There has been a revolution in online gaming in the space of one generation. What was once a rare pastime enjoyed by the select few with access to bricks-and-mortar casinos is now available to everyone, wherever they are.
Remote access to the internet is now commonplace. Millions of players across the globe can now enjoy the thrills of gaming via the internet, anytime and anywhere.
This boom in the demand for digital gaming has created a surge in the number of online casinos. There are now more online gaming sites than there have ever been.
This all makes for a busy, complicated world of ever-changing casinos and operators. Sometimes it’s hard for even industry experts to keep up with all the casinos coming and going.
For a beginner to the online casino gaming world, it’s even harder. How do you know where to click?
Behind all those flashy graphics and dazzling discounts, which casinos are the best ones to sign up to? And which ones should be avoided at all costs?
It’s hard to know which things make a site better or worse. Even the best online casino sites need to use special offers, discounts, and bonuses to attract players to their sites.
Experts generally look for a combination of signs that a site is a good option. So, what are the factors that a savvy player should look for when choosing an online casino?
Here’s our top ten guide to choosing the best online gaming sites:
1) Make sure it’s legal
Firstly, check the site is properly licensed. You wouldn’t shop at an online site that wasn’t 100% legal so don’t spend your precious budget unless you are sure a casino is legal too.
This information should be easy to find on the casino’s first landing page. There are various regulatory bodies around the world. Look for reputable names like the well-respected Malta or Gibraltar Gambling Commission.
The site’s license demonstrates that the casino operator complies with the rules of the authority. This means the games are run in a fair and transparent way.
In detail it usually means that random number generators used to decide the outcome of games are working exactly as they should and that the payouts per game are exactly as the operator describes.
2) Is it secure?
Initially, some new online players worried about signing up to web-based casinos with their personal and financial data. Because of this, the leading casino operators have gone to great lengths to ensure players are reassured about the security of their connection to the site.
Some of the security features are now very sophisticated indeed. Look out for signs that the operator uses end-to-end encryption and the latest anti-hacking technology.
3) Is it stable and smooth?
Make sure the pages of any site load smoothly, that the graphics do not crash, and the games don’t freeze in mid-play. Nothing will spoil your gaming session more than a software glitch or a bug in the operation.
Any site with inadequate technology or sufficient investment in web-building should be avoided.
4) Are payments fast?
Check the way all the financial transactions happen. They should be smooth and reliable.
How quickly is your money appearing in your account? Are there strange glitches or unacceptable delays.
If you’re not happy, click away.
5) Payment options
Note which financial payment systems are linked to the casino site. Expect to see financial names that you recognise, like Visa or PayPal.
This is a sign that the casino is judged to be reputable by these major financial organisations. They are unlikely to be linked to an illicit or poorly run operator.
6) The range of games
Of course, you’re there to have fun, so the type of games of offer is very important. Make sure all the classics are there – and in a format and style they you like.
If you are a poker fan for example, make sure they offer the versions of poker that you enjoy, whether it’s Texas Hold ‘Em or Seven Card Stud.
Remember, there’s no point signing up to a site if you don’t get excited by the games on offer.
7) Bonuses and offers
Even the biggest and most established sites give discount deals and offer bonuses to attract newcomers. The competition for players is simply so strong.
That’s good news for us gamers – but all the different deals can be confusing. Browse round a few sites to see how they compare before signing up.
8) Customer service
What happens if it all goes wrong? The best sites have round-the-clock live customer service.
Email, live chat and phone lines can all be important if your favourite game crashes just at the point of winning the jackpot.
9) New and exciting games
You’ll be looking out for your current favourites but it’s always worth considering a few new directions too.
Does the site have some interesting looking other games you’ve never tried? And does it add new games and refresh old ones frequently?
10) Is it fun?
And don’t forget one of the most important things: fun! A site can have the best cyber security in the world but unless it’s fun it’s missing the point. This is your precious leisure time you’re using – so make sure you sign up to a site that you look forward to visiting.