the licence for some sort of past misconduct. You should take note of this, but you don’t need to consider it a deal-breaker. That is, it doesn’t make the site unsafe for you to use. Most of these penalties have been for the handling of problem gambling, and if a company has been allowed to keep its licence it has probably promised to carry out some sort of reform of its processes as part of the judgement.

You must also ensure that you are playing legally at a legal online casino.

It might be frustrating to be barred from your favourite site because you’re trying to access from overseas, and your holiday destination is in a country that the site won’t allow users from. Tough. Once you start breaking rules you put yourself outside the protection (such as it is) of the law and the site’s terms and conditions. The same applies to age restrictions, using VPNs to get around geographical restrictions, or self-exclusions or other exclusions. Don’t do it.

3 – Site Safety

We’ve warned you that the gambling industry is potentially dangerous, particularly for vulnerable people. A legal site is a good start, but you should also make some other safety checks.

You should never use a site without an address that starts with HTTPS, with the “s” showing that the site is secure. This should show up with a padlock symbol on your browser.

Scam sites are sometimes relatively easy to spot. If you think of the famous scam emails, they have become classics of internet comedy because they’re so ridiculous. Often the tall stories told are over the top (“my brother the king…”), and the language is poor, email addresses unconvincing. And yet, still, people fall for them.

So it is with scam sites. If you’re trying to scam money out of people, all you really need is a sign-up page and a way to transfer money.

It’s not just your money that is valuable either. Your personal information is key to your online activity, so beware of site sign-ups that seem to be asking you to disclose much more information than you normally would. A name, address, birthday, email address, and payment options should be more than enough to set up a casino site account.

An actual legitimate, safe casino site will have lots more than that. Hundreds of slot games, dozens of casino games, a live casino room….

Scam casino sites might also focus heavily on Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. There’s nothing wrong with using online-only currencies, but a site that offers ONLY crypto payments should be avoided. Feel free to check out licensing links, and payment partner link too.

A good welcome offer is a must-have for any self-respecting casino site, but do keep the old saying in mind that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Offers that come without any restrictions are probably dodgy. Offers of huge amounts of cash too.

A good site will have good quality help options

They will also have decent contact options, beyond help options.

You should see those, of course, and modern sites usually offer live chat as the first choice, as well as an email address. The gold standard for many people though is a UK telephone number. Why not ring it? This might seem to be going over the top a little, but for a few pence you’ll find out how quickly they answer.

Contact details for the company are nice to see too. You won’t always find them easily though. The licence should have a full street address on it, but it’s nice to see that that information is also included on the site.

4 – Financial safety

All of these components are in place to keep your money safe. Because that’s what this is all about.

You should always consider your financial health and safety when you play online casino sites.

Some of this should be done as a personal audit, which we’ll cover in our last section on mental health and safe gambling.

You can also help keep yourself safe by taking some elementary precautions around your financial sites.

Linking your bank account directly to a casino site is something some players avoid doing. It is one of the attractions of payment processing sites like Skrill, Neteller, and, of course, PayPal, that they put a buffer in between the casino site and your bank account. Even using those sites shouldn’t make you complacent thought.

Take all the security advice that your bank gives you seriously, and do the same thing with any security advice form online wallets and the like. Use two-factor authentication when you can, for example.

Keep a check on your balances, and do it often. It is much harder to be scammed, and much easier to get redress if you spot it quickly.

Putting limits on your gambling is one of the ways of staying safe in the personal sense, and you can use spending limits or deliberately low balances in accounts you use for gambling to a way to do this.

If you start to get in trouble financially it’s best to talk to your bank, not to try to win the money back.

Leaving money in your casino account means you’re more likely to spend it, so if you want to hang onto money then transfer it out regularly and keep the balance of your casino account as low as you can.

5 – Cyber Security

The internet isn’t the Wild West it once was. All legitimate businesses have websites, and the online economy is growing to rival – and surely one day surpasses – the “real world” economy.

However, you still need to keep your wits around you.

There are a whole host of tricks out there – malicious downloads, emails with dodgy links in them, sites set up just to take your cash – and you should be aware of them.

Common sense goes a fairway. Sites should look the part.

Then there are those things that we’ve asked you to look out for, like genuine contact details (feel free to check them). Casino sites usually have addresses and names related to gambling, and the URL (the site’s address) is genuinely the same as the name of the site. If things look unusual in these respects then investigate a little further.

Don’t trust a site straight away. Check links by looking at the preview address for links to see that they go where they’re saying they go.

Some sites are set up to take advantage of fat fingers and laziness. We all misspell things sometimes, and the scammers who are clever enough to set up sites like eBay or PayPal probably ending up getting a few quid in from people who don’t check that the addresses they typed are what they should be.

Google is a good check. Scams usually have victims, and they have plenty to complain about, so they may have been complaining on forums. This is particularly true in the gambling world – gamblers like to talk. (Though you should also be aware of malicious complaints made against genuine sites.)

Antivirus, antispyware, antimalware software are all worth having. Cookie settings in your browser can help you keep an eye out for sites that are trying to install things you don’t want on your machine.

EU legislation means there should be comprehensive privacy and data security information on any site, and you should have to give consent for any cookies that are used. This is called the GDPR legislation, and it looks likely to stay in place after Brexit.

Log out of sites when you’re finished. Don’t use gambling sites on shared computers.

Consider using a password safe or password store if you have a lot of passwords. This is probably more secure than a piece of paper. Be particularly careful with duplicate passwords. The casino site you’re using might have the world’s best security, but that’s no help if you use the same password in a forum you haven’t used for 18 months and don’t even remember using until you get the email telling you that they’ve been hacked.

Give your passwords a workout with the “you’ve been pwned” site that shows up if you’ve been compromised by a big hack.

6 – Mental health and safe gambling

This is a potentially difficult part of this safe casino gambling guide. We’re doing our best here, but we’re not doctors or psychologists. If you ever find yourself suffering from a persistent low mood or other forms of mental distress then please seek professional help. If you feel down at all, please talk to someone.

We’ve touched on the risks around gambling already.

Gambling can be addictive. This isn’t a joke, it’s a medical fact, recognised by all the big diagnostic manuals. That’s why gambling is regulated. Just as with alcohol, the vast majority of gamblers can have a perfectly happy and healthy time, enjoying their games and not getting into any trouble.

Hopefully, you are one of those.

If you’re not, the best thing to do is to ask for help.

One of the things a good site should have is a comprehensive set of guides on safe gambling. They should also have links to a number of industry bodies and charities that offer help for problem gamblers.

There are all sorts of indicators of problem gambling, as there are for all addictions. As with all addictions, the addict probably knows inside that they have a problem, even while furiously denying it.

Try to approach gambling with a healthy attitude to start with. Treat gambling and gambling games as a form of entertainment, and accept that you have to pay for entertainment.

Don’t treat gambling as a way to make money. The number of actual professional gamblers is vanishingly small, and the biggest common denominator is probably that they start out with a lot of money (if you don’t believe us, check out the most commonly shared stories of “high rollers”, they’re almost all massively wealthy men, and the stories are almost all sad in a way, telling of huge losses rather than big wins).

Gambling should not be used as a way to regulate your feelings, to avoid difficult feelings, or to avoid difficult situations. It should be a fun activity. If you start to rely on it to pick you up you’re likely to get into trouble.

Take some practical steps with your gambling too. We have to be honest here. Casino sites want you to come back as often as possible and they want you to spend as much money as possible. That is their purpose. Good sites should offer robust help, and they should allow you to self-exclude but that is not in their best interests.

Set limits on the length and frequency of your gambling sessions. Set financial limits AND ALWAYS STICK TO THEM WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.

Keep your stakes small. Never chase losses.

Play with friends

Don’t play when you’re in a bad mood or in order to feel better. Don’t play when you’re intoxicated or your judgement is otherwise impaired.

In the UK you can give yourself a time-out from a site of up to six weeks. And you can self-exclude too.

Be realistic about gambling. Who has the massive shining office blocks in Las Vegas? Is it the gambling companies or the gamblers? Gambling is a massively profitable industry, and that profit is all player “losses”. The purpose of a casino or a betting shop or a card table or a casino website is to transfer money from players to the owners of the site.

The modern gambling industry has made this into a massively efficient machine. Read the terms and conditions: games are set up to provide a profit, and they reliably do that because they’re regulated to do so. The gambling companies like to publish the theoretical return to player stats, and they all confirm that players lose money – normally, only about 3 or 4% of what they gamble, but over time, if you gamble regularly you will almost certainly be down on the deal.

Gamble for fun and you will gamble safely.

Safe Online Casinos FAQ

How Do I Know if An Online Casino is Safe?

Before an online casino gets the go-ahead to offer gambling services to players, the operator must jump through a series of hoops quite literally. The online casino owner must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they have the players interest at heart, and this includes keeping financial and personal information safe. Only when an online casino has satisfied the extremely strict criteria from the jurisdiction in which they wish to offer gambling services, will a gambling license be granted. Details on gambling licenses, who gave them the license as well as details on privacy, safety and every other aspect of the casino you can think of, will be housed on the website.

Do Rogue Casinos Exist?

Rogue casinos once used to spring up now and again, but as soon as they opened, they were closed down. How can you tell a rogue casino from a genuine one? Here’s a handy checklist to help keep you safe online:

  • Check the gambling license. If in any doubt about a gambling license, head over to the authority website (UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority etc) in question to enquire about your querying casino.
  • Do some research! A quick search for the casino followed by the word ‘complaint’ is all it takes to see if there are disgruntled players out there.
  • Game not looking how it should? If there are little flaws in a game you know shouldn’t be there such as poor artwork, sounds or bonuses that just won’t pay, this could be a big indication the game is a fake and has been stolen from a reputable software developer.
  • Read those terms and conditions. T’s & C’s are there for a reason and the terms are very vague and not to the point, you should probably stay clear.

Can Online Casinos Refuse to Pay You Any Winnings?

The only instances where online casinos refuse to pay winnings is if players have been found in breach of the terms and conditions. If for any reason an online casino suspects foul play such as strange betting patterns, the use of somebody else’s account (or banking info) or a player with a duplicate account, then, winnings may be voided. If you stick to the rules as stated in the terms and conditions, you will get your winnings with no restrictions or surprises.

What Does RTP Mean?

Return to Player percentage calculates how much a casino game will payout over a set period of time. For example, if you’re playing a Megaways slot with an RTP of 96%, you can expect £96 back for every £100 spent. But, there is something important to mention here: you could play with £100 and lose the lot as you lose everything in less than 10 minutes. The RTP is just a general percentage and one that is expected over a lengthy (unspecified) period of time.

What Happens if the Online Casino Game Freezes or I Lose Internet Connection?

If you’re mid-game when you unexpectedly lose internet connection or you find the game has frozen, you won’t lose out! If you’re on your way to a winning spin or bet, the game will continue and when you re-load, any winnings you would have won will automatically be credited to your account. If your next spin was a bonus features trigger spin, when re-loading, the bonus feature will commence as nothing has happened.

What Bonuses Can I Expect at Safe Online Casinos?

Safe online casinos offer all manner of bonuses, including:

  • Welcome Bonus: An amount set aside for new players. This generally comes in the form of a percentage bonus such as 100%.
  • No Deposit Bonus: A free sum of bonus credit awarded on successful registration of new players. Can you cash out that free bonus? No! however, the terms and conditions may be low, and this means a good chance of clearing wagering terms and being able to keep what you win.
  • Free Spins Bonus: A bonus in the form of free spins which will be credited to a specific slot at a set rate per spin.
  • Re-Load Bonuses: A bonus amount credited on successful deposits.

How Can I Speed Up My Withdrawals?

Withdrawal timeframes differ from one casino to the next, however, the vast majority require funds to sit in a pending state before being processed. Speeding up withdrawals can be done in one of two ways – first being adding proof of identity documents at the point of registration, as this eliminates the need to do so in future and second is using a faster payment service such as PayPal.

Why is the Online Casino Asking for Proof of Income?

SOF’s or source of funds checks are required by law and are a way of operators confirming you have the means to gamble with. In a bid to clamp down on rising gambling addiction and crime relating to it, the UK Gambling Commission added new legislation in 2018 that would grant online casinos the power to request financial info from their customers, should they suspect an issue arising.

Why Would An Online Casino Want Identification Documents from Me?

Many find it strange that you can walk into a high street bookie, casino or bingo hall in the UK and start gambling without providing ID documentation, but online, you need to prove who you are before you even start to play. The reason behind this those establishments can determine if you are the legal age to gamble by looking at you, but online, it’s a virtual world and you could be anyone quite literally. Documents required by law include a photo of your ID, a recent utility bill and an image of your registered payment method (middle digits of card blanked out for security). Not only that but submitting documents is needed in the fight to tackle money laundering and other crimes relating to gambling online.

Plaza Royal Casino
Plaza Royal Casino

Established in 2020, Plaza Royal Casino is one of 40+ online casinos with a wide range of games to come from Aspire Global International Ltd.

Play Club Casino
Play Club Casino

A wide range of games and an attractive website will be enough to pull many players in. Read the Play Club Casino review!

Mansion Casino
Mansion Casino

Mansion Casino is pretty appealing and there's an interesting collection of games. But is this casino safe? Read our Mansion Casino review!