The online casino industry is no longer Vegas’ little brother. It’s now a legitimate contender for the gambling crown, if it doesn’t already own it. The overall market is worth over $100 billion and expected to expand significantly in the coming years.
For consumers, it’s the perfect scenario. With new casinos popping up seemingly every day, it’s a player’s market. There’s only one tiny problem: the sheer amount of choice can be utterly overwhelming.
Don’t worry, in this guide, we’ll give you the skinny on choosing online casinos wisely, avoiding the duds, and putting your money where the good stuff is. It’s not always easy, but with just a few tips, you’ll steer clear of the bad ones.
Focus on (Legit) Reviews
Whenever you buy a product on Amazon or book a vacation, you check reviews. It’s standard practice. So when you sign up for a casino, don’t avoid the usual due diligence.
The first port of call should be casino review sites, which will give you an in-depth look at the best casinos on the market. They know the ins and outs of every possible variable, because that’s literally what these professional reviewers do for a living.
Of course, support your decision with reviews from users as well, with Reddit being a good option. However, be mindful that dodgy casinos will sometimes pay users to be positive – or even negative about competitors. Just use your common sense and don’t take anything at face value.
Go for the Big Hitters
When you’re starting your gambling journey, it’s probably a good idea to stick with the major players in the online casino space. At least when you’re a wide-eyed newbie, still getting to grips with how the industry works.
You know the ones we mean, they’re from commercials and many sponsorship deals with professional sports teams. Companies like LeoVegas, 888 Casino, Betway, and Bet365 are all solid bets. Even if you just stick to household brands, you will have plenty of choices.
Of course, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with the smaller companies. Not at all. Some will give you some of the best promotions and bonuses in the business (more on that later!), but when you’re just starting out, it can be a little difficult to discern the legit casinos from the not-so-good options.
Bonuses are Key
Right, so we’ve already briefly mentioned how casinos will use bonuses and promotions to get you on board. When you’re a player, this is fantastic news, as it gives you a myriad of options and plenty of chances to extend your gameplay and potentially win a little bit of money.
Of course, don’t just sign up for any bonus you see. They’re not all created equal. Some are not worth the throwaway email you give them when creating your account.
Learn about bonuses, particularly the small print that comes with every single promotion. For example, some bonuses have such ridiculous wagering requirements (WR), that it’s almost impossible to meet them in order to cash out your winnings.
If we’re going to give our vote to any bonus type, it’s the one that doesn’t require a deposit. Some casinos will give you $5 or $10 to use on roulette or blackjack (or pretty much any other game), while others tend to prefer the free spin bonus. In any case, these are risk-free, as you don’t have to pay anything upfront.
Look for Government Licenses
The first thing you want to do before signing up for any online casino is to check whether they have the appropriate government licenses. Every casino worth its salt will have one, whether they’re based in the UK, Australia, or Argentina.
For example, in the United States, licenses are granted by individual states. If you’re gambling in New York, look at the New York state website to find which ones have legitimate commercial casino licenses.
And remember, don’t trust logos or claims on casino websites. Verify that they’re legit by checking yourself on a third-party government website, confirming that it’s the same exact company name and URL. Once you’ve done that, you’re golden. You can at least be confident that the website is operating legitimately.
Losing is Part of Winning
Remember, even if you choose a casino using every single trick in the book, that doesn’t mean that you’ll always walk away a winner. In fact, losing is part of the game. It’s part of winning.
Use losing as part of your strategy building for the next round. Figure out where you could have improved your gameplay, and how to maximize bonuses for their winning potential.
And remember that gambling is entertainment, not a way to make money or supplement your income. Yes, winning happens often enough, and some are lucky enough to walk away with significant jackpots, but that’s not always the norm.