Choosing an online casino is no easy task, especially if you’re a new player. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of online casinos, so determining what makes a good online casino means figuring your way around many different factors.
This in-depth guide will let you know of everything you should look out for when choosing an online casino. In the meantime, check out our extensive review section for our vetted and safe online casinos, with certified licenses and great online bonus offers.
Online Casino Licensing and Security
A casino’s license is hugely important when choosing where to play. You’d be surprised at how many players are unaware of this, often risking putting their money into the hands of fraudulent operators.
The first thing you should do when entering a new online casino is to check their license. It will usually be listed at the bottom of their website, likely on every page in the footer, alongside a link to the licensing body where you can get details that will verify the legitimacy of said license in the register. Anyone can write text saying they are licensed, which is why proper verification is required.
All of the online casinos on our website, offering some of the best casino games are properly and legitimately regulated and licensed. This information will be useful if you run into an unknown online casino through your own volition.
The best and safest online casino licensing bodies include, but are not limited to:
- Curacao eGaming Authority
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
These licensing bodies hold operators and casino game providers accountable if they do not meet the standards of services offered on their sites and if they do not truly operate a fair play and responsible gaming policy. Licensing bodies can also mediate issues you may have with an online casino, such as unfair treatment of any sort, be it voided funds for no reason, unexplained account closures or anything else.
If you come across an online casino with no license, run for the hills.
Are Online Casinos Safe to Use?
When playing online, it is of the utmost importance that your credit card, e-wallet and banking information, as well as your personal account info is kept safe at all times by all parties including the operator themselves.
Every online casino that aims to safeguard user information must employ site-wide SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protection. You can identify this by looking at the far left of the address bar on your browser. If you see a green padlock icon on any page where sensitive information is required, then you’re good to go.
This all being the case, all website pages’ URLs should also have a prefix of ‘htps://’ rather than just http://.
What is an Auditing Certificate?
Any auditing certificates a casino has are a huge plus. Third-party auditors, such as eCogra, check the fairness of all online casino games through methodical testing. If you see a certificate of this kind on a casino site, you can rest assured that their games are fair and all RTP information is correct.
Pay attention to the date of the latest audit, however, as a successful audit in 2015 may not be worth much in 2019.
Varied Banking Options and Fast Payouts
Having a wide selection of payment options is essential to a hassle-free gaming experience. It is always preferential for any online casino to let you make banking transactions via a fairly extensive range of credit and debit cards, e-wallets and bank transfers.
Best E-Wallet Payment Methods for Online Casinos
Best Credit and Debit Cards for Online Casinos
- American Express
Using Cryptocurrency at Online Casinos
A good chunk of online casinos nowadays are starting to offer cryptocurrency as an option for deposits and withdrawals. Especially useful for USA players, cryptocurrency offers several benefits:
- Instant Transactions
- Fast Payouts
- Total Anonymity
- Little to No Fees
The most common cryptocurrency online casino options are Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Funfair Coin. If you’ve never used a cryptocurrency before, you will need to read up on how setup your crypto wallet before getting started.
Don’t be alarmed though, as even though cryptocurrencies form a fairly complex topic, you don’t need to learn the precise ins and outs to start using them. After all, all of us use traditional currency on a daily basis, yet only a small minority understand how the economy works!
Why Use an E-Wallet?
Perhaps an even more important than a wide banking selection is smooth and fast payouts. This is why we recommend using e-wallets whenever they’re available. They provide the fastest payouts on the market. Your withdrawals will usually take 1 to 2 business days to process, often within 24 hours of your request.
Due to the multiple channels payments have to go through, credit and debit cards and bank transfers may take 2 to 7 business days in most cases. Deposits, regardless of payment method though, are always instant.
How Does Identity Verification at Casinos Work?
For security reasons, almost every online casino will require you verify your identity before you can request payouts.
Look at the casino’s ID verification requirements and send your relevant documents via e-mail. In most cases, they consist of photos or scans of your personal ID card, credit/debit card you’ve used to deposit and proof of address by sending a utility bill no older than 3/6 months.
Top Quality Games and Software
At the end of the day, online casinos are all about gaming, playing and having fun. This is why it is essential you have a good and varied selection of games to pick from. However, setting certain criteria when it comes to choice of games is not a straightforward task, as it mostly depends on your preference.
What you need to know is that the games you are playing are supplied by reputable gaming operators with good payouts across the board. There are dozens of gaming suppliers on the market. Here are some of the best casinos online:
- Real Time Gaming (RTG)
- Net Entertainment
- Play N GO
If you’re unfamiliar with a certain set of games at a casino, you can always try them for free before playing for real money. This way you can get a general idea of how the game plays out before you invest your cash.
Live Casino Games
If you like Table Games, then finding an online casino with live dealer tables will take your online gaming experience to the next level.
Live Casinos will put you face to face with professional presenters via high-definition streams. There, you chat with fellow players, the presenters themselves, and enjoy an all-around immersive experience on your favorite Table Games.
Customer Support Services
At the heart of the best online casinos on the market is reliable and easily accessible customer service. Having quickly accessible support channels is essential for smooth online gaming activities.
Often, the best way to evaluate an online casino is by their quality of customer support. Our recommendation, when entering a new casino, is to contact them immediately and analyze their response. If a casino’s support agents treat you well, then it is likely other factors of their portfolio are up to par and vice-versa.
What makes for good customer service? First, you want your online casino of choice to have live chat. It is a must in this day and age; getting a fast answer to your questions or a quick solution to your specific issue will go a long way to making you a satisfied and loyal customer.
Live chat response times are important, and most online casinos tend to reply within a few minutes. What’s more important, however, is the quality of their response. You want the agent on the other side to be able to understand your question, answer politely and in an informative manner.
Sign-Up Bonuses & Promotions
Bonuses are a factor you shouldn’t worry about, as online casinos will likely shower you with more bonuses you can ever claim. The cutthroat online competition makes sure every online casino presents you with a lucrative sign-up offer.
What’s more important, are the bonus ‘terms,’ as they will often tell you the fairness of an online casino. Before we get into bonus terms, though, let’s go through the most common bonus types.
Welcome Bonuses at Casinos
The champion of all promotions is the welcome bonus. It is often the highest-value bonus you can receive from any given online casino. Its aim is to entice you to join and provide a significant boost to your account balance on your first few deposits.
Welcome offers usually come in the form of a 100% up to 300% match on your deposit, up to a certain sum, such as $100, 200$, $300, up to $1,000 in some cases. For instance, if you’ve claimed a 100% bonus up to $100, you would have $200 to play with.
Free Spins Bonuses
As time goes by, more and more casinos are starting to offer Free Spins bonuses, either as part of their welcome offer or as an individual offer.
Free Spins Bonuses are simple, you will receive a certain amount of free spins, and the casino will inform you of their value and instruct you on which game/s you can use them on. In most cases, your Free Spins winnings will be converted into bonus cash that needs to be wagered before you can withdraw your leftover balance.
Pay Attention to the Bonus Terms
Every online casino bonus needs to be wagered a certain amount of times before you can withdraw leftover winnings. Otherwise, casinos would be simply handing out free money and soon go bankrupt.
What Are Wagering Requirements?
Wagering requirements determine how many times a bonus needs to be wagered before you can request a payout on your remaining cash balance. Most bonuses need to be wagered 30 to 40 times of your deposit and bonus amount.
Say, for instance, you’ve claimed a 100% up to $100 bonus with X30 wagering requirements of your deposit + bonus funds. This means that you will have to wager $6000 on select casino games. Wagering stands for placing bets regardless of their outcome.
Things You Need To Pay Special Attention To
We always recommend reading the full bonus terms of each bonus before you claim it, but here are the most important bonus terms to look out for:
1. Max Cashout
Some bonuses, although rarely, come with a pre-determined maximum cashout, let’s say – $1000. Meaning, no matter how much you’ve won, you won’t be able to withdraw more than that amount.
2. Maximum Bet
Online casinos will usually restrict you with a maximum bet value of $5 per stake. If you violate the maximum bet rule, you risk forfeiting your bonus funds and any winnings generated from said funds.
3. Eligible Wagering Games
Bonuses can’t be wagered on every casino game. Usually, online casinos will restrict you to playing Slots only. If Table Games are eligible for wagering, they will usually come with a smaller wagering contribution, such as 10%.
In this case, if a bonus needs to be wagered X30 times, the wagering rate would spike to X300 times of your bonus cash. This is because Table Games offer more chances to maintain a steady bankroll due to their low house edge, such as in Blackjack or Roulette.
4. Wagering Requirements
Anywhere between X30 and X35 turnover requirements of your bonus is considered an industry average, thus making it an acceptable wagering rate. X40 is also acceptable, but anything higher and you will start pushing your luck.
The time it would take to wager a bonus 50 times, for example, would make it realistically unachievable. There’s a good chance you will lose all your cash in the process.
5. No Deposit Bonuses
Every gamer’s favorite bonus, the no deposit bonus is straightforward. You get free money from the casino without investing a cent on your part, giving you an opportunity to get a feel of the casino with no strings attached.
No Deposit Bonuses come in the form of Free Spins or straight-up Bonus Cash. They are known for their higher wagering requirements – up to X100, and maximum cashout, usually set at $100.
A good portion of USA online casinos offer no deposit bonuses, so be on the lookout in our reviews and bonuses section to find the latest promotions and bonus deals.