Online Casinos More Popular Than Ever in the UK

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UK Smartphone Gambling Casino

An intriguing new report from the BBC has shown that searches for “online casinos” are more popular than ever across the United Kingdom. This comes amidst the nationwide lockdown, which has been in place since March 23rd, and which is only now slowly being eased.

The BBC reported data from Google Trends showing that searches for online casinos started climbing at the beginning of the year and have since reached an all-time high.

While the BBC graphic only shows data for January, my own research shows that interest in online casinos began climbing in and around when the government imposed the lockdown, and after a brief dip in April, has again peaked in May.

The BBC report also showed a breakdown of interest by cities across England. The greatest interest was in the following cities in order of popularity:

  • Hull
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Bradford
  • Bolton
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Birkenhead
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
  • Northampton
  • Liverpool

I noticed that all of these cities were in England, and I was curious about wider interest in UK online casinos across the nation. I checked on Google Trends, and I found that the largest number of searches came from Northern Ireland, where land casinos are illegal, followed by Scotland, Wales, then England.

graph uk search trends by region

Since it’s likely that demand for online gambling will remain high during the coming weeks and months, I’ve decided to cover the best online casinos for UK players here.

The Best-Rated Online Casinos in the UK

I’ve reviewed hundreds of online casinos over the course of my career. Of the hundreds that I’ve seen, I rate the following three particularly highly. You’ll find the best games, most generous bonuses, and fast payouts at these UK casino sites.

Betway Online Casino

Betway is a brand that most of you will already be familiar with. These days, it’s difficult to watch a sports match on the TV without seeing an ad for this fast-growing online gambling brand. If you’re a West Ham United fan, you’ll definitely know this brand since they sponsor The Hammers.

Betway is best-known for sports betting, but it has one of the best online casinos for UK players. Why do I think that?

  • All new players can claim a Betway bonus worth £250 for online casino gambling. That’s a lot of extra spins of the roulette wheel or slot reels. 50x wagering requirements apply.
  • If you enjoy live casino games, Betway has everything you could want to play. Live roulette, blackjack, and baccarat are available along with live game shows like Deal or No Deal and Dream Catcher.
  • Betway has hundreds of video slots available in its instant-play casino. You can play progressive jackpot slots like Mega Moolah or classic games like Thunderstruck II and Starburst.
  • Betway has a decent number of ways to make deposits and withdrawals. Debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, and bank transfers are all possible ways to deposit and withdraw.

I rated Betway “Great” in my in-depth review. I feel the same way about it today. It’s one of the top gambling sites in the UK for a reason.

22Bet Online Casino

You might not know this brand as well as Betway, but you will soon. It’s growing at a breakneck pace, and one of the reasons for that is that it offers some fantastic live games you won’t find in many other casinos.

I gave 22Bet one of my highest ratings when I reviewed it right here on GamblingSites.org. Why did I like it so much?

  • New UK players can claim a welcome bonus worth £250 and 22 extra spins using the bonus code 250CASINO. That’s a lot of free play on your favourite casino games. 39x wagering requirements apply.
  • 22Bet has two live games sections. You’ll find blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and Casino Hold’em under the “Live Casino” section. However, don’t miss out on the “Live Games” section. It offers interesting games like War of Bets, Wheel, Lucky 7, Lucky 6, Lucky 5, and Dice Duel.
  • As a 22Bet player, you’ll have access to 671 games in the main casino. That includes hundreds of top video slots such as Narcos, Starburst, Grim Muerto, and others.
  • Plenty of ways to pay, including debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz, and Paysafecard. 22Bet is also known for fast deposits and withdrawals.

This UK online casino also got a “Great” rating when I reviewed it several months back. I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more about this brand in the near future.

Genesis Casino

You won’t see this brand on the front of any UK football club jerseys, but you will read plenty about it online. Genesis Casino has been since 2018, and it’s becoming one of the most-loved UK casino websites.

As I’ve done for the previous two casinos, I’ll give you a quick summary of why I think Genesis Casino is so great.

  • New players from the UK can claim a £100 welcome bonus and an incredible 300 free spins on Starburst slots. 40x wagering requirements apply.
  • Genesis Casino has one of the biggest slot selections I have ever seen. If it’s a slot game worth mentioning, you can probably play it here. Games like Book of Dead, Gonzo’s Quest, and Twin Spin will be at your fingertips.
  • There’s also a well-stocked live casino offering blackjack, baccarat, roulette, some poker variants, sic bo, and various interesting games like Mega Ball and Lightning Dice.
  • More ways to pay than any other casino on this list. You can use debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Boku, Trustly, ecoPayz, MuchBetter, MiFinity, or Jeton to make deposits. Most of these are also available as withdrawals methods.

Honestly, if you only want to play online slots, I’d be inclined to say that this is the best UK online casino to play at. The numbers of slot games available is astounding.

Do You Have Questions About UK Online Casinos?

I’m guessing that if you found this page through a search engine, you’re one of the UK players who’s interested in online casinos at this time. I know that many of you will be new to playing casino games online, so I wanted to answer a few common questions that new players have. I hope you find this section helpful.

How Do I Know Which UK Casino Websites I Can Trust?

That’s the best thing you can ask if you’re a new player. The answer is twofold. First, you can trust experienced experts (like me) to guide you in the right direction. The second way is to make sure the online casino has a valid gaming license from the UK Gambling Commission. All three of the casinos I have recommended above do. The UKGC is strict and offers UK players one of the safest online gambling environments in the world as a result.

You’ve Mentioned Wagering Requirements Above, What Does This Term Mean?

Almost every casino bonus has wagering requirements attached to it. This number tells you how many times you have to bet the bonus before you can withdraw it. For example, let’s say you have a £10 deposit bonus with 20x wagering requirements. You’ll have to make £200 worth of wagers before you can withdraw the £10. That might seem impossible, but with one big win on an online slot machine, it’s doable. You will need some luck to beat wagering requirements, but it can be done.

How Do Live Dealer Games Work at Online Casinos?

One of the reasons why searches for online casinos have skyrocketed recently is because many land casinos are closed. Live games offer a fantastic alternative. You can play table and card games like blackjack and roulette with live dealers. Instead of playing against a mindless machine, you’ll be playing against a beautiful live dealer from somewhere exotic. In fact, some analysts are predicting that once UK players get a taste for live games during this lockdown, land casinos will struggle to win them back.

Can I Also Bet on Sports at the Online Casinos You’ve Mentioned Here?

You can do so at Betway and 22Bet. Both of them have world-class sportsbooks with action on most global sports events. You can’t expect too much action right now, given how things are, but that should change soon. Genesis Casino does not currently offer sports betting.

What’s the Legal Gambling Age to Play at UK Online Casinos?

It’s 18 to gamble in any form, whether it’s online or not. You should never try to fake your age because UK casino sites will ask you to verify your identity with a scan of a government-issued ID and proof of address. They do this to prevent underage gambling and to stomp out money laundering. Don’t even try it if you’re not 18 because, in all likelihood, you’ll lose your deposit plus anything you have won.

Oliver Hughes

Based out of London, I began freelance writing for the UK section of GamblingSites.org in October of 2019. Having worked in the gambling industry for over 10 years, I now have the pleasure of adding this site to my list of accomplishments as a casino writer. ...

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Email the author at: [email protected]