If you are a newcomer to internet gambling, with the wealth of choice on offer, it may seem difficult choosing the right online casino. Your decision should not be based on just software or attractive online casino bonuses, as there are plenty of other factors that need to be taken into consideration.
Some recommend choosing a casino that has been in operation for three years or more. These casinos will have likely developed a reliable reputation among experienced gamblers and there will be less of a chance they will suddenly go out of business, or even worse, cheat players out of money.
However, new casinos can be trusted, provided they meet certain criteria, and will usually offer a different gaming experience that may better suit your requirements. Probably the main concern you should have is that the casino offers the highest levels of security and confidentiality. A reputable online casino will use 128 digital encrypted technology, which best protects players’ accounts from hackers.
In addition, online casinos are sometimes members of industry bodies such as IGC (Independent Gaming Commission) or eCOGRA (e-Commerce Gaming Regulation Association) and, though this doesn’t mean they are entirely dependable, it is at least a sign that the site is striving to provide a fair and secure service.
Also extremely important is a casino’s licensed jurisdiction. Currently, there are over 70 licensing jurisdictions from different parts of the world, with some popular locations including Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Gibraltar and the UK.
Some jurisdictions will have better reputations than others; Costa Rica, for example, has been a black spot for dodgy online casinos – even though it was one of the first licensing jurisdictions – but, recently, it has become a more trusted location. If you are based in the British Isles, it will be recommended to choose a site that is based in the UK, Isle of Man or the EU (Gibraltar, Malta or Alderney in the Channel Islands).
If a casino is based in a trusted location, it will be required to undergo thorough audit checks. This is not an obligation for certain jurisdictions, however, so it is important that you choose a site to uses independent auditors. PWV is one of the main companies providing audits for the online gambling sector and analyse software reliability, security and payout percentages (if a casino doesn’t publish its payout percentages, it will be wise to take your business elsewhere).
Newcomers to internet gambling may not be aware of the level of cash processing that is expected from online casinos. Transfers and withdrawals should be completed in less than 48 hours and it should all be a simple process. Complex terms and conditions for the withdrawing and transferring of funds will only be used to confuse players, and any casino that operates in this fashion needs to be avoided at all costs. Credit card is probably the most widely used method of adding or withdrawing funds from casino accounts, but there are also virtual “e-wallet” sites, such as NETeller and Skrill, that are worth considering. Some casinos may also use PayPal.
A site’s software will need to be licensed by a well-known and trusted company. Some of the popular software providers include Microgaming, Cryptologic, Playtech, Wagerlogic as well as Real Time Gaming. These companies continuously screen their operators and demand independent audits to be carried out. A reputable casino will also use Random Number Generators (or RNG) that have been screened by third-party auditors.
Once you begin to play at a casino on a regular basis, there will more than likely come a point when you will have to deal with their customer service. This area has become one of the most important competing factors for online casinos, with round-the-clock service a must. Poor customer relations is a sign of a poorly-run casino and is, quite simply, inexcusable.
Identifying Shady Sites
Not only should you know the standards expected from an online casino, but it is just as important to be able to spot a dodgy site. Thankfully, rogue operators are usually found out pretty quick, but, as is the nature of the internet, new ones can pop up at any time. Many of these bogus casinos will adopt identifiable tactics, such as offering over-the-top signup bonuses, and may have poor website layout or use an unknown software provider. The casino’s ‘About’ page should clearly detail its level of security and reliability, and if the information isn’t there, it will be time to move on.
So before you choose to play at an online casino, make sure that it meets all the necessary requirements and be on the lookout for any tell-tale signs of shady dealings. Remember, there is a wealth of choice out there and you should always expect the highest levels of security, transparency and customer service.