How to Choose a Reliable Online Casino: Complete Guide
The UK online casino industry has seen explosive growth in recent years, with new gambling sites sprouting up every month. With so many exciting options to choose from, it can be tricky for players to pinpoint a genuinely great gambling hub, one where they can truly get their money’s worth. It takes a bona fide expert in the field to determine whether the site is legit or not.
The UK online casino industry has seen explosive growth in recent years, with new gambling sites sprouting up every month. In such a competitive landscape, operators and distributors alike need to be innovative to appease the appetites of online casino enthusiasts around the globe. As more gambling operators enter the scene, the competition is set to become even fiercer.
With so many exciting options to choose from, it can be tricky for players to pinpoint a genuinely great gambling hub, one where they can truly get their money’s worth. It takes a bona fide expert in the field to determine whether the site is legit or not.
If you decide to take on the exhausting and often time-consuming task of locating a top-tier casino, you need to take into account a couple of factors to ensure you get the best possible gambling experience. That’s what our guide below is all about — it will teach you what makes a good online casino and how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Stay tuned.
How to Identify Safe Gambling Sites
Since you’ll be putting in real money on the line and exposing your private data, it’s paramount that your gambling platform of choice is completely safe. Otherwise, you might get ripped off or even get your details stolen. The question then arises — what are the warning signs? How can you tell if the casino is running a legitimate business?
Below is a checklist that you can go through to ensure the operator is the real deal.
As a rule of thumb, safe gambling sites are licensed by reputed regulatory organizations such as the Malta Gaming Authority, Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner, and the UK Gambling Commission, to name but a few world-class jurisdictions. Most casino operators will put license details in plain sight — in the footer section of their homepage. Here’s how Unibet, one of the industry heavy hitters, goes about it:
It’s important to understand that regulators such as the UKGC issue licenses only to casino brands that adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations. Before gaining approval, the site must prove its games are fair and random, compliance with responsible gambling protocols, and most importantly, its use of adequate security measures to protect players’ sensitive data.
Restricted Countries List
This goes without saying — you need to make sure that your chosen casino accepts residents from your country. The restricted countries list is usually found somewhere on the T&C page and looks like this:
The exact list varies from one casino to another, mainly depending on the regulatory body supervising the site. Stringent authorities such as the UKGC enforce their licensees to deny access to residents of countries where gambling is not regulated. On the other hand, legislative institutions like Curacao impose lax regulations and are not as restrictive.
If your country is ‘blacklisted’, you should look for another casino. Even if you somehow manage to register by using VPNs or proxies, you won’t be able to cash out your winnings, so what’s the point?
The only way to be sure the casino isn’t rigging its games is by owning a certificate from third-party testing agencies like eCOGRA, TST, or GLI. These independent companies test the site’s Random Number Generators (RNGs) and verify that the outcomes of games have not been tampered with. They also validate payouts, more specifically the number of wagers paid back to players over a specific period. If the casino carries a stamp of approval from these institutions, it has truly done its due diligence to provide a fair gaming environment.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Casino
The above-mentioned preliminary checks are just one piece of the puzzle. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, you need to delve deeper and analyze every component of the site, starting from the following variables:
Reputation and credibility: The quickest and the most reliable way of finding out how the casino treats its users is by reading its reviews online. You should go to notable casino review portals and look for complaint or feedback sections with comments from past customers. If you notice any indication that the casino doesn’t pay out winnings regularly, you should terminate your account immediately.
Consider checking Trustpilot and AskGamblers resources for trustful customers’ reviews.
Banking options: Depositing and withdrawing funds from your casino account should be a hassle-free process. That’s only possible if the operator offers a sufficient number of easy to use, cost-efficient, and swift payment methods.
Preferably, the casino should feature at least one representative from each major payment solution — debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid systems, and cryptocurrencies.
Quality of bonuses: For most punters, this is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing an online casino. Pretty much every gambling operator will offer first-time depositors some sort of an introductory bonus, usually worth hundreds and even thousands of pounds. However, appearances can be deceiving. Beneath the surface of most flashy promos are gigantic wagering requirements that will make it virtually impossible to collect any winnings.
For that reason, the casino’s bonus T&C policy is just as important as the size of its bonus package.
Game selection: You could be playing in the safest online casino out there and still get bored quickly. That’s unlikely to happen if the site boasts a comprehensive gaming catalogue from various software providers.
Elite online casinos feature a wide selection of thousands of slots, table games, and live dealer games supplied by world-renowned studios like NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Playtech, Play’n GO, IGT, and Betsoft, among others.
Customer service: The hallmark of every top-shelf casino is reliable customer support available around the clock through three core contact channels — live chat, email, and telephone. It’s vital that the support representatives display efficient problem-solving skills and handle queries in a timely and professional manner.
Feel and usability: No one wants to play in a casino that’s difficult to navigate and takes an eternity to load specific pages and games, which is what happens when the site is poorly optimised. Your preferred casino will have a clutterless and intuitive layout in the best-case scenario, one that allows for smooth navigation.
It should score high grades in the functionality department, too, and seamlessly adapt to any iOS, Android, or Windows-powered device.
Warning Signs of Unsafe Casino Sites
As we established earlier, the UK doesn’t have a shortage of online casino sites. However, you can’t trust all of them. There’s a fair share of rogue brands operating under the radar, waiting for their next victim. Fraudulent casinos are sometimes difficult to detect, and by the time players realize what they’ve gotten themselves into, it’s too late — they’ve already been scammed and taken advantage of.
You need to keep an eye on a couple of red flags to avoid dubious casinos:
- Lack of license: Not all online casinos are willing to make their licensing and company information publicly available, which is often a major cause for concern. Since there is absolutely no legitimate reason why the operator should keep these details hidden, it only shows there is something off about it. Here’s a classic example of a casino that’s not being transparent about its background info:
- Mediocre security measures: Believe it or not, some online casinos don’t use the basic encryption protocols to protect their servers, leaving their users defenceless against hacker attacks. That’s unacceptable in today’s day and age. You will be sure your personal and financial details are protected only with 128 or 256-bit SSL encryption in place.
- Poor track record: If the casino has been accused of stalled payments, freezing winnings or issues of that kind — steer clear from it all costs. Such sites are usually blacklisted in the gaming community and are badly rated among players. That said, don’t take every bad review for granted. Just remember that plenty of sore losers can’t handle themselves properly after a bad session and will do whatever it takes to harm the casino’s reputation.
Summary: Choose Your Casino Wisely
By now, you’ve learned how to choose online casino that’s reliable and trustworthy. As you can see, you need to consider many parameters, and if you make one wrong move, things could go south real fast.
If you don’t want to go through all that hassle, leave it to the pros to do the legwork for you. Feel free to choose any of the recommended sites at Casinosters — they’ve been thoroughly vetted and deemed fair by our panel of online casino experts.
Whatever you decide, we wish you good fortunes in your future gaming endeavours. Don’t forget to gamble responsibly.