Are you a hobbyist gambler who misses the adrenaline rush of going to the casino in a pandemic-stricken world? Or do you just want to try your hands at gambling for the first time? In either case, chances are you’ve already considered signing up for an online casino.
The online gambling industry has experienced a massive growth surge in recent years. Rapid internet penetration and the affordability of smartphones have encouraged amateurs and pro gamblers to try their hands at online slots and casino games. It isn’t surprising that the online gambling market is set to be worth $97.69 billion by 2025.
But the unprecedented rise of online gambling has also resulted in the mushrooming of casino websites wooing players with an irresistible assortment of welcome bonuses, loyalty programs, and games.
Nevertheless, considering the inherent risks associated with online casinos, it’s important to find one that’s reputable and trustworthy. The last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned money on slots and casino games, only to realize that the operator is a fraud who won’t let you withdraw your finds.
The best way of avoiding such scenarios is to perform extensive research and evaluate different casino operators before signing up. In this blog, we’ve outlined the most crucial features you should watch out for before joining an online casino. Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
Every credible online casino operator must obtain a license from regulatory authorities, such as eCORGA, Maltese Gaming Authority (MGA), United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC), etc.
Knowing that an online casino is registered under a respected licensing authority ensures that you’re dealing with a legitimate operator. Also, it indicates that the casino will implement security measures to protect your money and data.
Depending on the licensing authority, you can even determine whether an online casino operates in your country. It’s a stamp of approval that assures you won’t be duped.
The quickest way of checking the licensing information of an online casino is to visit its website and scroll to the bottom of the home page. Any reputable casino will feature the logos of licensing authorities in the website footer. Also, check the casino’s “About Us” page for more details on its license and registration.
2. Reviews and Ratings
One of the biggest mistakes that new gamblers make is to join an online casino without checking its customer reviews. Of course, every casino operator will claim to offer the best bonuses, games, and customer service. But you won’t know whether an online casino is worth its salt unless you check out its ratings and reviews.
Start by checking whether the casino website features any reviews and testimonials from real-life players. You could even visit third-party review aggregator websites for more information on the casino’s services and policies.
Alternatively, check out an online casino database, such as SlotCatalog, to identify the most reliable casinos. SlotCatalog uses cutting-edge technology to help players find popular slots and casino games in their region. You can even read more about the casino operators and search for slots based on various criteria.
Extend your research beyond a casino operator’s website before you decide to sign up. Watch out for major red flags, such as too many negative reviews or the absence of user reviews altogether.
3. Mobile-Friendly Gaming Experience
Considering today’s lifestyle, you’d want round-the-clock access to an online casino from any device of your choice. You wouldn’t want to remain hooked to your computer every time you want to try your hand at a game of blackjack or baccarat.
Instead, you want the flexibility to play, contact customer support, and withdraw funds from your smartphone or tablet. In other words, what you need is a fast and seamless mobile gambling experience.
Visit the website from your smartphone and tablet to check its speed, responsiveness, and navigation. Also, find out whether the casino offers a mobile app, as well as exclusive games and bonuses for mobile device users.
4. Games and Software Providers
Apart from license and registration, a crucial factor that indicates the legitimacy of an online casino is the software providers it collaborates with. The best casino operators provide you with a wide assortment of games from established developers, such as NetEnt, NextGen Gaming, and Microgaming.
Check the website footer of an online casino to find out whether they’ve partnered with reputable game developers. Also, analyze the selection of games to find out whether they offer any games based on popular movies and TV shows.
5. Payment Methods and Terms
Never make the mistake of joining an online casino without first checking the supported payment methods, as well as payout terms. Any standard casino operator will provide you with a wide array of payment options, including PayPal, Stripe, and credit cards.
The best casino websites will take it a step further by supporting cryptocurrency payments. The transparent and secure nature of cryptocurrency payments offers numerous benefits for players. Also, the underlying blockchain technology ensures faster payment processing and payout.
Whenever you’re evaluating an online casino, don’t forget to check whether it supports popular cryptocurrencies.
While you’re at it, make sure you check the operator’s terms and conditions. Watch out for unfair wagering requirements before you can claim your funds. Also, find out how long it’ll take to deposit your money using the payment method of your choice.
Most licensing authorities require online casino operators to use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption to protect a player’s personal information and payment details. Check a casino website’s “About Us” section and home page to find out whether it has implemented the required security measures.
It’s particularly important considering the growing number of cyberattacks and data breaches affecting online casino websites.
Also, check the website URL to find out whether it has a padlock sign or “https://”. It ensures that the operator has implemented SSL encryption to protect your data.
7. Customer Support
Even the best gaming platform and wide selection of slots would be futile unless you can figure your way around an online casino. Whether you’re a new player or seasoned casino-goer, you might face issues while signing up, logging in, claiming free spins, or withdrawing funds. That’s why it is necessary to find an online casino that offers excellent customer support.
Explore the “Contact Us” page on the casino website to find out what type of customer support channels it offers. Also, check whether it provides support in multiple languages. The best online casinos let you reach out to them via email, phone, and live chat. Also, their websites feature resourceful FAQs pages to address common user queries.
Make an Informed Decision Before You Start Online Gambling
There’s no dearth of online casino operators wooing new players with free spins, no deposit bonuses, cashback, and loyalty programs. It’s up to you to analyze the features of a casino website and decide whether it’s worth your time and money.
Watch out for the license, user reviews, gaming providers, and payment methods. Also, test the customer support channels before you decide to join an online casino.