Choosing a bad casino can have drastic consequences further down the line, therefore it is ideal to make the first place that you sign up at somewhere where you are going to want to play for a long time to come.
By making a checklist of everything you want to see online, you can cut out the risk factor. We’ve compiled a list of favourable things that we like to see in venues, and come up with a “what to look for before joining an online casino” article for you. We think it will get you quite far, and prove an incredibly useful tool when choosing a site to play at.
So, what are some of the things you can keep an eye out for before joining?
First and foremost, security is paramount. You should never play at a site which has dodgy security. That means ever. You are going to want to have a rough idea of the gambling laws in your country, and make sure that the casino you are choosing to play adheres to them. For example a place in the United Kingdom will need a license from the UK Gambling Commission in order to operate online. This sounds like a daunting task, but it is actually not that hard to do. Check for licenses. Does the license cover your region. If they are a fully licensed, that information should be available to you on their website. They like to show that information off.
It isn’t always the case, but a place with a lot of history (plus ten years) is, generally speaking, a safe place to play. It is unlikely that dodgy places would have been allowed to operate for so long if they weren’t secure. Safe and secure places will also have top SSL (secure socket layer) encryption, as well as solid third party policies, so that they don’t hand out your information to everyone.
You can always check reviews to ensure that a place isn’t blacklisted, or read player comments to ensure that you are choosing somewhere safe.
What kind of games will you play? Do you favour slots, table games, or video poker? Perhaps you’re a blackjack player, or love a spot of baccarat, or roulette? Some players have no preference, and like a broad, sweeping selection of games and some players like specific ones for example Monopoly board game slots or Pai Gow which are only available at a select few venues. It is good if you know what you want, so you check out the kinds of games a place has to offer you.
As a general rule of thumb, the more games from various developers a casino carries, the more likely you are to be able to find something you love. You will also want to make sure that some of the biggest names in the world are represented at your chosen place.
Players may wish to check out whether they can play mobile or live dealer games at their casino. You will also want to know if you can play in your web browser, or if you have to download software to play. The latter is not hugely popular amongst players.
If possible, it is always an advantage if a place offers demo games. This way you can play games for free, to get a feel for them before you wager your hard earned cash on them.
Does it offer no deposit bonuses, or welcome offers? Having these is certainly a plus. When you sign up you will want a little helping hand to get yourself started, so free spins or a sizeable match deposit bonus is certainly going to help.
Monthly deals, and loyalty bonus programs are also a plus. These provide you with further opportunities to play free games and win real money and prizes further down the line. It keeps your experience fresh, and your balance to the good.
If you fancy yourself something of a high-roller, you may also wish to enquire about tournaments, VIP clubs, and high-roller deals. Many top places have these lucrative deals for their most frequent and biggest spending players.
No matter which bonuses a casino offers, or those you choose to claim, you must be wary of wagering requirements. These can really ruin your day. You will need to fulfil them before you can withdraw, so make sure that the wagering requirements a casino has on their bonuses are as minimal as possible. Compare and contrast wagering requirements at various places to get an overall scope, but generally speaking, anything from 20x to 45x the total bonus and deposit amount is standard in the online world.
Making sure that your online site can offer you suitable banking options is a must, too. You don’t want to have to keep switching between banking options, or signing up to new payment methods to deposit and withdraw.
You will want your venue to have a good range of credit card, e-wallet, and prepaid methods, and more importantly, in a currency that works for you. You will also want your chosen casino to keep transaction times to a minimum, and most of the top places will avoid charging you for deposits and withdrawals.
Do your due diligence, too, and make sure that there have been no complaints about delays or casinos not paying out.
Live chat is the best customer support option to have. It is fast, and provides quick and effective support. E-mails are handy, but e-mails can take longer for you to receive a reply. Having support via Skype or a call-back feature is a plus.
If the place offers telephone support, try to ensure that is toll-free telephone assistance, because the bills will soon rack up if you are charged for support. A top place will also offer around-the-clock assistance. Once again, check for delays or complaints concerning lackluster support and/or delays.
Do your homework
If you do your homework and compare and contrast several casinos, check out reviews, and have a general scope of where are the best places to play, you should find that any place you pick is a star. Remember, if an online site offers a no deposit bonus, why not claim it a give it a whirl. You have absolutely nothing to lose and can walk away freely at any time.