Getting Started in Online Casinos
On this page, we will show all interested newcomers what steps to take to ensure secure gaming in online casinos. We pay particular attention to security, and will also give you valuable information regarding bonus offers. If you follow our recommendations, you can rest assured that you are playing in legitimate casinos and you will be able to enjoy the fun and entertainment the games provide.
1. Licensors for online casinos
First and foremost, check the following: legitimate casinos have an official license to operate in the gambling industry. In the EU, for example, there is the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), and one of the best authorities worldwide is the Alderney Gaming Control Commission. All licensing agencies operate on a similar platform: they oversee all processes at the casino, and the casinos are obligated to document all their procedures and make that information available when requested to do so. They also intervene in the event of a dispute between a casino and a player, protecting the rights of the player.
2. Self regulation and the RNG
This is another important discussion point: every online casino that operates in good faith allows itself to be voluntarily monitored by an external regulator. One well-known such regulator that you will come across often is e-Cogra. Among other things, e-Cogra regulates the random number generator that ensures a random result in every game. Voluntary regulation also ensures that legitimate software developers such as Playtech, Novomatic, Microgaming and Net Entertainment have supplied the casino with their games. This provides assurances that the prescribed payout ratios are met.
3. Guaranteed payout ratios and payouts to players
This subject should be of the most interest to you. Let’s be honest, while games provide a great deal of fun and entertainment, players want to know the degree of transparency a casino has in terms of its payouts. First of all, if a casino voluntarily publishes information regarding its payout ratios, that is a good sign. Quality casinos pay out at least 96% to players. Most casinos have even higher ratios.
With regard to payout processing, casinos have adopted varying procedures. In some casinos, cash out requests first remain on a “pending” status, i.e., there is a waiting period of up to two days before payout processing is even initiated. Quality casinos pay out immediately, and that means that you should receive your money within 1 – 3 days, depending on the payment provider used. Before deciding to play at a particular casino, carefully read the payout terms and conditions. This information can be found under the ‘methods of payment’ section.
4. Transparent terms and conditions for offered bonuses
Especially as a new player, but also later on, you will receive lots of bonus offers. To ascertain that these are legitimate, be sure to carefully review the bonus terms and conditions. The fact that all types of bonuses have certain wager requirements is not new information. However, you should make sure that these do not exceed a playthrough of 40x your bonus amount. Anything beyond that reduces your chances of winning to just about zero, so it might be better to just pass on the bonus altogether. Also, if you are absolutely inundated with bonuses when making deposits, that is a red flag. Generally, in those types of online casinos, bonus amounts have to be wagered up to 100 times before you can cash out your winnings. There is no way to win!
5. Customer support and general business terms and conditions
A quality casino also provides quality customer support. Ideally, support should be available 24/7, by telephone, live chat, or e-mail. You can tell that you are dealing with a professional organization if customer support is available in several important languages and is free of charge. It is also worth taking a look at the casino’s general business terms and conditions. Clearly-stated conditions are a good sign that you are dealing with a quality online casino. Pages of indecipherable legalese should not instill you with trust or confidence. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger or more popular the online casino, the more likely it is that you are dealing with a fair and respected entity so you can enjoy the games and your winnings to the fullest.