Signing up to an online casino is one of the first and most important choices facing any new casino player.
Luckily, there’s never been a better time to play online, as new markets are being regulated yearly, the industry is seeing -and continues- to project huge growth, investment into new games and tech is soaring, and a huge number of new casino establishments are opening their doors to players daily. This means there’s more than ever on offer to potential players, but it doesn’t make it any easier to spot the best online casinos from the busy crowd and avoid those that fall below the line.
We’ve asked players and experts, with years of experience in the online casino industry, to put their heads together to tackle one of the most important questions that crops up time and time again for players everywhere; what are the top things to consider before you sign-up to any casino site?
The answer to this question begins with you deciding what you want from an online casino and then taking the time to dig deep and do some practical research.
Step 1: Decide What Do You Want from a Casino
Before you set out to find the best online casinos, you need to know what you want from your online gaming experience as casinos vary site to site, each offering their own specialty, ethos or USP. Which is best for you depends on your own needs and requirements as a gambler so think about the games you like to play, bonuses you are after, and level of engagement you want with an online casino. Then start to do your research!
Step 2: Do Effective Research
There’s a long list of questions you need to address when checking out a new casino site, but they are all aimed at ensuring you enjoy using it, and have no major software issues or annoyances with the site. Keep the following in mind as you work your way around a new casino.
- Do you enjoy using the site, the way it is organised, does it make sense and provide ease of use?
- How you can list the games lobby, is it easy to find what you are looking for?
- Does the site run without a glitch or is it slow to load?
- Is it available on mobile, to download, is there an app- do you want there to be?
Make sure that the casino site works for you as you may find yourself using it for hours on end!
The Games: Can this Casino go the Distance
The games lobby is arguably the most important area of any casino site. They need to have enough of the type of games you like to play, and from the developers, you love the most. Take a tour of the games lobby and see what the casino stocks.
- Do they have a good range of slots, table games and a live casino?
- Do they go over and above your expectations, stocking Virtual Sports, Sportsbook, Bingo, Scratch cards?
- Is the games lobby enough to sate your playing desires and go the distance?
- Does it provide room to grow and explore different and new types of games?
- How often do they add new games to the collection?
- Is the lobby current, up to date, and on top of the latest playing trends?
The games should fill you with excitement, get you raring to play and provide the potential for months of online entertainment. If the games lobby is too small or doesn’t get your blood racing, turn to a larger online casino.
What are they Offering You in Exchange for Your Membership: Bonuses and Promotions
Online bonuses are one of the major reasons that players are migrating from more traditional modes of play to online gaming- you get more for your buck. With lower operating costs and more competition, nowadays, casinos must fight harder to stand out from the crowd, which means more glorious bonuses for customers. When considering a new online casino, check out the promotions page:
- How do they reward their customers for deposits?
- Do they offer regular promotions?
- What is their welcome deal (all casinos offer a welcome deal of some kind, make sure to shop around and get the best deal for you)?
- Do they offer any tournaments or social competitions?
Always check a casino bonus T&Cs to ensure you can actually use the offers as it is common for casino bonuses to apply wagering requirements and time limits to bonuses that tie players to the casino. The devil is in the detail, and the best online casinos offer bonuses with lower player requirements.
Check the Licensing and Security
Licensing is the stamp of legitimacy for any online casino and as you are gambling with real money, it is of the utmost importance to check that you play only with licensed casinos. If a casino is unlicensed it is because they are an illegal established and should not be in operation. Casino licensing usually comes with the assurance that you are playing at a safe, secure and fair online casino as the licensing body has audited the casino and submitted the software for third party testing.
Never play at a casino that does not clearly display the logo of a licensing body on the home page (you’ll usually find this at the very bottom). Different licensing jurisdictions offer differing levels of regulation, but if you stick with top-tier institutions like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) then you are guaranteed the highest levels of protection when gambling online.
To find out any sites security protocol you need to check the site terms and conditions, look for the following:
- Does the casino have the latest protocols, tech and your back?
- Do they use SSL encryption?
- How is your data stored or/and shared by the casino?
- If you have a problem how easy is it to contact the support team?
Staying safe when you play online with real money is of the utmost importance- don’t forget to do your security checks!
Complaints and Online Reputation
There’s such a wealth of expert, player and licensing information online nowadays that checking reviews, complaints, and the player feedback for any casino that you plan to sign-up for is becoming an essential step in picking an online casino to sign-up to. Such information can very quickly let you know if the casino you are considering signing up to is worth your time, money and loyalty or whether it’s best to look elsewhere.
Find out what other players have to say after directly dealing with the casino and check with the licensing jurisdiction for any open cases against the casino, in the case of any casino licensed by the UKGC this means simply clicking on the logo on the casino homepage and it will directly take you to any complaints or cases lodged against the casino and the outcomes. The level of transparency afforded to players in the internet age can definitely help you decide your next online casino and help you dodge the rogue site.
After undertaking these essential checks, you’ll be ready to sign-up to any online casino. Just take one last minute and head to the payments page to ensure the casino supports your preferred payment method and you’re good to go!
Get Ready to Join: Registration
The sign-up process requires little on your part once you’ve chosen where to play, and takes just a few minutes of your time. When you are ready, load the casino registration page, have you I.D ready, a working email address (which you will need to verify as you set up the account), and if you’re planning to take advantage of the welcome offer on the table get ready to make your first casino deposit!