Most people don’t make a planned and particularly conscious decision to start playing at online casinos. Instead, the whole thing tends to start out as something of a whim. You find yourself with some time to kill, you give a couple of online casino games a shot and you suddenly realise what you’ve been missing out on all this time!
At which point, you become acutely aware of the fact that there are (literally) thousands of online gaming sites to choose from. Something that can be understandably overwhelming, but is nonetheless an issue that’s easy to negotiate with a strategic approach.
The Importance of Shopping Around
Shopping around for a good online casino is just as important as shopping around for any other product or service. As you will technically be spending money on the entertainment ‘services’ you will be receiving, it simply makes sense to ensure you get a good deal.
First things first – just because a casino ranks right at the top of the Google listings does not mean it’s the best casino in the business. Nor do all the flashy gimmicks and visual garnishes in the world, or high-profile marketing campaigns.
What makes a quality casino is a combination of four things – realistic bonus offers, quick and easy transactions, robust site security and a strong track record. The range of games available is also important, but always takes a backseat to these key criteria.
Finding the Best Bonus Offers
The vast majority of online casinos offer all manner of weird and wonderful incentives for new customers. Unsurprisingly, the true value of these bonus offers differs exponentially from one casino to the next. As a general rule of thumb, anything that looks too good to be true almost definitely is.
Consequently, you need to carefully study the terms and conditions attached to any bonus offer you are thinking about accepting. A particularly close attention to things like wagering requirements, time limitations and withdrawal restrictions. To simplify things, you could always check out a site like Bonusninja.com which summarises most of the important information for you.
In any case, never accept a bonus blindly – always check how much it is really worth by consulting the T&Cs.
Check Site Safety and Security
To overlook site safety and security is to make a potentially costly mistake. Contrary to popular belief, almost all casinos currently operating in the UK are legit – scam operators are few and far between. But this doesn’t mean that all of these casinos adequately prioritise the safety and security of their players.
If there is even the slightest lapse in a casino’s security framework, it could result in your personal data and financial information finding its way into the wrong hands. This is why you need to check that the casinos you play at do everything within their power to keep you safe.
There are a few ways that you can check site security including by looking at the SSL certificate at the top of the browser. You should also check if it is licensed to operate in your country and regulated by a respected authority.
Simple and Sensible Payment Policies
Some of the most effective and secure methods for making payments online are e-wallets like PayPal or Neteller. Nevertheless, most people continue to prefer credit and debit cards for processing payments with online casinos. Of course, what matters most is ensuring that the casino you’re looking at supports your preferred payment method.
But at the same time, you need to check whether or not there are any fees or conditions attached to the transactions you will be performing. If the casino collects commissions on any of your deposits and withdrawals, you might get better value for money elsewhere.
Likewise, it’s worth checking that the minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts suit your playing style and bankroll. For high-rollers, a casino that limits weekly withdrawals to just £100 or so probably isn’t going to cut it.
Customer Reviews and Recommendations
One of the quickest and easiest ways to find out what an online casino is all about is to check real-life customer reviews and recommendations. Not those published by paid affiliates – 100% honest and authentic reviews from the people that actually play the games.
Pretty much every online casino in business will have been put under the microscope by hundreds or even thousands of reviewers. A quick online search is usually all that’s needed to learn all you need to know about whether a casino is worth bothering with.
Of course, the occasional negative review from a disgruntled customer is inevitable. But when the general consensus appears to point to a questionable casino with a sketchy reputation, it’s probably best to take your business elsewhere.
Try Some Demo Games for Free
Last up, it’s worth bearing in mind that most decent casinos allow new customers to check out what’s on offer for free – without signing up for an account. Online slots in particular are usually playable using virtual currency and you should be able to take a full tour of the casino to see how they do business.
As mentioned, gaming variety matters – you need to ensure that whatever games you’re into are available. Nevertheless, quality should always be prioritised over quantity. Just because an online casino has more than 1,000 games doesn’t necessarily mean that you will like any of them!
Always check out what’s on offer for free, before handing over your personal information and depositing funds in your account.
If in Doubt…
Rounding things off, remember that you can always direct your questions and concerns at a casino’s customer support team. This can actually be a fantastic way of gauging the quality and professionalism of an online casino, reflected in the quality of the support it provides.
Online casinos with 24/7 live chat are a good option to go with, or at least those that offer a prompt response during office hours. If getting in touch with the customer support team is a nightmare in itself, it’s probably not a casino worth spending your money at.
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