How to choose an online casino

GURU advises: How to choose an online casino

Running an online casino is undoubtedly an attractive business. Online casinos come into being and cease to exist almost every week. Nowadays, players can choose from more than 500 online casinos. To choose the right casino from such a quantity might not be so easy. While choosing an online casino, it is necessary to consider things which are not clear to the layman at first glance.

While choosing the best casino for you, you should first be sure whether the casino meets the most important parameters, like accepting players from the country you live in and the reputation of the casino for fair gaming and paying out winnings. Next, you can choose a casino according to the availability of customer support, attractiveness of the casino's website design, or according to their selection of games.

We try to list casinos that have most of these characteristics on our list of online casinos.

1. The casino fully accepts players from your country

Always be sure that the casino fully accepts players from a country where you have a place of residence. Many countries formally ban online casinos operating in their territory. In practise, not all countries apply this prohibition to every casino. Also, not all countries have influence on casinos located in gambling legislative havens. But many casinos would rather retreat and don't accept players from such countries.

If you are from such a country, you may find that a casino will allow you to register and play, but in case of winning, it will require proof of residence from another country. They will invoke this on their terms & conditions.

"TIP: If in doubt, it's best to ask the casino about it through online chat, before depositing any money to it. Use the following question: "Hello, I am a player with a place of residence in the Great Britain. I would like to know if you fully accept players from the Great Britain. Can I register in your casino, deposit money, play, win, and then also withdraw my winnings?" If answered positively, take a screenshot of the chat and save it."

2. The online casino has a good reputation

An online casino is like an insurance company. You will only find out whether you have a good insurance company after a harmful event and the insurance company compensates you fairly for the damage. You will only find out whether you play in a good casino or not, after you win a substantial amount and the casino easily pays you. There are many documented cases where online casinos have directly cheated the players.

The most common cheating practices are:

  • The casino refuses to pay out the winnings fairly won by a player.
    • The casino marks the win as a software error and will not accept the player´s entitlement to it. The casino tries to push the player into accepting a compensation of 10-20% of the original win.
    • The casino makes a payout condition to play further.
    • The casino introduces unreasonably low withdrawal limits that prevent the withdrawal of a larger win.
    • The casino, for no reason, delays withdrawals (for weeks even months). The casino endlessly repeats verification of the player's identity.
    • The casino justifies not paying out legitimate winnings in other ways.
  • The casino offers manipulated unlicensed games with a much lower payout ratio. The games are often a faithful copy of favourite games made by honest game developers.
  • The casino often uses a clause about bonus abuse. The casino marks every player, who converts a bonus into real money, as a bonus abuser and cancels all the bonus money.

Because of such practices, it is good to check the reputation of an online casino before deposting money. We do this for you and we regularly check the reputation of all the casinos on our list. If we find that any casino acts unethically, we will delete it.

"TIP: If you decide to check the reputation of a casino by yourself, search forums dedicated to casino reviews, or check the website www.askgamblers.com. It is necessary, however, to realize that despite a new, small casino not having submitted complaints, it can cheat you anyway. You will be the first one who complains. The inverse could also be true., There will likely be some complaints about a big casino, with tens of thousand of players, in spite of its honest behaviour."

3. Respected regulator

Every online casino is operated officially from some country (or territory with a special statute - jurisdiction). To make it possible to operate an online casino from a specific country, this country has to have friendly legislation towards online gambling. Licences are issued either by the state that wants to regulate and tax the online gambling of its own citizens (UK, Belgium, Romania, etc.), or by jurisdictions that want to allow casinos to do international business (Malta, Curaçao, Gibraltar, etc.).

If a casino stubbornly refuses to pay you your legitimate winnings, the only possibility that remains is to turn to the regulator who issued the license to the casino. Only then will it show how important it was to choose a casino according to who issued their licence. A good regulator should always stand independently on the side of a fair gambling. He should fairly assess and investigate every official complaint. In the case of a serious violation of the rules by a casino, it may accede to revoke their licence.

In practice, with some regulators you won´t even be able to access a contact form in order to submit a complaint (Costa Rica, Panama, Anjouan, Seychelles). In this case, against the willfulness of a casino, you don't have any chance.

With some regulators you might have a chance of obtaining justice however, their approach will generally be lax. Here we can include Curaçao and Gibraltar.

On the other side of the spectrum, stand respected licencing authorities like Malta, Alderney and Isle of Man. In the case of a conflict with a licensed casino you have a pretty decent chance of obtaining justice.

4. Reasonably high revenues in proportion to amounts you are playing for; reasonable withdrawal limits

Again, a parallel with the insurance companies can help us here. Would you insure your house with an insurance company, which annually collects less money than the value of your house? Most likely not. If your house did burn down, the insurance company wouldn't have the money to pay you and you would have to sue them. Maybe that would send them into bankruptcy, and you wouldn't see your money anyway.

It is similar with online casinos. If you happen to win a huge amount of money in a small casino, it will cause quite a disruption to its cash-flow. The casino's motivation to act dishonestly will be very strong in such a case. In the worst case scenario, the casino will face insolvency. Then it is not about honesty or dishonesty, but rather about them simply not having the money.

Some slot machines have such a high variance, that you can win up to 5000-times your bet. In such a case, by spinning the 50€ bet, you would win €250 000. Casinos do not like setting the betting limits on their games in order to not discourage the most affluent players. More transparent casinos bypass this by setting a maximum limit for withdrawals. In such cases, you at least now see that a casino doesn't have high revenues and a truly high win would take you years to withdraw. The least responsible casinos do not address this, and only hope that no one wins such a large amount.

In any case, before you start playing, estimate the financial strength of the casino. Always count with the best - with slot machines be sure that the casino can pay even 5000-times your maximum bet. If you by chance win a large amount and the casino does not pay you off, it will most likely impact your mental health.

Definitely also check the withdrawal limits. It would take you nearly 7 years to withdraw €250,000 by receiving €3,000 monthly. That is enough time for the casino to go bankrupt, and it would not pay you the rest of your money.

"TIP: To make your situation easier, we estimate the financial strength of the casino for you. We show the withdrawal limits of every casino on our list. For every casino, we also try to estimate a winning sum which we consider unproblematic."

5. The casino offers your favourite games

If you favour one specific game, you will most likely search for online casinos which have that exact game. Our list of casinos will certainly help you with finding a casino by game developer.

Player preferences vary. Some of them like table games - included blackjack, baccarat or roulette. If you like these types of games, it will certainly please you if a casino has a selection of several different variants and types of blackjack or roulette. If classic roulette was not enough, some casinos like to experiment with brand new types of roulette. Examples include a type of roulette played with two balls and a chance to win the jackpot - Double ball roulette, and roulette with an additional type of bet - Key Bet roulette. Both of which you can find in an inovative LeoVegas casino, also found on our list.

If you prefer playing games with a live dealer, which are becoming more and more favored, our list will help you once again.

Another category of games are slot machines. The difference in casinos lies in the number of games offered. If you like slot machines the most, check if a selected casino offers enough games to choose from. If you like a classic slot like Sizzling Hot Deluxe or Book of Ra, or if you want to play for millions of euros at Mega Moolah slot, you'll be pleased to find your favourite game added on a list of games.

Do you prefer scratchcards? Many casinos don't offer this less favoured type of game, but you will find them in some of them - our list will also help you to find casinos offering scratch cards.

"TIP: If you do not currently have any favourite game, you can try many casino games for free at our website. For every game, we list all the casinos that should offer it."

6. You are able to speak your language with the casino

Many casinos try to translate their site into the most languages possible. If a casino focuses on a specific country, it often provides customer support directly in the language of that country. If you are not able to speak English, a support like this can be a big plus for you.

A translated website and terms & conditions will make it easier to understand the rules of a casino. For answering potential questions or to solve small disputes, you won't have to ask your English speaking friend for help.

7. Fast and helpful customer support

While visiting an online casino, you often need to verify ambiguities about bonuses, terms & conditions, or the operation of the site.

In the case of customer support, the following applies: the faster, the better. Ideally, customer support will include 24/7 live chat, with a helpful and friendly person on the other side. The exact opposite is an email adress, where you can send your questions and complaints, and then wait three days for an answer; or a phone number you are not able to get through.

8. Attractive and convenient bonuses

Every online casino tries to attract visitors with promotions in the form of bonuses. The correct use of bonuses can significantly help a regular player reduce the costs of his hobby. Some players even solely focus on bonus abuse to reach a long-term profit.

If you are a player in a casino, it is good to find sense in the tangle of bonuses and their requirements -even in a case where bonus abuse is not your goal. While with some bonuses it always pays accept them, others have such unfavorable conditions set, that it doesn't pay to accept them. An example is a deposit bonus, where wagering requirements apply to a deposit and a bonus amount together. With high wagering requirements, this bonus will unnecessarily limit you in your bets and also in not being able to withdraw your winnings until you meet the wagering requirements.

"TIP: To make your decision easier, we mark bonuses with colours according to their level of benefit to a player."

9. Easy to navigate and graphically pleasant website

The website of an online casino creates that famous first impression of the casino, but it also influences how much will you enjoy playing in the casino. You can also play in a casino with an opaque and poorly functioning website. But don't unnecessarily overestimate this aspect.

The rule of thumb is: big casinos generally have highly developed websites. The web design of a casino can become a place for competitive struggle between casinos. E.g. MrGreen casino from our list prides itself with a modern look, which is also easy to navigate, even on a smaller screen.

Failing or amateur looking websites may suggest a low budget, a starting casino, or a weak IT team. But certainly do not make a definitive opinion about a casino from your impression of its website.

10. Support of mobile-casino games

The modernity of the current information era have caused online players to not only want to play on a PC, but also on their mobile or tablet. Why sit at the computer, when you can comfortably settle into an armchair, or take your games with you anywhere you go?

It is therefore natural that the availability of mobile games is becoming a new standard of quality in providing casino games. We also help you to be sure that your selected casino does not lag behind in supporting mobile-casino games. For every casino on our list we give information about its mobile-game compatibility as well.

11. Deposit and withdrawal options, fees

While choosing an online casino, it certainly is useful to consider deposit and withdrawal options. Not insignificant are the fees for a debit card payment, but also how long you will wait for your withdrawal - in case of transferring money to a bank account, it can take as long as seven days.

Many players find it handy to use internet wallets like Skrill or Neteller, or even prepaid cards such as Paysafecard. Less widespread options are making deposits through a mobile operator. Not every casino offers such deposit options. Therefore, on our list of online casinos, we didn't forget to mention payment options for every casino.

"TIP: A casino usually verifies the player's identity before his first withdrawal. Therefore, have a scan of your ID card (identity card) prepared and a document, not older than three months, proving your place of residence (bank statement, utility or telephone bill).Therefore it is ideal to check which specific documents the casino requires for verifying your identity, and send these documents as soon as possible, before depositing any money into a casino."

Recommended online casinos:

Casino Reputation
Perfect
License: Curaçao
Good
Bonus: Not Available
Players from United States
English website
English live chat
Mobile Devices Support
Safe Amount to Win: $200,000
Widthrawal Limit: Not Available
Casino Reputation
Perfect
License: Curaçao
Good
Players from United States
English website
English live chat
Mobile Devices Support
Safe Amount to Win: $200,000
Widthrawal Limit: $10,000/ m.
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