The huge growth and popularity in online gambling also, of course, comes with its downsides. Among those downsides are the emergence of many, largely unregulated, unscrupulous or even dishonest operators.
With new online casinos popping up every day, how do enthusiasts go about choosing the right one, ensuring they are gambling with a credible casino that offers appealing odds?
When someone is choosing an online casino to play at, there are a few competing ideas that help them decide – for some people, it will be because of an advert that they have seen, or a celebrity endorsement. Others might be tempted by bonus offers and promotions.
With hundreds of possibilities available, choosing the right site can be a minefield – and there is no right or wrong way to decide; it is a personal choice. However, if you are looking for a new online casino you will want to have a checklist of things to look for so that you are getting the best experience possible.
Below is a brief idea of the things that as a responsible consumer you will want to consider before signing up for an account at an online casino.
TO be able to offer gaming services in the UK, an online casino has to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
This means that the company has certain commitments that they have to meet, to do with consumer safety and fairness, for example. Licensing is something that is both costly and needs a lot of evidence to get, so if an online casino is regulated and licensed, they are more likely to be a safe place to play.
This is a similar consideration to licensing – you want to know that the information you are sharing with the online casino is being treated securely, especially as some of it will be personal and identifying – and even financial.
Look for the padlock in the address bar so you know the link is encrypted, check that you can set up at least two-factor authorisation (2FA) to protect your account, and keep your passwords safe and secure.
How do you want to fund your playing account? This is an interesting question, as some people are happy to stick to the more traditional credit/debit card deposits, while others want to make use of eWallets like PayPal.
The more payment options that are available, the more flexible the online casino will be in terms of how you can get money into your account.
This is an important consideration for many online casino players – although you might already have a preference for the types of games that you want to play, having more choice can only be a good thing.
You might be signing up for the chance to play hundreds of different slots, and that is fine, but you may want to try your hand at something else like bingo or even blackjack or poker – so if the site only features slots, you might get bored.
The way a site looks and reacts is about more than aesthetics. While you want the site to look good, it is probably more important that it is easy and intuitive to use, so that you can navigate to the games that you want to play when you want to play them.
A casino site that offers a well-designed, easy-to-use app designed for your smartphone is a great choice, because you can then take your casino games wherever you are and play while you are wasting time waiting for something.
Mobile apps for casinos should offer seamless access to all your games and account information, and you want them to be native so that they work well with the parameters of your device and operating system.
Some people choose to play in online casinos because they have chat functions and the opportunity to meet likeminded people while having fun and playing games.
If you are looking for that kind of social connection, there are casinos that cater for it – while others are more about the gameplay.
Either way, an online casino with a social media presence will often offer discounts or bonuses if you follow them – so that can be worth doing.
Things can go wrong, and you want to know that you have support when you need it.
Customer support can be offered through live chat, email, or phone – or a combination of all three. Most support methods should be available 24/7, but this isn’t universal so make sure that you know when you can get in touch if you need to.
Online casinos want you to come and play with them, and they will often offer nice bonuses to new players.
There are all sorts of different bouses, from free spins to deposit matching, and the one you choose will depend on what your personal preferences are.
Another thing to consider when it comes to bonuses is if there is anything offered for loyalty. Some online casinos might offer something for VIP customers who have been with the company for a while, or they might have a ‘refer a friend’ scheme that you can take advantage of.
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