Casino culture is booming and the online casino market is big business. Every evening, the TV stations are full of ads for one casino site after another, and the major players are making their presence known in the sports world, sponsoring everything from Premier League clubs to major snooker and darts tournaments.
The mega bucks they are throwing into marketing is by necessity. This is a crowded market, and is continuing to grow, so the sites need to grab the attention of potential punters any way they can. That sounds like promising news for the first time visitor to an online casino, as with so much competition it is clearly a “buyer’s market.” That’s true, but just how do you make your choice as to where to play? Here are some considerations to bear in mind:
1) Compare the welcome deals
Casinos will be falling over each other to get you in through their virtual doors, and will offer lucrative incentives. These might take the form of free spins on the slots, or perhaps adding a bonus to your bankroll. If this is in the form of a percentage, it means they add to whatever you initially deposit, while some casinos offer a “no deposit bonus.”
That sounds like a great deal – a no deposit bonus of, say, £10 means you can play games and stand the same chance of winning but without having to risk any of your own money. Always read the small print, however. Usually, the winnings from any bonus money need to be reinvested a set number of times before you can withdraw the cash.
2) Understand the financial arrangements
There are a variety of ways you can conduct business with a casino. These might include bank transfers, lodging your credit or debit card details, PayPal, Neteller and more. There are even Bitcoin casinos, and these are becoming increasingly popular. The point is you want to play with minimal hassle and no extra cost, so casinos with fast withdrawal and minimal charges need to be at the top of your list.
3) Check the security
20 years ago, entering an online casino was a little playing poker in the wild west. You never knew who was about to steal your wallet or shoot you in the back. Today, the internet is a safer place, and we entrust websites with our personal and financial details without a second thought. The online casino space is no different, and is highly regulated. These are businesses that take security extremely seriously as their entire businesses depend on it.
Having said all that, keep in mind just how fluid the market is. New sites appear every day and can disappear just as quickly. So if you see an offer that looks too good to be true, have a dig around. Is the site regulated by the appropriate body, eg the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority? What encryption does the site use, and is its security externally accredited? These things should be emblazoned across the homepage, and if they are not, step away slowly and go somewhere else.