How To Evaluate Online Casinos – An Expert Guide
The rate at which new online casinos pop up is overwhelming to say the least. These casinos offer several promotions, various banking methods, no deposit bonuses such as free spins, and loyalty programs that are all packaged in fine print in the form of terms and conditions. Adding to the confusion is the fact that casinos have a list of restricted countries to which they don’t provide service.
We are here to help you figure what facts are important to examine when deciding which online casino to play at.
Our experts at No Deposit Kings suggest that you understand the basics first before moving on to other aspects of evaluating an online casino:
- Does the casino permit players from your country to play? It goes without saying that you should also check your country’s laws to determine whether it is legal for you to gamble at online casinos. Thankfully, you don’t have to do immerse yourself in the law books, because we provide this information upfront. Whether your country is permitted by a specific casino is one of the first things you will be notified of.
- If you do make the mistake of registering and playing, the casino is likely to block your winnings and account. Many have stringent measures to check if a player is attempting to log in from a jurisdiction where online gambling is banned and where your government may have imposed legal restriction.
It is not uncommon for many casinos with a dubious reputation to entice players to sign up and then set out many complex terms and conditions. This could enable them to withhold wins on any hollow grounds.
Rogue casinos may try any of the following to deprive you of wins:
- Rig the game
- Offer unlicensed games with lower payouts
- Steep play-through and wagering conditions linked to bonuses and freebies. If you wish to withdraw $100 you may have to wager more than that.
- Cap on withdrawals per day/week/month
- Invoking a breach of their terms that could deprive you of the right to claim winnings.
- Delays in processing, refusing to respond.
REGULATORS AND LICENSING
It is mandatory for every online casino to be registered in some country and possess a license and be regulated by a reputed gambling commission. Great pointers about a casino’s reliability can be obtained simply by checking the country where they are registered and the licensing authority that issues the license.
- Rogue casinos may be licensed in lesser known jurisdictions such as Antigua, Costa Rica, Seychelles. In fact, sometimes they might not be licensed at all.
- Reputable casinos are usually registered in jurisdictions such as Malta, United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Curacao and Gibraltar, to name a few. Such regulators may intervene if you complain that a casino is not paying you your wins.
Other than international regulation, it is also prudent to check if the casino has country specific licensing such as UK Gambling Commission licensing for UK. Players based in the UK can turn to this regulator if they have any complaint against the casino.
When it comes to online casinos, how do you know that the games aren’t rigged? Being that you don’t see the algorithms behind the slots, how can you trust that the outcome of your spins isn’t already decided? Fortunately, licensed casinos are required to be audited by an independent, third party auditor.
Some of the reputed labs include eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA), iTech Labs, Technical Systems Testing (TST), Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), Gaming Associates (GA), NMi, BMM Testlabs, and SQS.
In addition, players should realize that legitimate casinos will use random number generators (RNGs) to determine the outcome of every bet you make. Random number generators are essentially algorithms that produce randomized outcomes every time they are called upon. It is these algorithms that are subject to scrutiny when the casino is audited.
Therefore, it is of important that players cross check the licensing information published by a casino and not just take it for face value. Furthermore, going the extra measure to check and confirm that a casino is audited frequently will help you stay away from frivolous online casino’s and let you enjoy fair gaming without a worry in the world.
Another red flag to look out for is the casino’s overall payback percentage or return to player percentage (RTP). If a casino you contemplate playing at does not publicly publish their RTP, it does not necessarily mean that they are a frivolous casino, but they very well may be. In general, the rule of thumb would be to stick to online casinos that are transparent when it comes to their publishing their RTPs. However, if you are inclined towards a casino that makes no mention of their payback percentage, we recommend that you read multiple online reviews from trusted sources to ensure that the casino is clean.
DOES THE CASINO OFFER GAMES YOU LIKE TO PLAY?
Player preferences vary a lot. Some players like slots while others may fancy table and card games or video poker. Live dealer games also have a great following while many players often like a change of pace and turn to scratch cards, keno and bingo.
You may want to play only a few games since you like them and may have become an expert. You may have the potential to improve the chances of winnings if you focus on these games. Therefore, it is a good idea to check if the casino offers games you like to play.
Another important aspect is the game providers and types of games. You can have three reel slots and five reel slots but from different game providers and the RTP may be different as well as the pay table. So, make sure to pick an online casino that offers games from game providers you are used to.
Many people love slots and most casinos feature large number of games in their slots section. Slots can lead to jackpots and jackpots can be of different kinds like a progressive in which pot increases as new players join the game. We recommend that you read our reviews to identify which casinos offer the best slots to suit your style.
If you prefer live card games with live dealers and croupiers then it is natural to look for a casino with a reasonable number of blackjack, roulette and Hold’em tables. Importantly, check the live feed service and from where it originates. All that information is available right here on this site.
Most casinos offer language support in English besides others so you should not face a problem if you are English speaking. However, if you are from a European nation more comfortable with, for example, French, German or Swedish, you may want to consider a casino that offers support in your preferred language. This allows you to read about games and, importantly, the terms in a language you know well.
To begin with, it is important to have a clear picture of the casino before you commit. Often, the site may not have that information clearly defined on the site.
The terms may not be clear and you may want clarifications on a number of issues. This can include:
- banking methods
- currency conversion fees
- withdrawal limits
- bonus terms such as wagering requirement, disallowed games
- how much a game contributes towards meeting the wagering requirement
- can the bonus be cancelled if you change your mind
- complaint resolution process, etc
This is when you ought to contact the customer support team immediately via email, phone or live chat.
Two, if you win but have problems withdrawing, customer support is important to resolve issues.
- Live chat is one of the best ways to get an instant perception about the quality of customer support.
- Phones are good but what if no one picks up the phone? Nonetheless make sure to dial their number to know how fast they respond and quality of response.
- Also send an email to understand the seriousness and promptness with which they respond to email queries.
Just make sure to tick the above boxes before you register and put down money.
Online casinos face tough competition and that’s a good thing for players who can take advantage of bonuses and special offers. From welcome bonuses to free spins and reload bonuses, you will find an array of offers. The objective is obviously to lure new players and keep existing ones engaged.
Bonuses such as welcome or sign up bonuses are good for new players who are more interested just in playing rather than serious gambling. However, bonuses also help regular gamblers to try out games and the casino before they settle on a game. They can play more too.
Bonuses are said to be free but have lots of strings attached:
- May be restricted to some games
- Wagering requirements of 30x or more if you want to withdraw.
- Cap on wins and withdrawals from bonus wagers.
- A reputed casino will have its bonus terms and conditions clearly laid out. It is important to read these terms before you claim a bonus. This is because rogue casinos may have a complex set of terms that virtually nullify any chances of winning. This could be in the form of very high wagering requirements such as 100x.
Some casinos automatically grant a free bonus on registration and bonus on deposits but with plenty of terms. Use them if withdrawing wins is not the important thing.
Some casinos may offer bonus codes. If you use them you get the bonus credited. If you do not then you get no bonus and you can use your deposit money to play. If you win the bonus restrictions do not apply.
The website is what you will be interacting with. Consider ease of use as important, although not the most important one:
- For instance, the site ought to have interesting visuals but not so as to make it a slow loading site.
- Check how well the games are organized in various sections.
- Do they have a button that helps you to register and then to deposit money in your account and withdraw it.
- Are the games available in instant play or do you have to download them?
- Does the casino work well on desktops and mobile devices?
- Does it have links to vital information such as terms, banking and about us?
- Does the site have an FAQ and support page?
- How many hours in a day is the support staff available?
SUPPORT FOR MOBILE GAMING
Love to gamble on the go? It goes without saying that the casino you choose should offer the same gaming experience and games on a mobile device as it does on desktops. Apart from gaming, the casino should support various functions such a registration, deposits and withdrawals, from a mobile device. Most casinos feature apps or mobile platforms that support an array of iOS and Android devices. There are many that also support Blackberry and Windows Phone as well. Just make sure that the casino you choose supports the device you want to play on.
DEPOSIT AND WITHDRAWALS
This is one of the major concerns that players have whether they are novices, high rollers and anything in between.
The important factors to consider are:
- How many different channels does the casino offer to deposit funds?
- How quick is the money credited to your gaming account?
- How fast do they process withdrawals and through which channels can you make withdrawals?
- Types of currencies accepted (Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are also an option at many casinos)
- Deposits: At the very least the casino you pick should offer net banking, card payments and online wallets. Some casinos may accept multiple currencies but will convert to GBP or USD in which case you pay for the exchange rate. Several payment options may be offered but not all may be available in your country. The site must be secured with minimum 128 bit SSL and must have the necessary security certification.
- Withdrawals: In a majority of cases withdrawals are usually through the same route through which you made payment. However, some casinos may permit wire transfers if a specific deposit method isn’t available for withdrawals. For example, credit cards of MasterCard are often not available as a withdrawal option. You will need to choose another method.
- Note that some casinos charge a fee to process withdrawal, over and above the payment processor fee.
- How fast they process withdrawals is another point. Some may process payments within 24 hours. Others take 48 hours to do so and some may have defined days of the week. This is over the usual time it takes for payment processors to credit the amount to your account.
- Also note that most casinos will verify your identity before processing payments for the first time. Check the supporting documents to be submitted before you start playing. This is usually a copy of your identity card, and residence proof such as a utility or telephone bill.
A reputed casino will have a self-exclusion policy that permits players to exclude themselves for specific periods if they find their gambling habit is out of control.
Playing online can be a truly pleasurable experience. It’s all about picking the right casino. We urge you to make a note of the above criteria. Read our reviews. We cover all this and much more so take advantage of them and get off to a great start. They can be extremely useful. Most of all, we look forward to becoming your best online casino and gambling resource.
Published on: 2019/03/25