The ever-growing flood of online gambling websites can be overwhelming to gamblers interested in starting to play online. There are many good websites around, but also many bad ones, and finding the right casinos also depends on what the player wants.
In this article we’ll elaborate on a few important things that make a good online casino, and especially as a new player you might want to make yourself familiar with reading the fine print of the casinos bonuses and payments, as they make all the difference when playing online.
Online casinos spoil their players with bonuses that come in all shapes and sizes. The first one you’ll probably notice is the welcome bonus that you can get on your first deposit. This bonus is an incentive from the casino to get players to deposit, and it is essentially free money from the casino that you can use to play the games longer. This money is attached to strict terms and conditions, and you cannot simply pay it out.
This is where it gets interesting. Some casinos tempt players with a huge amount of money, but you don’t want to blindly accept any offer you come across, especially if it sounds too good to be true. As with everything, it is important to read the fine print of the bonus and to take a close look at the attached terms.
The bonus terms can be very confusing, but it is important to take the time to read and understand them. These bonus terms will give you information about the minimum deposits, potentially excluded payment options, game weightings, excluded games, but also most importantly the wagering requirements.
The wagering requirements is the multiplying factor that indicates how many times you have to wager the bonus, or sometimes the bonus and the deposit. Many online casinos have wagering requirements of 40x the bonus, but there are some with much higher wagering, which is sometimes hidden in the way it’s written.
An example: you claim a 100% bonus up to $100 from the casino. The wagering shows 40x the bonus, which means that you need to wager $4000 in the games to turn over the bonus. If the wagering shows 40x bonus plus deposit, you need to wager $8000 in the games, which is a lot more difficult to achieve. A detailed bonus wagering guide and casinos with low bonus wagering requirements can be found at CasinoDaemon.com.
2. Payment policies and restrictions
One of the most important criteria for a good online casino is the payment policies. Of course, who wouldn’t want to be able to cash out their winnings from the casino if they manage to win? The payment policies and limitations are usually outlined in the terms and conditions of the casino, and if a casino doesn’t disclose them, you should avoid playing there.
The payment policies will give you an indication of how long it will take for the casino to process your payment, and if they require the verification of your identity before.
What is often overlooked in the payment policies are the withdrawal restrictions that some casinos impose. Some operators limit how much a player can withdraw from their cash balance in a predefined period of time, like a day, week or month. Some of these limits are more generous than others, so you need to decide if you are okay with the imposed limits before depositing money.
Also take a look at the minimum withdrawal amount, as some casinos have very high minimum amounts like $200 or $500, which doesn’t make them very attractive for casual players that may wish to withdraw smaller amounts. A good online casino accepts withdrawals from as little as $10.
While looking at the payments, also take a look at the accepted methods and fees that the casino may charge. A good online casino offers free deposits and withdrawals to their players.
3. The game selection
Are you more into blackjack, roulette or online slots? Hundreds of game developers are competing for the best casino games and many online casinos now offer a game selection of over 1000 or more casino games. If you have a favourite game in mind, take a look at the developers available at the casino, and play the games for free if you wish to try them.
There is no obligation to spending any money at the casino, you can try each game with play-money first. The only exception is the live casino, and you can watch the tables without having to play. Since these games cannot be played with play-money you can only watch or play with real money.
4. Casino licensing bodies
Over the last decade or so more and more countries have started regulating online gambling, and introduced regulatory bodies that scrutinise online gambling operators for their conduct. But the regulation is not consistent among countries, so it’s important to look at different regulators when you choose a casino to play at, of course only if it’s legal in your country to do so.
Casinos regulated and licensed from a European remote gambling operator are usually more scrutinised than a casino licensed in Curacao or Costa Rica, so it’s important that you do some research about the conduct of the operator before choosing to play there.
Some of the strictest regulators are the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority and the Swedish and Danish regulators, as they put an emphasis on fair games, measures for responsible gambling and regulated advertising.
5. The casino’s reputation
A casino can fulfil all criteria for a good casino on paper, but still be a rotten apple in the basket. Although the regulators will revoke licences from operators that go rogue and scam their players, it may sometimes take a while before this happens, as the operators conduct may not be scrutinised immediately.
It is advisable to play at licensed casinos with a good player reputation, especially regarding fair games and reliable payments. On the other hand, a new operator can be exciting, but you should always be vigilant to check the operator and their conduct, especially if you’re playing for real money.
Online gambling guides, recommend only trustworthy websites with a good reputation, so it’s recommended to compare different guides and their opinions about gaming operators.