online casinos for the first time, then you want to make sure that you only put your money into those 'casinos that are reputable'. The goal of online casino gambling is to be able to relax in your own crib and have a great time.
Of course, you also hope to win, but since that's not guaranteed, entertainment is a must! That can easily be compromised with 'casinos that are not reputable'. Here are some tips that you should consider when choosing an online casino to play at:
1. "Read Player Reviews" – Other players can provide the best insight about most all aspects of an online casino and their experiences there. They can speak to payout frequency, the quality of the bonuses (and how attainable they are), how fast they received their withdrawals, whether customer support was informed or not, the game variety and everything else that you should know to get the most bang for your buck and best experience possible. They will also let you know how fast the casino responded to their email and other communications.
2. "Read Gambling & Casino Player Forums" - Active 'Casino Player Forums' can provide a steady stream of useful information for the most part. In regards to player experiences, both complaints and praises can be found at many of the 'online gambling forums'. However, and here is the disclaimer; there are player forums that tend to get skewed and also arrogant with their members and the members posting styles and attitudes every so often, but that is basically due to the fact that the forum owner/s have an ulterior agenda.
Another words, take most forums with a grain of salt until you can get a sense of the motives and direction that the forum owner/s leans toward. Are they really a 'player advocate site', 'casino advocate site', 'casino watchdog site', 'fair gaming advocate site' or none of these. Remember, it's hard to keep true balance with more than one master. Do the forum admins close threads prematurely an even ban the posting member because they do not like what is being said about the casino or the direction the thread is heading toward. That will tell you if the forum owner/s are truly unbiased or its admins try to suppress member issues that may put those casinos that they pimp out for a fee in a bad light.
Similar things can also be said in regards to 'gambling portal sites and blogs'. Does the promotion site pimp out casinos that have unredeemed skeletons in their closets or do they only pimp the online casinos that strive to handle player issues with professionalism. That's a tough call for someone new to this industry to decipher, but the point is, do your own research and don't take anything that is said about an online casino at any of the above discussed sites as the final word. Educate yourselves wisely.
3. "Look at the Casino Bonuses" – The quality and to a lessor extent the quantity of the bonuses issued will tell you just how much an online casino cares about their players. 'Online Casinos' that only have a 1st deposit bonus are focused more on getting new players in the door and not necessarily rewarding the loyalty of their long term players. It doesn't mean that an online casino that only has a welcome bonus is a bad one, but in general, it does say something about their management team and their lack of 'Player Retention 101' courses. Also look for loyalty rewards; if these are offered, it's clear they focus on their player retention and the players satisfaction quite heavily.
4. "Check the Terms and Conditions" – With every online casino, there are guidelines that players must follow. Ensure that you read the terms and conditions for the online casino itself when you join, as well as for any of the bonuses you may claim. Specifically the wagering requirements for the bonuses can have a major bearing and make the difference between a good bonus and a bad one because sometimes meeting those wagering requirements is just not possible. If they are high, and if there is a time limit, you may find it's not worthwhile.
In the terms and conditions, you may also find that there are limitations upon players from certain countries, or certain guidelines as to what they have the right to do in certain situations – like withhold your money or even make your entire winnings null and void. Most important regarding playing with bonus money is to fully understand exactly what games are allowed for play with any particular bonus. Many bonuses will only allow slot games to be played, so please make certain that the game you are getting ready to play is allowed per the bonus terms and conditions. READ THEM!
5. "Check if the Games are Frequently Audited and if the Casino is Licensed" – To operate legally and fairly, a casino needs to be licensed, and it should be independently audited. An online casino that is licensed and audited will clearly state this on their website, and also provide information regarding the license and the company hired for the auditing reports. Some of the 'casinos online' will even publish the audit reports. The audit reports will look at things like the payout percentages and overall safety and fairness of the games. It will also state that the "RNG" (Random Number Generator) has been tested for fairness and truly random results were the outcome of the testing.
Licensing should preferably be from a legitimate licensing jurisdiction and not just a third world country that rubber stamps an issues a business license for a fee. There are exceptions to this general rule of thumb here even for a few casinos that have that rubber stamp, but that is simply because they are tried and tested casinos and were found to be 'reputable online casinos'. Otherwise, TheGamblingGurus.com and many other sites would not promote these operations.
Another Disclaimer regarding Auditing: Most online casinos pay a fee to a 3rd party that they independently hire to perform their games audit. Land-Based Casinos are audited for fairness by the State Gaming Control Boards.
As an example, the Nevada Gaming Control Board states: "The Technology Division examines, tests and recommends gaming devices for approval or denial by the Board and Commission. The Division inspects gaming devices in its laboratory and in the field to ensure continued integrity, and assists in resolving gaming patron disputes through analysis of device electronics and software. The Division is charged with reviewing and approving computerized gaming systems". SOURCE
This is still the part that online casinos are missing since their 'online gaming licensing jurisdictions' do not perform these same type of game audits that their land-based counterparts perform. So that leaves the question of 3rd party trust as far as the online games are concerned.
Casino Bonuses: More on Casino Bonuses will be published in an upcoming article.
Casino bonuses offer great incentives for you to join an online casino, so recognize that this is something to look for when you're deciding where to play. A good bonus can greatly set one casino apart from another. Assess it, see what the maximum bonus amount you can get will be, what the maximum amount you can cash-out will be and what the wager requirements are. Then determine if you will be able to play your games of choice with it!