At the time of writing, there are around 2500 online casinos available for real money play, and they all differ in many terms. Considering that number, it becomes clear that simply playing at just any online casino is not an option.
One has to choose a gambling platform for themselves, and choose carefully.
The need for careful choice is caused not only by entertainment preferences, which are plenty; the first and foremost factors to pay attention to are accessibility and safety. If you would like to gamble only with reliable and secure operators, please check out this step by step guide on choosing an online casino.
The very first aspect is actually availability. Funny, but there are many cool casinos that promise so much fun, but they are simply unavailable to some players. So, before you start salivating over some casino’s rich bonuses or exciting games, check if you can even play at it.
Players from Your Country Are Accepted
If the site does not throw the “Players from your country are not accepted” banner right in your face immediately as you enter the site, this does not mean you are actually allowed. Go to Terms and Conditions and check the list of allowed/prohibited jurisdictions. All decent sites articulate that; if you cannot find the list, contact the Customer Support. Another option is to check some reviews on that casino site by third party reviewers.
Some websites conceal the list of allowed/prohibited jurisdictions to be able to accept players from countries where gambling is the gray zone business.
This one is obvious - check banking options for deposits and withdrawals, and choose those casinos which offer the biggest number of banking options available personally to you in your country. Even the most entertaining web casino is of no use for you, if you can withdraw via Check by Courier taking 2 weeks to deliver.
Games and Bonuses
We are not talking about entertainment here. The point is, due to legal issues with gambling in some countries, any bonuses from web casinos are prohibited. As a result, you can be accepted to this or that real money online casino, and be able to make real money bets, and win real cash, but you will not be able to claim any bonus. If to think about it, this is rather a positive sign than a negative one; it means that the casino strives to provide its services legally, and abides with local laws of your country. Which still means you can’t take bonuses though.
On the other hand, some software providers cannot provide their games to players from certain jurisdictions. This fact is also caused by controversies between the legislation of the countries of the software providing company residence, and the players’ residence.
The bottom line - look for both prohibitions in Terms and Conditions, to avoid unpleasant surprises after you sign up.
If the casino is available to you and accepts gamblers from your country as real money customers, it is time to check whether it is actually safe.
Checking reputation can be hard, because the casino can be renamed, rebranded, sold to a different operator, or sold by the operator to themselves via a network of smaller companies, or within a group of casinos. So, there are other aspects that help to explore the reputation indirectly.
Firstly, a comprehensive and timely online gambling license by a relevant international authority should be provided. Also, the site must contain full legal info about the license, and about the company running the site, preferably on the homepage.
Secondly, third party certification, seals of trust, and third party public audition are very desirable. You can see those seals of trust in the footer of the page - if any, of course.
User Data Protection
All the site’s pages have to be protected with active SSL encryption - you can see it as a small lock at the beginning of the URL bar.
SSL encryption encrypts all incoming and outcoming data on the site - that is, if you type in your CVV code, someone hacking the site will not be able to see it right away.
In case you find out that the web casino you would potentially enjoy is safe and reputable, the next step is to see if it is fun to be at.
Rich Choice of Games
At the time of writing, having less than 500+ games titles in the lobby is a shame for any web casino. The only two excuses are: 1) the site has been in operation for less than 6 months, or 2) the site contains very specific games, for example, Bitcoin-friendly games, or sports betting/fantasy sports, etc., meaning the mere number of such software items on the market is not a lot. In all other cases, 450 - 500+ game titles is a healthy amount.
You also want to look at the categories offered. If the number of casino games is impressive, but the majority of the titles are slots, while all other categories are represented by a dozen of titles, maybe you will quickly get bored here.
Various Software Providers
Another indication of games variety is various software providers. Online casinos do not make their own games - they buy software from software developing studios. The more studios are represented, the more chances you will get a varied environment for entertainment.
Simply making sure the site has banking options available to you in your country is good, but this is not enough to assess the gambling site. You have to look deeper and see whether the casino really offers advantageous conditions for paying customers.
Bonuses make gamblers salivate and rush to grab this seemingly free cash from the gambling platform. However, the bonuses come with rules, requirements, and limitations attached. Go to Terms and Conditions of the casino to see those rules and limitations. If you don’t know how the casino bonuses work, find out more here.
Deposits are pretty much straightforward at the majority of web casinos; minimum size accepted is usually around $5, while the maximum is around $25. However, withdrawals are a different story.
Firstly, there are withdrawal limits attached to cash bonuses, so keep an eye on that when reading the bonus terms.
Secondly, there are always limits for the size of the transaction, plus limits of withdrawal allowed per day/week/month.
Thirdly, the minimum withdrawal amount can be kinda high - starting from $50, which is not really fair.
In other words, withdrawal rules are definitely something to watch out for. Make sure you read the rules carefully.
And the last but not the least, general user experience at the site. Of course, this aspect is minor compared with such important things as license or banking. However, you definitely don’t want to play at a glitchy or slowly loading website.
Sleek Intuitive Design
Check how your experience looks and feels. If you are annoyed with the colors, barely visible fonts, or huge colorful advertising widgets that make your eyes bleed - maybe skip this site. If you face difficulties finding information on the site, or you constantly stumble across useless pages with walls of text, well, this is not good user experience.
If you are not a mobile phone junky, you can ignore that part, and play from your PC. However, the requirement today is that contemporary and competitive web sites were mobile online casinos compatible, or provided official mobile applications.
Choosing an online casino that fits all the requirements stated above may seem tiring and complicated to a beginner punter. However, opting for the best casino is definitely worth the effort! Be patient to find your best option, and you will enjoy the fun and the wins for a long time!