Safety and Legality
Your primary concerns when choosing a new online casino should always be about safety and legality. You do not want to play at an online casino that is not safe and fair, and legal in your jurisdiction. This means that you need to start by looking into the casino’s licenses.
There are a number of highly respected gambling authorities in the world, such as the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. However, in addition to ensuring that your chosen casino has a respected license, you need to be sure that the license is valid in your country; otherwise, it will not be legal for you to play there. If you are playing at a casino where it is not legal for you, then not only are you at risk of prosecution, but the casino can also withhold all of your winnings. While checking if you can legally play from your country, it is also worth ensuring that the casino is available in a language that you are comfortable with and that it accepts the currency that you wish to play with.
A respected license means that you can be sure that the casino has measures in place to protect both your money and private information. Furthermore, it means that there will be player protections, such as tools to help those who are at risk from gambling harm. It also is a sign that the casino’s games have undergone rigorous testing and have found to be fair. It is worth noting that in addition to casinos holding licenses, game developers also do.
Another aspect you can look into is whether any third party testing agencies certify the casino, such as eCOGRA, iTech Labs, Gaming Labs International, and Technical Systems Testing. These highly respected companies carry out in-depth testing on casino games to ensure that they are truly fair. At many top online casinos, you will be able to download their reports and review them for yourself.
Games, Providers, and Compatibility
Your primary focus when choosing an online casino is likely to be the games, and once you have ensured that the casino is a safe, fair and legal place to play, this makes complete sense. After all, if you are a blackjack player you don’t want to sign up for a casino that only offers slots, and vice versa.
Today, many casinos offer thousands of games, essentially catering for all types of players. At these casinos, the collections will always include a huge number of slots, but you may be surprised by how few card and table game variants are available. If you are a slots player then this won’t be a problem, but if you want to play the other games then you will need to do a little more research. If you are a blackjack player then make sure the casino offers the rule variant that you want to play. The same is true for roulette, video poker, and all other games that have numerous variants.
Luckily, today most casinos will offer games from numerous software providers. This means that the collection tend to be diverse and cater to a wide array of tastes. If you know that you enjoy a particular developer’s games, then you can easily check to see if they are available at the casino. Furthermore, many casinos will also allow you to try games in demo mode, which means that you can be doubly sure that it has games that you will enjoy.
Beyond the games, you also want to consider the casino’s software in relation to the device that you will be playing on most often. If you want to play from your smartphone or tablet, you need to ensure that the casino supports it and has a good selection of compatible games, be it through a mobile friendly website or an app. Even if you are playing on desktop, it is worth making sure that you like the layout of the casino, that it is fast to load, and that the overall user-experience is enjoyable.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to start winning money at online casinos until you have deposited some of your own. Understandably, many people are most nervous about this aspect of online gambling, as they do not want their money or their private details stolen.
Today, online casinos usually offer their members a huge number of payment methods to choose from, and as long as you have paid attention to the first step and chosen a legal and licensed casino, then you can be confident that your money will be safe. However, this doesn’t mean that you should use any payment method.
Casinos tend to accept payments through bankcards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, instant bank transfers, and traditional bank wires, while a growing number will also accept cryptocurrencies. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, and in many cases, there will also be localised options, which may be more convenient for you. It is worth taking the time to research the different types of payment methods in general as well as the specific ones on offer. You are more than likely to find one that is suited to your needs, but it is important to make sure of this before deciding on a casino, as if there isn’t one, then you will be stuck before you have got started.
Bonuses and Promotions
Casinos use bonuses and promotions as incentives for players to encourage them to sign up. Many casino bonuses are excellent value for money and are well worth taking advantage of. It is also worth looking at casinos’ ongoing promotions, bonus offers and loyalty schemes. Very often, they will give you a way of receiving continual rewards throughout your time at the casino and can be a fantastic way of making sure that you have even more fun.
However, all casino bonuses come with terms and conditions attached, and these can very hugely. It is very important that you look into them carefully to make sure that they are reasonable. This means that in addition to examining the basic wagering requirements, you have to look at what games are eligible for fulfilling the wagering requirements and how much they contribute. You should also consider whether there is a time limit. If you are unable to fulfil the bonus wagering requirements than the casino could confiscate your bonus money and any associated winnings, which is obviously something that should be avoided where possible.
The final thing that you should consider is customer support. Hopefully you will never need to contact your casino’s customer support team, but you need to ensure that it is there should you need it. Even if a casino has a particularly impressive help centre of FAQ section, this is not the same as having a live customer support option. It is not essential that the customer support is available 24/7, but you should check that you will be able to reach them with a minimal of hassle, whether by telephone or live chat. It is also worth checking to see if they have any local telephone numbers, as you do not want to be paying a huge per minute rate just to receive some help.