Playing an online casino game is fun and exhilarating. It is a great way to spend some time, and even more exciting when you get to play (and win) real money.
Land-based casinos are an excellent night out, perfect for a special occasion or when you are travelling somewhere new and exotic, but it is not always easy to get to a brick-and-mortar casino every time you fancy a spin on the slots or a hand of poker – and that is why online casino games have become ever more popular.
Available on PCs, laptops, tablets and even smartphones, the online casino is available for you to play at your own convenience, whether that is late in the evening or while you are waiting for the bus.
However, when it comes to choosing the right place to play your favorite casino game online, there is such a thing as too much choice – where exactly should you sign up to get the best experience?
What to Look for in an Online Casino
When faced with a dizzying array of possibilities, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which online casino will suit you best, and the criteria that you will use to pick your favorite is somewhat subjective – what matters most to you in terms of enjoyment might be different from the next person.
Much like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online casinos should be licensed and regulated in the country that they are based in, and for extra security they should also be regulated and licensed in the country that you are accessing them from.
For an online casino company to obtain a license to provide online gaming services, they need to meet certain standards when it comes to personal and financial security measures, as well as the fairness of their games.
The regulatory authority holds the online casino company to the highest standards, ensuring compliance in all things from customer service levels to whether their slot machines are using truly random number generators.
A regulated and licensed online casino will be legally stable, offer responsible gaming options, and ensure that they are meeting (or exceeding) the necessary security standards.
You can tell if an online casino is regulated and licensed because they will have their license details displayed on the website, usually in the footer.
As part of the regulation standards, the website needs to offer good encryption, so that when you are sharing information with them, your details are safe.
When you log into a website, it should at the very least ask you to create a strong password, but for extra safety you might want to look for an online casino that uses 2FA (Two-Factor Authority), which is another layer of security.
When you access the website, you should also check for the ‘padlock’ symbol in the address bar that shows the site uses encryption, and the web address itself should start HTTPS.
You will be expected to share personal and identifiable details about yourself when you make an account with an online casino.
3. Deposits and Withdrawals
Alongside the encryption levels that keep your details safe, you also want to ensure that it is easy for you to deposit money into your account to make a stake and get your winnings out too.
Check what payment methods the online casino allows you to use. Almost all of them will allow credit and debit card deposits, while others will accept deposits from e-wallets like PayPal or bank transfers. Some have even started to accept cryptocurrency, but this could be more of a security risk.
When it comes to withdrawals, check the small print and the reviews of others. When you first start making withdrawals, the process might take a bit longer as your identity has to be verified thanks to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws, but after that it should be a quick and simple process.
4. Range of Games
Having the choice of your favorite games is a real draw for an online casino – you won’t want to play if you cannot get to your preferred slot machine.
Most large online casinos will offer hundreds if not thousands of games, including different types of slots, blackjack and roulette, video poker and bingo, and anything else that you can think of. They will also have the games produced by the big names, so you know what you are getting into before you start playing.
5. Easy to Use Website
Design is one of the most personal items on this list; what is attractive to one user will be completely off-putting to another. However, you want to make sure that the site runs smoothly, it is simple to navigate, and you know where all the important areas are (such as how to contact customer service and where to find your favorite games).
Look out for online casinos that offer a seamless user experience on their website and through a mobile app – when it comes to playing on your smartphone, you don’t want to feel like you are missing the smooth gameplay.
In most cases, it will be the ‘new player bonus’ that will initially get you interested in choosing an online casino. Whether it is free spins or a deposit match, bonuses are designed to get you interested in the first place.
You will want to choose an online casino that looks after regular and loyal players as much as they entice a new player – most will have VIP or loyalty offers that can be as lucrative as the new player bonus.
The way you choose an online casino should always start with whether it is safe and legal before you consider how it looks and what games you can play.