Online casinos are a dime a dozen – so you can just choose any of them and start playing – right? Wrong! Just like all products, they can vary from impeccable quality to mediocre to downright fraudulent. We put a bit of research into it before you buy a new television – so why don’t we research online casinos a bit more thoroughly before we wager our hard-earned money? After all, a little bit of background info could mean the difference between winning and losing or between prompt payment of your winnings and battling to collect.
Players are often overwhelmed with the huge selection of online casinos available. Indeed, choosing the best online casinos can appear to be a daunting prospect. It’s worth putting some care and attention into though because choosing the wrong online casino can be a costly exercise. There is an assumption that because something is advertised online it must be legal. But the internet these days is still in something of a wild west era. Believe it or not, there are plenty of rogue unlicensed casinos looking to fleece unsuspecting players.
So, how do you choose a legitimate and legal online casino? Well here are a few tried and tested tips:
Reputable casino review sites
Find a reputable site that reviews online casinos (tick that box because you’re already here!) and then read up on possible choices. It won’t take long – glance over the casinos’ details provided before each review – ie: Licences, ownership, industry experience, reputation and support. While rogue casinos are abundant, they don’t last long. So, if an online casino has a long history, that’s a very good sign.
UltraGambler’s reviews are also honest and unbiased – we call it as we see it. Even in our “good reviews” we show warts and all – no negatives are hidden. Avoid review sites that have unlicensed casinos or that have totally glowing reviews about every casino. Chances are they are just looking for a referral fee from the online casinos.
A reputation in business is everything and no more so than in the betting industry. Well established online casinos will have gotten to that point thanks to lots of positive feedback from customers. Online gambling forums are another way to verify this feedback – but they are however to be taken with a pinch of salt. Remember, almost anyone can log into a forum and post a good or bad comment about a casino. This leaves the door open for manipulation in this area by unscrupulous casinos. Sure, read the posts, complaints, praise and opinions on forums, but don’t take it as gospel.
Also on the actual site of the best online casinos, you should be able to see all the necessary information to verify they are legitimate:
- Licence info
- Ownership details
- Terms and Conditions
If this information isn’t visible (normally towards the bottom of the page) then alarm bells should be ringing in your head and it’s time to leave the site.
All important RTP% (Return-to-Player)
What is RTP you may ask? RTP stands for Return to Player and is the percentage of turnover that goes back to players. So, the higher the RTP, the better your odds of winning are.
While most online casinos don’t list their RTP’s, their individual games ( particularly slots) all should when clicking on the info button in the game. Finding the highest RTP games at an online casino indicates that you’ve got the best winning chance you could have. Of course, this is futile if the software is not provided by reputable companies…
Software providers fairness
With well known, award-winning software companies as partners, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ve registered with a legitimate casino. Some of the key names to look for are NetEnt, MicroGaming, Playtech, Novomatic and Evolution. That’s not to say that the games provided by these companies are better than niche providers – it just means that a leading company has partnered with your casino of choice.
Overall fairness is also an issue and while you’d think as a consumer it may be tough to verify, it’s actually not. Lots of reputable, licensed online casinos use something called an RNG (Random Number Generator) to ensure that complete fairness for players. Of course, this only really means something if these algorithms and results are independently audited. Two of the leading auditors for this process are the National Laboratory of Forensic Science in Sweden and Technical Systems Testing based in Canada.
Proper customer care
Is the customer care department available 24/7, seven days a week and in the language of your choice? There should be at least two or three ways to contact an online casino’s customer support department. If not, then chances are you’re dealing with a shoe-string budget fly-by-night unlicensed online casino.
You could even try testing their support before you register by querying something via email, live chat or call-back. If the response is slow or unhelpful, then move onto another online casino choice.
Number of payment methods
It’s futile to register at an online casino only to find that your preferred payment methods aren’t supported. So, visit the payment or banking page on any online casino that you are considering registering at. Make sure that the payment and withdrawal options meet your requirements.
Are your favourite games offered at the best online casinos?
There would be little point to registering at an online casino that doesn’t have your favourite casino games. Not only do these games represent your preference, but most likely your best chance at winning because you know them so well. Sure, variety is the spice of life, but at least make sure that the type of game you prefer or specific titles you seek, are available at the online casino of your choice.
Of course, when you bore your favourite games, it’s also good to know that the online casino will have a wide variety of choices for you to move onto. There should be hundreds of online slots, plenty of table games, video poker, poker tables and bingo.
Is the online casino mobile friendly
In this modern-day and age you’ll probably find yourself spending much more time on your phone than on your computer. For that reason, it’s imperative that your online casino of choice is not only compatible via mobile on a browser, but also has both Android and iOS apps.
While the amount of Casino Bonuses is enticing, the most important thing is the wagering requirements players need to fulfill after taking part in a bonus. If these are particularly stringent, then you could find your winnings tied up for a long time. IN all our reviews, if the bonus requirements are unfavourable to customers, we point it out.
Look for a decent first deposit bonus to get your betting experience off to the best possible start – at least 100%
Safety and Security
You need to ensure that your information, profile and transactions remain confidentially secure. If an online casino doesn’t have SSL encryption or some other form of encryption, don’t even consider it as an option.
I suppose this entire article can be summarized with these words – choose quality. In the case of online casinos that quality doesn’t come with an extra price tag as it would when shopping for a retail item. It does come however with fairness, legitimacy, increased winning potential, enhanced security and a whole lot of peace of mind.