In this current age of technology there are many hundreds of casinos to be found online. This can make choosing a place to play rather complicated, especially for newcomers. All the casinos advertise themselves strongly and the barrage of adverts, information and bonuses can be rather overwhelming. The following article outlines a few of the things that new players should look for in an online casino, and can help make their decision a little bit easier. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it is very important that players can distinguish between good and bad casinos. It is still a relatively new and unregulated industry, and as such there are still scam sites around that can take money from unsuspecting players.
Types of Online Casino
There are a few different online casino types available, and the first step in choosing one is to determine which style suits the player’s needs. There are Instant Play, download and mobile casinos. Some casinos offer a mix of these or will stick to just one option. Instant play casinos are probably the most favoured option as they allow players to sign up and begin playing games instantly. There is no software to download. This type of casino does tend to be mobile compatible as well. Download casinos require the player to download specific software to their desktop before play can begin. It means that they are not so accessible for mobile devices. The last option allows players to access games on the move. Some casinos operate this by simply allowing their site to be accessed and functional on a mobile browser. Others have gone one step further to create specific casino apps that can be downloaded to the phone, with all the games accessible from there.
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Online Casino reputation
The most important part of choosing a casino is to know its reputation. Many other players will have used this site before and they well know better than anyone whether it is trustworthy or not. There are many sites that will offer casino rankings based on player reviews, so it is worth checking some of these out before jumping in to a new casino. Apart from the obvious question, has the player heard of the casino before, there are a number of other criteria that make up a good casino and therefore give it a positive reputation. This includes the game selection, payment methods, customer support, player security, licensing and gaming fairness. All of these contribute greatly to an overall casino experience and each will be outlined in detail further along. However, it is worth making a short list of casinos that have a good reputation and then whittling the list down further based on the categories below.
Casino Game Choice and Software
When a number of casinos have been shortlisted, the next step is to see what the game choice is like. Many casinos will offer similar games, but not always. For example, not all casinos will run a live casino, some will have less choice in the video poker department and others may concentrate solely on slot games. The player needs to decide what types of games they wish to play and make sure that the casino offers them. Some casinos also let players play demo versions of games for free prior to signing up. This can be very helpful for players in order to see whether they like the feel of a game or the tone of a site. This can help players to know exactly what each site contains.
The software used by each casino will also be a determining factor in what games are offered. Different software providers offer different games, so there is no point playing at a NetEnt casino when the games the player wants to play are from Microgaming. Many casinos will use a number of different providers, which will broaden their range of games on offer. A simple way to check if a specific game is available is by using the casino’s game search option and checking before committing. Good and reputable software providers will also act as a clear indicator of the reputability of the casino as a whole, as well. Top providers operate under strict rules and make sure that all their games are fair, which can add to a casino’s overall reputation.
Casino Bonuses on Offer
In this day and age all online casinos offer bonuses to entice new players. These can range from a match deposit bonus to free spins to a no deposit bonus. These are all offered usually in the form of a welcome package that requires either just a signup on the part of the player, or in the case of the match deposit bonus, a first deposit amount into their account. Players should also check out what casino bonus offers are available for long-term players. Good casinos will reward their loyal customers as well, in their desire to keep loyal players connected. These usually come in the form of VIP or loyalty programs that will offer players extra cash prizes, free spins or tournament tickets, depending on the casino.
Player Security at Online Casinos
Player security is of the utmost importance, both to the player and the casino. Bad security and a poor performance can lead to customers leaving, and also resulting in negative feedback about their experience, which can be detrimental to the casino’s overall image. Player security comes in many forms, but a reputable casino will clearly state on their website either in an FAQ or via certificates on their page, the methods that they use to protect clients' sensitive data. Usually casinos do this by implementing an SSL encryption of some kind on their server, and protecting any private bank details via a firewall, thus denying third party access to this sensitive information.
Another aspect in keeping everything secure for players is to be found in the gaming fairness laws. Online casino games are run by random number generators that are programmed to produce random results. However, by law, casinos are required to undergo third party audits in order to make sure that this is the case, and that the games haven’t been rigged in the casino’s favour. Usually this is done by a third party company such as iTech Labs. Reputable casinos will have this information clearly on their sites along with a clear link to the certificate to the latest audit showing that their games have passed the tests. This is also where the software used goes a long way in helping to prove the reputation of a casino.
Casino Withdrawal and Deposit transactions
Secure money transactions are of the utmost importance. Reputable casinos will use well known providers such as Visa or PayPal that have a history of correct and quick transactions. The big scare for many an online player is that they will place money in a casino and never see it again.
Online Casino Licensing
All casinos are required to be licensed. There are multiple jurisdictions around the world with various government authorities that monitor the online casinos within their jurisdiction. They maintain a standard that casinos need to adhere to or risk getting shut down. A license or link to one should be placed clearly and accessibly on the main page of the casino site, to prove that it is operating according to regulations.
Last but not least is the customer support. Good casinos will have a rapid response system in place to deal with all queries, however small. A prompt response and a fixed problem go a long way to alleviate any stress over a problematic situation. A resolved problem is forgotten about and the player is more likely to continue to play at a specific casino, once they have been helped. The casino has earned the player’s trust.