Over the past year or so, we’ve had to come up with imaginative new ways to keep ourselves occupied with so many traditional forms of entertainment either restricted or suspended. That’s been good news for web-based providers, and none more so than the online casinos that we see advertised online and on late night TV.
The growth of online casino gaming has led to a flurry of new arrivals on the scene, going up against the more established gambling brands. Choice is never a bad thing from a consumer perspective, and it gives you licence to be fussy. Before you sign up with that new casino brand, here are some important things to check.
The casino business in the UK is closely regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, and there are similar organizations in other countries, such as the Malta Gaming Authority and the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. The casino must demonstrate that it is appropriately licensed, and any reputable one will have the information displayed somewhere obvious, usually at the top or bottom of the homepage. If you have to search to find licensing information, that is a worrying sign in itself, and it might be safer to walk away.
A warm welcome
Most casinos will want to welcome you to their ranks with some sort of bonus. This might take the form of free spins, or perhaps some bonus money added to your account. There are so many different types of bonuses and areas of small print that you need to check such as wagering requirements, game restrictions and time limits that we can’t go into them all here. Australiancasinosites is an independent review site that provides a detailed analysis on all these points – visit their website to learn more.
Choice of games
Casino games come in many varieties. While there are games that you’ll find everywhere, different casinos focus on different areas. For example, some specialise in slot games, while others might focus on poker. Have a good look around before you sign up, and see if the games on offer are aligned with your interests, just like you would in a casino in the real world.
Fair enough, the main point of playing a casino game should be for fun, not in the expectation of earning from it. But the money side is not something to be entirely ignored. There are numerous different payment methods that the online casino providers use, ranging from bank transfers to online platforms like PayPal to digital methods such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. First, check what’s on offer and then look carefully at the details to ensure that your method of choice does not incur onerous charges or delays.
The game developers are the unsung heroes of casino gaming, as without them, we’d have no games to play at all. It’s always worth checking which companies the casino platform is partnered with. For a serious operation, you’d expect to see the big names like Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech. Many casinos support smaller independent studios, too, which is absolutely great. But if they work only with developers you’ve never heard of and none of the big providers, it suggests you are not looking at a serious operator.
The majority of casino visitors access the sites by smartphone these days. As a result, there is no excuse for a provider’s mobile casino offering to be in any way inferior to its desktop version. This is worth checking even if you use the casino via desktop, as if it has not optimized its mobile offering, there’s a good chance the platform will be behind the times in other ways, too.
If you are walking around a real casino, there’s always some friendly member of staff to help you with any problem. In a good online casino, that will still be the case, at least in a virtual sense. Check their customer service section to see how it works. They might not have telephone help, but there should be an instant chat facility at the minimum. Some platforms only offer email assistance, which is a sign that customer service is not a high priority, as it means that just getting an initial answer to a question can take 24 hours or more.
The vast majority of casino-goers are there for fun. However, we all know that there is a small but significant minority for whom gambling is a real problem that can devastate lives. Ethical casino operators acknowledge this head on and have support systems for those who need them. These might include self-exclusions programs, telephone helplines and other useful resources. Check that these are in place, as they say a lot about the ethos of the operator.