How Can You Recognise a Reliable Online Casino?
If you are new to the world of online gambling, it can be tricky to find a trustworthy, reliable online casino to place your bets. Simply put, there are so many online casinos to choose from, and so many casino news and review websites to read that it can be an overwhelming scene for newcomers.
This is purely due to the fact that the casino industry has grown so rapidly since the mid-1990s. Already in the 1990s the amount of online casinos grew rapidly, going up from a total of 15 in 1996 to a total of more than 200 in 1997. We don’t have to tell you that the amount of online casinos has even exploded further in the current time we live in.
The world of online casinos has changed dramatically over the last decades. There have been many innovations in both gaming and payment systems, which all contributed to immense changes in the industry. Nowadays there are so many more possibilities besides credit card payments as e-wallets and cryptocurrencies are both on the rise. There are even pay-and-play casinos where you don’t even have to deposit money but just pay per bet.
The same innovations can be found in the world of online gaming. Besides the usual crop of table games and slot machines, there are now virtual reality games and of course the live casino, where you are connected with a live feed to a real-time casino table. The world of online casinos is changing each year for the better.
Keeping up with the trends
Because of all these innovations not every online casino manages to keep up with the trends. Some still offer old-fashioned games, slow speeds, just a handful of cumbersome payment options and mediocre customer service. Such a casino might have been the standard in the 1990s and early 2000s, but nowadays the standards are so much higher!
Unfortunately many newcomers are still lured to outdated casinos or even to downright dodgy, unreliable and untrustworthy online gambling dens. In this article, we hope to give you four top tips which should help you how to recognise reliable, trustworthy and most of all legit casinos and how you can avoid the bad apples on the scene.
Tip 1: Check whether the casino is fully licensed or not
The first step which you should always perform is to check whether or not an online casino is licensed by a gambling authority of a certain country. The reason that the license is so important is that these authorities supervise the online casino, the fairness of the games, the payouts and the casino finances. This gives you security and certainty that your winnings will indeed be paid out and that the games which are available are all honest and fair.
It does matter a lot which country is the issuer of a certain licence, and this is certainly something you should carefully look out for. Some gambling authorities are quite strict government entities, while others might just be a ragtag bunch of corrupt officials who don’t really take the job seriously.
To start with, all European licenses (of EU countries) are great. Any casino with such a licence can be considered as trustworthy. Two of the better gambling authorities are Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The latter has already licensed more than 1,000 online casinos around the world. It won’t be difficult to find a website with either of these two licenses. There are enough casinos licensed to guarantee you a reliable gaming environment.
It is also likely you will find online casinos which are licenced on one of the Channel Islands (most likely Alderney), Gibraltar or the Isle of Man. Although some of these places are tax-havens (the reason why some companies are located here!) they do have the same strict regulatory oversight and can also be considered as trustworthy. All the aforementioned authorities also have special complaint procedures where you can file a complaint in case you might run into an argument with an online casino.
On the other hand, you have gambling authorities which do not have a similarly good reputation. Online casinos which are for example licenced in Costa Rica or Antigua have a particularly bad reputation. While not every online casino supervised by one of these gambling authorities is necessarily dangerous, keep in mind that they are not as reliable as MGA and UKGC.
Tip 2: Check what the reputation is of the online casino
It is very easy to check what the internet thinks of a particular online casino because all you have to do is enter the name and a word like “reputation” or “reliable” together with the casino name in Google. It is not so much about individual stories which you might read, as you can probably find a horror story for every online casino there is. Besides, some complaints can be fake or exaggerated.
What matters is what the general opinion is of online casinos. What does the majority of reviewers think about a certain casino? What are the opinions about a casino on reputable casino review websites? These are the things that matter! Disregard freak individual stories and look for the bigger picture.
You also want to read reviews carefully about the things that matter. If it’s about reliability, a review from a person ranting about how much he dislikes some games at a certain online casino is rather useless. What you want to read is the information about bonuses, payments, pay-outs and customer service and complaint procedures. How fast does it take to get your casino profits? How easy is it to get in touch with a casino employee? How serious are complaints taken, and were certain issues resolved in the end? Such are the aspects which matter most!
Tip 3: Check the casino help desk
This brings us immediately to our third point of advice: check all information you can find about a casino’s help desk and customer service! This means that there should be at least two or three methods of contacting casino employees. The waiting time must be reasonable so that you can be helped quickly in case a problem might arise.
If you are unable to contact the online casino which holds your money, you have a big problem. Although it is unlikely you will ever run into any problem, a tiny fraction of casino players might have an issue with a payment or a non-functioning game. When this does happen, you realise how important it is to get answers to your questions fast. You want to be taken seriously and helped immediately.
One of the most modern ways of contacting a casino is the live chat function. Almost every reputable online casino has it. This feature allows you to simply enter your name & email and start the chat in your internet browser. A chat window opens and an employee will try to solve the problem immediately. A working telephone help desk is a good second option, with email only coming in third. If a casino only has a help desk that can be contacted by email, you really want to find out how fast they answer, so in this case it is vital to read some reviews.
Finally, it is important that good customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If an online casino is too lazy or stingy to hire employees for quick help with any problem, you may want to look for another website to play your favourite casino game.
Tip 4: Check whether a casino cooperates with independent testing labs
Let’s be honest, nobody wants to play casino games that have been tampered with in a way that gives the online casino an even higher house edge. Most casino games come with a house edge that makes it difficult to beat the game. Therefore, casinos do not have to cheat to make a long-term profit against the player. Unfortunately, there are some dodgy casinos that still do this as they only want more and more..!
The best way to ensure that online casinos do not influence the results of their games is to check which software a casino is using and whether they cooperate with independent testing agencies.
First of all, you want to play at an online casino that only uses software from reliable software companies. Check who the makers are of each game which you are playing, and give them a quick Google to check whether or not these are legit businesses. It is important that the software has an RNG. RNG stands for Random Number Generator, and this piece of code randomly generates thousands to millions of numbers per minute. These numbers refer to specific symbols, cards or game outcomes. This way, each spin, turn, card being dealt or throw of dice is completely random and independent from earlier results. Only this way, you know that you have a honest shot at winning.
Casino games are often tested by testing and reporting agencies working the gambling industry. The most famous of these is eCOGRA. Since 2003 they have been independently verifying the fairness of online casinos and online casino games. You can often check at the bottom of the pages of casino website cooperates with testing labs such as eCOGRA.
Selecting an online casino can be a daunting task if you don’t know exactly what to look at. We hope the above four tips will help you on your way! If you have selected a casino, make sure you always read the terms and conditions carefully when signing up, especially when claiming a casino bonus. This way, you know what to expect in your gambling adventure and will not encounter surprises later on.
On this website, we already made an overview of what we consider as some of the best online casinos which you can currently find on the internet. All of these casinos are fully licenced and have good reputations and reviews – as otherwise we would not have recommended them! Have a look around, and by all means check some other reviews too. Choosing an online casino is not a decision which you should take lightly, so it’s only good if you take time for it and read multiple sources. Good luck!