Online casinos have come a long way since the first sites appeared in the late 1990s. Where once players had a handful of slots and table games to choose from, today's best casinos boast hundreds of online slots, the biggest progressive jackpots, and every 3D, immersive, HD variant you can think of.
The best part, of course, is that online casinos are totally legal in the UK, properly licensed, and well-advertised. If you want to find a good site to trust your GBP with while enjoying the latest slots as they're released, UK casinos online are your best bet.
InterCasino celebrated its 18th birthday in 2015, and the casino that's come of age looks a lot different to the new-born site that came kicking and screaming onto the net in 1997.
Slot developers were just finding their feet, while roulette and blackjack software providers were only getting to grips with games that could work on primitive PCs and terrible web speeds.
Fast-forward to today, and the latest casinos offer fast, encrypted sites with audited Random Number Generators that ensure all games are fair, HTML5 and Flash games that work via your web browser, and slick mobile adaptations that work on your tablet or smartphone.
Gambling Act 2005
Online casinos were originally governed by the 2005 Gambling Act (implemented in 2007) which did away with decades-old, outdated casino law.
As well as paving the way for bigger and better land-based casinos, as well as allowing for more advertising on UK television, it also relaxed the rules for online gambling in Britain.
Under the new law, the Gambling Commission was created to oversee and regulate commercial gambling in the UK. A whitelist was also set up which included those oversees gambling jurisdictions (e.g. Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Alderney, Antigua, etc) allowed to advertise their licensees in the United Kingdom.
Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014
More recently, the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 has sought to bring the booming online industry up to date.
Under the new rules, any online casino wanting to service UK customers must hold a UK Gambling Commission license in order to operate.
Where offshore sites, like those licensed in jurisdictions like Gibraltar and Malta, could get away with providing real-money games without paying UK tax, that's no longer the case. Anyone holding a new UK license must pay 15% to the HMRC.
As a result, some smaller casinos and software developers have pulled out of the UK market altogether, but arguably a streamlined, more reliable raft of casinos have remained.
Every online casino offering games to UK players has a legitimate licence from the UK Gambling Commission. They may also hold a licence from a recognised offshore jurisdiction like the Isle of Man, Gibraltar or Malta.
As part of the licence application, casinos must uphold certain security checks and procedures. That means players' payouts should be accurate and timely, and the software governing games has to be independently audited for fairness.
Firms like eCOGRA and TST Global perform regular checks on Random Number Generators to make sure each spin of the roulette wheel and slot is totally legit.
If you're playing for real money, getting your funds in and out of an online casino fast is paramount.
Good UK casinos will offer a full range of banking options, from major credit cards like VISA and MasterCard to VISA debit cards that let you deposit straight from your current account.
If you're worried about sharing card details online, an e-Wallet like Paypal lets you deposit using a variety of cards and bank accounts into one handy, anonymous wallet. From there, you can transfer cash into your gambling account and out again.
As with any deposit method, fees may apply when making a transfer. The fees and processing times can vary from method to method and from site to site, so always check the casino Cashier page before depositing.
If you're playing casino games in the UK, you can take advantage of the most trustworthy sites that are properly licensed and offer great promotions and the latest games.
Best of all, at our recommended rooms you can play hundreds of slots and table games for free before testing out your gambling mettle with real cash.
Try out a casino today, then sign up for a real-money account and make your slots play really pay.