What to Look For in an Online Casino
This section of the site is dedicated to online casino reviews. Here you will find detailed and objective reviews of many of the leading online casinos. These include both US friendly casinos and the international brands.
When comparing online casinos and deciding which to play at there are several important factors which you need to take into account. The game selection, including slots and table games, should be your starting point – though there are many more things besides. I like to make sure that a casino has a solid reputation and is fully licensed. There is also the bonus offer to consider. When you look into the terms and conditions of many bonus offers, you will find out that they are not as attractive as they first seemed.
US and International Online Casinos
US casinos have to be based offshore nowadays, since there are legal restrictions to them operating from within the country. They are usually based either in Central America or in the Caribbean. Many reputable brands with many years of good standing are now located offshore. You will find these casinos licensed by jurisdictions including Panama, Antigua, Netherlands Antilles or even the Kahnawake tribal authority which is based inside Canada.
International casinos are generally bigger and have newer games and better options for mobile devices. These can be run by smaller companies based around the world, though many are big brand names which are listed on global stock markets such as London. You’ll find that these impressive casinos are licensed by European jurisdictions such as Malta, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or Alderney. There are restrictions for certain countries which ring-fence their markets, however most players are able to deposit easily and enjoy the latest games.
Casino Software Providers
Most casinos do not develop their own games. Instead there are specialist software houses which make the titles, which are then licensed out to different casinos. This is why you will see the same games and slot titles over and over at seemingly separate casino brands.
For US players there are only a handful of software houses which license their games to casinos which allow deposits from your country. These include Real Time Gaming, and BetSoft. Both are solid software houses, with BetSoft providing advanced graphics and mobile compatibility.
International players can enjoy much better games nowadays. PlayTech, IGT, MicroGaming and NetEnt are the biggest software providers, who are given competition from a raft of smaller and upcoming software houses. These game producers are able to license movie and TV titles for their games, as well as coming up with their own themes and titles.
Casino Reviews – Comparing Bonus Offers
Many new casino players miss the fact that there are several different aspects of the bonuses on offer that need to be checked. You cannot simply compare the headline rate and expect the bonuses to be roughly the same these days. The first thing you need to check is the base wager-through requirement. This shows you how many times you need to bet the amount of the bonus before it can be withdrawn. There are huge variations in this between casinos, ranging from 20x at the very best to more than 80x at the worst casinos.
The checks do not end there. Most casinos give weightings on the play-through for their bonus offers for different games. For example, slots might count at 100% of this play-through, while Roulette is only 10%. You might even find excluded games, or even games which instantly void your bonus if you play them.
Finally, some bonuses are ‘cashable’ which means you get to withdraw the bonus amount, while others are not. You’ll find that many casinos allow you to withdraw any winnings you accrue while clearing your bonus, though not the bonus itself.
When you have finished these checks, it can be wise to make sure your casino has a number of ongoing offers and deals for loyal players. The best casinos naturally know how to look after their regular customers very well.
Depositing at Online Casinos
This last section is aimed at US casino fans, since international players have no restrictions on the ways of getting money onto online casinos.
For US players, there are some great options still available. Since the casinos are now based abroad, you can use international purchase capability on your credit cards to get money deposited. Visa and MasterCard work first time very often. If they do get declined (this will usually be by your own bank), then you can always get an international brand pre-paid Visa card instead.
The main alternative deposit methods include money transfer services. You’ll be doing a person-to-person transfer using a company such as Western Union of MoneyGram. Your casino will then match up the transfer and put the money into your account. This method is very reliable.