CasinosCanada

The Best UKGC Casinos

oliver jackson
Written By Oliver Jackson

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is one of the most reputable licensing authorities in the world. In this article, we’ll explain why this is and tell you everything you need to know about playing at a UKGC casino in Canada.

Top List UKGC Casinos in Canada

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  • bonus-welcome-icon Highly valuable welcome offer
  • vip-icon VIP program available
  • slots-icon Exclusive slots
Welcome Bonus Up to $1,000 + $25 no deposit bonus
Bonus Details
New customers 18+ Min. deposit: $20.  Max. wins $500 (excl. verified Jackpot winnings) Deposits made with Skrill or NETELLER are not eligible Limited to 1 person per household Selected games only 40x wagering Wagering contributions apply 90 days expiry
Payment Methods
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Payment Details
  • Min Deposit $10
Licenses
Gibraltar, Malta, United Kingdom, AAMS (ADM), New Jersey, iGaming Ontario
charlotte paisley Reviewed by Charlotte Paisley
Exclusive
  • casino-games-icon Large games library
  • usp-icon Generous wagering requirements
  • bonus-icon Good welcome bonus package
Welcome Bonus Up to $1,000 + 200 Free Spins
Bonus Details
Deposit Bonus varies based on the deposit amount. Up to $1000 over first 3 deposits + 200 FS on Book of Dead. After deposit & wagering are completed, 2 x 20 Spins will be unlocked every day for 5 days. Minimum deposit: $10. Wagering 20x bonus amount. Full T&C applies.
Payment Methods
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Licenses
Schleswig-Holstein, AAMS (ADM), United Kingdom, Malta, Curacao, Denmark, Sweden, iGaming Ontario
oliver jackson Reviewed by Oliver Jackson
  • vip-icon VIP program available
  • bonus-welcome-icon Great welcome offer
  • sports-icon Sports betting available too
Welcome Bonus $1000 + 120 Free Spins
Bonus Details
Select Casino bonus when registering. Minimum deposit: $20. Free spins are valid on Cowboys Gold. They are added in sets of 30 per day for 4 days. Bonus expires 14 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Payment Methods
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Payment Details
  • Max Deposit $10000
  • Min Deposit $10
Licenses
United Kingdom, Estonia, Kahnawake, iGaming Ontario
charlotte paisley Reviewed by Charlotte Paisley

Due to its worldwide reputation of trustworthiness, the UKGC licence is the holy grail for many operators and players. It is no surprise that there are loads of UKGC-regulated casinos out there, but which ones are the best for Canadian-based players?

Our top list above will help you out. All the casinos in there hold a UKGC licence, are available in Canada and are hand-picked from the list of top-performing online casinos on our site.

Why Play at a UKGC Casino In Canada?

The regulations around gambling in Canada can be confusing as gambling restrictions are subject to territorial and provincial laws. Still, the answer to the question “Is it legal to gamble online in Canada?” is simple: Yes, as long as you play at an overseas online casino.

That is great news for gambling enthusiasts in Canada because there is no lack of offshore operators. However, if you want to be sure that your money is safe and your chances of winning are fair, you’ll need to look for an online casino that holds one or more valid and trusted gambling licences. A UKGC licence has you covered. It is one of the most reputable ones out there and its casinos are available to players across Canada.

It is worth pointing out that Ontario is Canada’s first province to fully embrace iGaming and is working hard to build an open and regulated online gambling market. As of April 4, 2022 Ontario allows gambling and betting operators to legally enter their market provided that they have completed AGCO’s registration process and have a signed operating agreement with “ iGaming Ontario.”

ca why licenses are important

How To Recognize A UKGC Casino?

A gambling licence may not be the first thing you look at when registering at a new online casino in Canada. Most gamblers select an operator based on its availability in their market and reputation. While a good reputation is certainly an indicator of trust, a highly esteemed gambling licence, such as a UKGC licence, provides a genuine seal of player protection.

There are several ways to spot a UKGC-licensed casino. The easiest way is to look for its logo at the footer of the website. If you want to assure yourself that the licence is legitimate, you can follow our step-by-step guide below:

  1. Search for the licence number or UKGC logo at the bottom of the website
  2. Go to the UKGC public register by clicking on the logo
  3. Copy-paste the licence registration or account number in the search box
  4. Verify that the licence is active under the casino’s name or its parent company

Note that we will never recommend an online casino that hasn’t been thoroughly checked by our reviewing team. All the casinos that we review or recommend are operating with one or more valid gambling licences.

What Does The UKGC Do?

The main goal of the UKGC is to protect its players against the harmful effects of gambling. Its policy is built on the following 3 pillars:

  • Keeping crime out of gambling;
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and openly, with the players’ best interest at heart;
  • Protecting minors and other vulnerable persons from experiencing harm from gambling.

To meet these objectives, the UKGC keeps its gambling operators under close scrutiny. Failing to adhere to strict UKGC regulations can result in heavy fines and even licence removal. This has earned them the reputation of being one of the most reliable gambling licensing authorities across the world.

Licensing Jurisdictions Whitelist

The UKGC also maintains a whitelist of approved gambling jurisdictions. Operators licensed in these jurisdictions can advertise and offer their services in the UK without needing an additional UKGC license. 

This whitelist exists to acknowledge that certain gambling regulators, such as the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) or the Gibraltar Gambling Commission, adhere to standards and regulations that are deemed equivalent to the UKGC's.

How Does The UKGC Protect You?

So, how does the UKGC ensure safe and fair gambling? We will break it down for you below.

Player Data Protection

When you’re playing at a UKGC casino, your personal and financial data will be securely stored and not misused in any way. The Gambling Commission applies strict standards, which are in accordance with consumer protection laws and the data protection act, and demands that gambling operators are accountable for their use of personal data.

In addition, a UKGC casino must be able to prove that they have the systems in place to sufficiently protect its players against cyber attacks that can risk the exposure of player data. If a casino can’t prove that, they will not be granted a licence.

Fair Gaming Policy

Another key criterion is that an operator must ensure a fair gaming experience for all its customers. Each player must have a realistic chance of winning. That means that all games must be tested for fairness and have legitimate Random Number Generators (RNGs) that generate truly random outcomes that can’t be controlled by the casino or the game provider.

The operator must be open and honest with regard to the player’s chances of winning. They must specify the Return To Player (RTP) percentage for every game they offer and provide transparent general and bonus terms and conditions.

Operator’s Business Stability

To obtain a UKGC licence, a casino must be able to show a clear and transparent ownership structure and be financially viable—they must be able to pay out prizes.

Protection of Player Funds

UKGC-licensed gambling operators must select which rating applies to their handling of customer funds and be transparent about it in their terms and conditions. There are three levels of player funds protection:

Not protected - Player funds would be classed as part of the gambling company’s assets. If the operator went bust, you would probably lose any money in your account.

Medium protection - The operator must make arrangements to protect your money in case they go bust. For instance by having insurance. With this level of protection getting your money back if the business goes bust is not absolutely guaranteed.

High protection - Player’s funds must be stored separately from a casino’s business funds and be legally recognised as separate from the business. This is to ensure the highest level of protection. Which means it is the best chance of getting your money back if the business goes into administration or out of business.

Player Verification

A casino with a UKGC licence must verify the identity of its players. This is to prevent crime and underage gambling and is usually done as part of the registration process or when players make their first deposit.

To carry out this verification procedure, also known as the Know Your Customer (KYC), new players are required to send relevant documents, such as a scanned copy of their ID, passport or driver’s licence.

In addition, cash payouts can only be made to the registered account holder’s bank account. This way, the casino knows who they are paying out to. The chances of money laundering or underage gambling will be significantly reduced.

Responsible Marketing

Online casinos market their games and bonuses through various media. This is not limited to promotional messages on their website, but can also include the sponsorship of sports teams, ads on social and other media, and TV ads.

To help protect vulnerable people and minors, the UKGC has set strict guidelines for operators to ensure socially responsible marketing. The list of regulations is long, but the essence is that their advertising:

  • cannot be misleading – chances of winning should be represented realistically;
  • must not appeal to minors – for instance through the use of animations, comic book figures or mascots that are popular among the underage population;
  • should not promote or encourage irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.

A full list of regulations can be found on the website of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). https://www.asa.org.uk/type/non_broadcast/code_section/16.html

Note that even though these rules are primarily for the UK promotions, it makes sense to expect UKGC casinos to take a more conservative approach in other regions too, such as Canada.

Clear and Reasonable Bonus Terms

In line with the customer-aware focus of the Gambling Commission, licensed online casinos must provide clear, concise and easy-to-understand bonus terms and conditions. They must also be reasonable: unlocking a bonus must be realistically achievable.

Some things to look out for when it comes to online casino bonuses:· 

  • Operators should be clear and upfront about any bonus conditions;
  • Players should be made aware when they are playing with their own money or bonus funds;
  • Players must be able to keep what is left of their deposit or any winnings earned from playing with it;
  • Any restrictions on how you can play with bonus funds, such as restrictions on the size of bets, should be clearly explained;
  • If you’re lucky enough to win, operators cannot use your personal data for publicity without your consent.

Responsible Gambling Tools

A UKGC casino must provide sufficient measures for players to help protect themselves against problematic gambling and addiction. Education about the dangers of irresponsible gambling is key, including the provision of useful links and helplines. In addition, most UKGC operators provide any of the following tools that can help you take full control over your gaming sessions:

  • Loss Limits
  • Session Limits
  • Wager Limits
  • Deposit Limits
  • Self-Exclusion

Although these tools may not always be available outside of the UK market, having a Responsible Gaming policy has become standard practice among reliable and licensed casino operators worldwide. Most UKGC casinos that are available in our country will offer similar or at least some of the self-limit and self-exclusion tools mentioned above plus relevant information and links to helpline organizations and even filtering tools.

Accountability

All the above-mentioned criteria don’t mean much if the casinos are not held accountable for the implementation of these. That’s not something you have to worry about when playing at a UKGC-licensed casino. The Gambling Commission truly cares about your “gambling welfare” and casinos that don’t adhere to its strict regulations risk hefty fines and losing their licence.

Moreover, all UKGC-certified sites are obliged to answer and resolve all player complaints. If you still feel unhappy about the casino’s actions, you can file a complaint directly with the Gambling Commission. They will then investigate and try to bring the issue to a resolution.

How To Obtain A UKGC Licence?

A UKGC licence is not granted lightly. An operator must comply with many strict criteria and will be subjected to a thorough examination—a complex process that can take up to 16 weeks. Everything from its gambling activities to its ownership, finances and competence will be scrutinized.

To receive the licence, an operator must prove that they are capable of and fully committed to fair and safe gambling and the prevention of crime.

In addition, there are the costs of operating with a licence, such as the application fee, approval fee and annual operating fees, that the casino needs to consider.

Types of Licences

There are 3 main types of licences that can be issued by the UKGC: a personal management licence, a personal function licence and an operating licence. The first two are for croupiers, cashiers, inspectors and gambling supervisors of land-based casinos and leaders of gaming businesses. The operating licence is the one you’ll need for a legal online gambling business, which can apply to either one or more of the following:

  • Arcades
  • Betting
  • Bingo
  • Casino
  • Gambling Software
  • Gaming Machines
  • Lotteries

Maintaining A UKGC Licence

Once an operator has received the coveted licence, they will do everything they can not to lose it. To do this, they will have to adhere to the UKGC regulations in their day-to-day operations. Failing to do this will put them at risk of hefty fines and eventually, losing their licence.

One of the ways the UKGC keeps an eye on this is by requiring the operator to provide quarterly and yearly key reports that include:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Information on Security Breaches
  • Protection of Customer Funds
  • Regulatory Returns
  • Changes in Corporate Control
  • Anti-Money Laundering Activities
  • Suspicious Betting Activities
  • Annual Assurance Statements

The UKGC Leads The Way

Gambling has been one of the most popular leisure activities in Great Britain for centuries and its efforts to regulate it date back to the 14th century. Early “unlawful games acts” attempted to distinguish games of skill from games of chance and made the latter illegal.

Various amendments and other acts eventually led to the 1960 Betting and Gaming Act, which legalized betting shops and gaming houses, but with conditions. In 2005, the UKGC was established.

It aimed to provide a fair, transparent and responsible gaming industry with the customer’s interest at heart. This “customer-aware focus” was later adopted by many other regulatory bodies and helped shape the way gambling is regulated today.

Its strict regulations, hefty fines, and focus on responsible gaming make it a gambling authority that is trusted by many players and governments around the world.

Other Trusted Licences

The UKGC is one of the leading gambling licences out there, but there are other equally trusted authorities to look out for.

Check out our detailed reviews below.

UKGC casinos FAQ

Why should I play at a UKGC-licensed site in Canada? chevron-down-icon

Most players based in Canada can play at any overseas online casino. To ensure that your money is safe and your chances of winning are fair, we recommend playing at online casinos with a trusted gambling licence. The UK Gambling Commission is one of the most reputable licensing authorities in the world.

How do I recognize a UKGC-licensed casino? chevron-down-icon

The easiest way to spot a UKGC licensed casino is by looking for the logo at the footer of the website. But there are other steps you can take to ensure the licence is legitimate.

What are the best UKGC casinos in Canada? chevron-down-icon

The list of operators with a licence from the UK Gambling Commission is long. We have hand-picked the best-performing UKGC licensed casinos in the Canadian market for you.

What does the UKGC do? chevron-down-icon

The main objective of the UK Gambling Commission is to protect players against unfair gambling, gambling addiction and crime. In this article, we’ll explain in detail how the UKGC protects you.

How to obtain a UKGC licence? chevron-down-icon

To be granted a UKGC licence, an operator must comply with many strict criteria. On this page, we’ll explain more about the process of obtaining and maintaining a gambling licence from the UK Gambling Commission.

Meet the Author
Having grown up in Canada and witnessed the marketplace evolve over the last 25 years, Oliver decided that a career in the industry was his calling. He is a Business and Marketing graduate and has a penchant for delving into trends and dissecting topics for the readers.