How to Choose an Online Casino: The Best Guide You’ll Read This Year
Here at online-casinos.co.uk, people often get in touch to ask us for tips on how to choose an online casino.
For this article, we’ve put our collective heads together, and we’ve consulted people we know are passionate about online gambling, to bring you the best advice for choosing an online casino.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to have fun, stay safe, and minimise frustrations.
Is the Casino Legal?
Before you do anything else, you need to make sure that the casino has all the relevant gaming and gambling licences for your jurisdiction. For example, if you’re in the UK, you need to make sure that it’s legal for you to play with the casino in the UK.
I’m not trying to nanny you with this, the consequence of playing with an illegal site, or a site that’s legal in one country, but not necessarily yours, is that you’re much more likely to lose money.
Many casinos will be more than happy to allow you to deposit money into your account, but will not give it back if you fall outside their legal boundary.
Furthermore, some online casinos operating in places like the Dark Net are illegal no matter where you are. You might find it thrilling to play there, but there are big dangers. You could be opening yourself up to identity theft, could get into huge debts with unsavoury characters and could lose any money you deposit.
1. If you’re UK-based, visit the government’s Public Register to verify the casino has the relevant gambling licence.
2. If you’ve recently moved house, make sure your credit card/bank account details match up because the casino may not pay out if there is a mismatch. This is especially important if you’ve moved countries.
Read the FAQ
Before you choose to play with an online casino, read their FAQ so that you can understand their rules and regulations.
You need to pay special attention to their withdrawal processes. Me, I like to stick with the casinos that have the least complicated rules.
One area that can trip you up are the welcome bonuses. Some casinos have ridiculous wagering requirements, where you have to play through 100x (or more) the bonus before the casino lets you withdraw any money.
E.g., you get a £10 bonus with a wagering requirement of 10x the bonus. That means that you have to play £100 before you can withdraw money that you win through the bonus.
It’s annoying to win £2000 only to have to gamble it all away again. I prefer the casinos that have smaller bonuses and initial wins but that let you withdraw sooner.
1. Always check the wagering requirements.
2. Some casinos don’t have wagering requirements, so if you hate the concept too, you can choose one of those casinos.
Does the Casino Give You What You Want?
A casino that’s legal, trustworthy, reliable and responsive is great, but if you can’t have fun there, what’s the point?
When you’re choosing an online casino, make sure it has the games you want to play. Some of us love the poker tables and tournaments; others prefer the quick hit of the slot machines. Whatever your flavour, you’ll be able to find some excellent online casinos.
1. It’s not all about the games, check out the promotions too. Promotions can bring an extra edge of excitement to your gambling.
How Do Others Rate the Casinos?
One of the best ways to find a good casino is to ask other people for recommendations. You can check out the online review sites, but by far the best recommendations come from word of mouth, from people you know and trust in real life.
1. See which casinos people are talking about on the online forums, such as Reddit.
2. Visit the casino’s social media pages, e.g. Facebook, and see what people are saying on the page. Be aware that many businesses, including casinos, have social media teams that operate online to create favourable impressions of their business. So don’t believe everything you read online. If the reviews are always 5-star and they appear to remove reviews (Trust Pilot will let businesses remove reviews), then it’s usually a sign they aren’t as trustworthy as they seem.
Never Forget: “The House Always Wins”
Be careful when gambling online. Some of you will find it easy to become lost in the losses and will go chasing them trying to minimise the loss but losing more and more money in the process.
People think that it’s the rush of a win that creates problem gambling, but, in reality, it’s the chasing of the losses that creates the problem. It’s the “Sunk-Cost Fallacy” – read up on it before you start gambling.
Remember: “It could be you…but it probably won’t be”
1. Set gambling limits and use casinos that force you to stick to these limits, both financial limits and time limits. Some casinos have “reality check” initiatives, where they’ll remind you how long you’ve been playing and advise you to consider stopping. Don’t be like our one mate who played for 4-days straight, only taking time for the occasional nap!
2. See gambling as a fun experience, not something to make money from.
Does the Casino Look After Vulnerable Players?
People often say that you should judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable members, and the same is true of casinos.
A good casino will have a range of resources that help people gamble responsibly. I already mentioned above that some casinos have “reality checks”. These are excellent, but there are other resources too, including:
Self-exclusion – does the casino allow you to exclude yourself from their site? Are you able to delete your account permanently (good) or just suspend your account (bad)?
Marketing Opt-out – there are examples of casinos sending problem gamblers adverts designed to lure them back.
Limit settings – we already touched on these above, but decent casinos will allow you to set time and money limits.
Links to gambling resources – all UK-based casinos should offer players information about where to find help if they experience addiction.
Does the Casino Look After Players in General?
When you choose an online casino, it’s not only about how they look after vulnerable players, but it’s also about how they look after all players.
What is their customer services like? You should test them before you join up. For example, send them an email asking about things like withdrawal limits and see how long they take to answer and how well they answer – do they tell the truth?
A good place to see their customer services in action is on their social media accounts. How well do they engage with their customers? Are they polite, fun, reasonable? Do they deal with queries well?
You can get a good feel for a casino by seeing how they act online.
1. A good casino will be open about things like their withdrawal limits and bonuses rules. Make sure that this information is easy to find before you choose to play with an online casino.
2. Is the casino proud to tell their customers that they have their games audited independently? And, are they happy to publish the results? Knowing that the games are fair is extremely important.
3. Finally, do they mention payout speeds? The faster they pay you your winnings, the more enjoyable you’ll find the experience.
By following the advice in this article, you’ll be able to choose an online casino that’s safe, trustworthy, legal, and most of all, FUN!