Online casinos have never been more popular, thanks to massive advances in technology over the last couple of years. More people have access to cheap smart devices capable of surfing the net and logging in to social media, something which only expensive, high-end devices could do in the past.
This increase in web accessibility has had all sorts of knock on effects. There has been a notable increase in numerous e-commerce sectors including e-retail giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Apple, eBay and a host of others.
Growth of the online casino industry
Another internet-based market which has probably seen more growth than most other sectors, is the online casino industry. As more and more people over the age of 18 have access to affordable web technology, more disposable income and more time to spend on the net, a natural end point is the online casino. Some are merely curious as many have never even been in a real casinos car park, let alone inside the casino itself.
Online casinos have made it very easy for millions of people all over the world to experience what it is like to be in an online casino, albeit in a virtual sense only. However, this is a minor point as todays cutting edge online casinos are so realistic, they rival any brick and mortar casino in gaming and entertainment. In fact, the latest development in the online casino industry, the live casino, is giving land-based casinos more of a run for their money than they ever though would be possible.
The rise of the live casino
Live casinos, also known as live dealer casinos are part of a regular online casino but offer players the chance to enjoy real live casino action. The concept is simple but ingenious, state of the art HD video cameras capture the action of a real live casino room or studio set up to look like a real casino.
Each table features a real, highly trained professional dealer and most casinos now offer live baccarat, roulette, blackjack and poker. Players can see real chips and real cards used at the tables and can even interact with the dealer as well as other players. The action is streamed to their computers in real time.
Taking casino games on the go
Another development in the online casino industry that has significantly influenced its rapid growth is the advent of the mobile casino. Smartphones and tablets have come a long way in a very short space of time.
Today, most people around the world spend more time on their smartphone or tablet than on any other device. Online casinos recognized the potential of the mobile casino and it is estimated that accessing online casinos from mobile devices will become the primary method of playing casino games.
So you want to join an online casino? Stop right there!
While the history of the online casino is fascinating, it doesn’t really help you if you’ve never played in one. Given the sheer range of online casinos available on the net, you may have already given up before you’ve even started.
Perhaps you’ve even heard a few horror stories about unscrupulous fly by night casinos that have taken the money and run, never to be seen again. The internet is fantastic but it can also be a big, dark and scary place. As tempting and exciting as it is to sign up to an online casino and, potentially make some serious cash from the comfort of your own home, one has to proceed with caution.
Fortunately there are many safe and highly reputable online casinos to choose from, as long as you know what to look for. Just like anything else in life, it’s all about doing your homework and being prepared.
Luckily the internet may take but it also gives and there are plenty of things that you can do online to make sure that the casino you choose is the ideal one for your needs. A good place to start is right here, by checking out our 5 Fool Proof tips to choosing the perfect online casino.
Tip One: License &Reputation
While some would argue that the best place to start when looking for a top online casino is its games, we most certainly beg to differ. What good are fun and exciting online casino games if the place that you are trusting with your money is no good? The first place to start your journey to finding the best online casino for you needs has to be with its reputation.
There are a number of key factors to look out for in this regard, starting with where the online casino is registered. Within the online casino industry, there are a number of regulatory bodies that issue remote gambling licenses and regulate the behavior of the online casinos that it issues its licenses to.
These jurisdictions are usually in the form of countries or territories and there are quite a few around the world. Some are quite small and only reside over a limited sector while others are much bigger and can be found in the majority of reputable online casinos.
Our top list of licensing and regulatory bodies to look out for includes:
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
- Nevada Gaming Control Board
- Panama Gaming Control Board
- UK Gambling Commission
- Gibraltar Licensing Authority
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Curacao Internet Gambling Association
- PAGCOR and FCLRC
- ACT Gambling and Racing Commission
Any online casino that you are considering should carry one or more of the above listed official logos. There are other regulatory bodies but the ones listed here are the ones you will come across most often, depending on the jurisdiction of the online casino in question.
Good tip: click on the logo to ensure that it is real and not just a copy and paste logo. A real logo should contain a link that takes you directly to the official site of the regulatory body. You can also check an online casinos reputation by visiting reputable online casino review sites and forums. Getting an idea of what real people think of an online casino can be a great way to filter good casinos from bad one.
Tip Two: Gaming Variety
Here we come to the gaming variety, remember how some people thought this was the most important aspect? We’ve put it at number two on our list since, once you’ve made a short list of online casinos with good reputations and solid licensing, you can get to the fun part. Checking out the range of casino games that an online casino carries can be a lot of fun, it can also be a bit overwhelming so it is important to take your time.
A good online casino should be able to offer you a balanced range of games, with plenty of top slots sourced from the best software brands in the industry as well as other types of casino games. Slots are great, they are the most popular online casino games available but, they can sometimes get a bit too much. This is when it is a great time to release the tension with a few table games like roulette or blackjack or even a fun game or two of bingo.
Good tip: Try find top online casinos that let you play their games for free, this is a great way to really check out an online casino. If the games are good, you get to test this in a real playing situation, some games look cool in the thumbnails but, when you start playing them, you find out that they actually aren’t that good at all!
Tip Three: The Welcome Bonus
Possibly the most controversial of all online casino features. The Welcome Bonus can be a great way to boost your budget, also known in casino lingo as a bankroll. However, there is a caveat emptor to consider here. Be careful not to be dazzled by the hype that some online casinos love to put out there. There are plenty of tempting offers that promise you thousands of dollars of free money. As we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch and definitely no ‘free money’ on the web!
Good Tip: Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need to accept an online casino bonus offer in order to play at the online casino. There are plenty of people out there that choose not to accept the casino bonus and skip the accompanying complications altogether. If you do choose to go with the bonus offer, be sure to read all the terms and conditions and be sure that the wagering requirements aren’t out of proportion with the actual offer.
Tip Four: Payment Options
Maybe this should’ve been at number two since online casinos are essentially all about money. That said, this should be another point on your online casino checklist. All top online casinos will present their payment options which include depositing methods as well as withdrawal methods very clearly. If an online casino is vague in this regard, watch out! There are plenty of great online casinos on the web so it pays to be very selective.
Good Tip: Most online casinos prefer you to use the same method for both depositing and withdrawing. If you prefer to use separate methods to accomplish these vital tasks, it may be a good idea to chat to your casino first. This will help you to decide which methods are going to work best for your particular situation.
Tip Five: Go mobile!
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, mobile gaming is the way of the future and it is a good idea to pick an online casino that also offer a complete mobile gaming suite. There are plenty of top online casinos on the web that offer great mobile versions, complete with top games, banking options and security features.
Good Tip: If you are not using one of the ubiquitous operating systems (iOS/Android), try find online casinos that offer HTML5 powered mobile-friendly websites. You’ll be able to enjoy the entire online casino experience on your mobile or tablet without the hassle of worrying about app compatibility.