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Before the emergence of online casinos, players had a very limited range of options. Those that were lucky enough to have a casino in their town or city would go there, and those who had a casino in their neighbourhood/vicinity, were considered to be extremely lucky. Only those who lived in one of the casino meccas throughout the world, like Vegas or Monte Carlo were actually able to choose. Many had to travel half way across their country or even the globe to reach their gaming destination.
The first online casinos changed all that and now there are no limits, you can log in to an online casino at any time, from the comfort of your own home. The appearance of the mobile casinos made things even easier, for now players are able to play their favourite casino games even when they are far away from home, as long as there’s a stable internet connection.
Online casinos opened a world of possibilities. Too many possibilities perhaps. How can you know, how can you decide which casino is the one you should register at? There are too many casinos and all of them claim to be the best, or at least one of the best. But in reality, only few can be top-notch casinos, many can be good or decent, and some are not good at all. As a player, it seems that you need to spend too much time going through different casino sites, trying to understand which one is worthy of your trust.
Fortunately, at TheCasinoDB you will find reviews of the best online casinos, and that will significantly ease your quest for a suitable online casino. All the casinos that are listed here, meet our high criteria, therefore you can be certain that you will be offered a fair and reliable gaming experience.
Still, all casinos that you can find on this website are not the same, there are differences in terms of the games they offer, their layout and interface, they may offer different bonuses, both for new players and general promotions, they provide different support options, accept different currencies, and so on.
In order to be able to find the right casino for you, you have to know what you’re looking for first and where your priorities lay. Once you know that, finding the most suitable casino will be piece of cake.
First things first, when you’re choosing an online casino it is an absolute must to be sure that the casino is legal. All casinos that are featured at The CasinoDB are legal and licenced by a respective authority, so you won’t have to worry about that. However, there are different licencing authorities, so when a casino is licenced by a certain licencing body, it doesn’t mean that the licence grants it the right to offer its services to you.
Some countries have stricter licencing policies, whereas other are more liberal. For example, the UK Gambling Commission has issued licenced to a really wide range of online casinos, so UK players have a lot of options. However, if you are from the UK it is advisable that you play only at casinos that have a UKGC, because only then you can be certain that your rights as a customer are protected. UK laws require that every online casino operator that wishes to offer its services in the country must obtain a UKGC licence first.
Other countries accept licences issued elsewhere, so they permit foreign casinos to offer services to their citizens. So, as a player you should always check both whether a casino is licenced and is it permitted to offer its services to you and citizens of your country or region. In cases where it is not illegal for you to play at any online casino, make sure that the casino you’ve chosen is licenced in at least one reputable jurisdiction.
The Importance of RNGs and RNG Tests
The licencing is an important factor, as licenced casinos are more likely to offer you a fair gaming experience and protect your security, both in terms of transactions, but also when it comes to protection of your personal information, such as name and address. Moreover, reliable online casinos promote responsible gaming and provide support to their customers who might have a problem.
When it comes to fairness, RNG (random number generator) is what matters, at least when we speak of software games. Software games are simulated and the goal is to simulate random outcomes where players would have realistic odds of winning. For example, if we are talking of a card game, like Blackjack, the software should simulate the probabilities and their likelihood just as if the game was played with real cards and all outcomes must be entirely random, i.e. no external factor can influence and have an effect on the outcome. Only then there can be certainty that the game is completely and utterly fair.
Renowned software providers always use top RNGs, but it is always good to have the RNG tested by an independent testing agency. There are several such international organisations and most of the top online casinos hire one of them to test their software. The tests can be done on a monthly, quarterly or a yearly basis and these organisations usually issue certificates which testify that the operator in question uses a RNG which guarantees the fairness of the provided games.
eCOGRA is one of the most renowned organisations that conducts online casino software tests, but it also an alternative dispute solution provider for UK players and casinos but it can also facilitate disputes between players and casinos licenced in other jurisdictions. On a casino website you may notice the Certified Software seal of eCOGRA has conducted relevant software tests and guarantees for the casino’s RNG software, and/or the Safe and Fair seal which testifies that the casino complies with eCOGRA’s requirements for generally accepted practices.
Anti-Virus Security and SSL Encryption
From fair gaming we move onto security. Two types of security are usually employed by online casinos. First is anti-virus security which ensures that all data that are processed through the website, for example if the casino offers a downloadable file for those who wish to install the download version, are safe and the computers of the customers won’t be infected with any viruses. These systems resemble the anti-virus and anti-malware systems that we all use on our computers, but are a bit more sophisticated.
In addition, protecting the customer’s financial data is of tremendous importance. Millions of payments are processed through casino websites and some transactions include large sums of money. Casino websites have always been targeted by hackers and other online fraudsters who attempt to gain hold of valuable information such as credit card and bank account numbers which can then be used to drain funds from customers’ accounts.
For this purpose, casinos use SSL encryption. It can be either 128-bit, or 256-bit, and both provide security so that nobody will be able to intercept your communication with the casino during the payment process. SSL technology successfully encrypts all vital information in a way that makes it incomprehensible for anyone who is not in possession of the key for its decryption. That way, even if someone from outside obtains certain data, they will not be able to use it.
Many online casinos hire organisations that handle their transactions for them. These companies usually have plenty of experience and expertise in the area and provide seamless and safe services to casinos and their customers.
Preventing Problem Gaming and Underage Gaming
While most of us treat casino gaming as a fun pastime which gives us an opportunity to earn some extra cash, there are certain individuals who wager dangerous sums of money thus risking both their financial wellbeing and the wellbeing of their families. That is why any responsible casino will offer protection and support to those individuals and will do everything within its power to protect its customers from developing a dangerous habit. Most top casinos support responsible gaming and they fully cooperate with independent organisations that promote responsible gaming.
People who are worried that they have started losing too much money at an online casino, even money that they can’t afford to lose have the option of setting deposit limits, stricter than the limits already imposed by the casino. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the option of self-exclusion. Players can choose to limit their access to their casino account for a particular period of time, like 6 months or a year, or forever.
Security standards and checks ensure that no underage individuals will be allowed to play real money games. The specific age limit depends on the legislation of the particular country where the player resides. In addition, payment verification procedures are used to guarantee that customers can prove the origin of their funds and do not use their casinos accounts with the purpose of money-laundering.
Players visit online casinos because they enjoy playing casino games, therefore it is not surprising that the quality of the games that are offered by a particular casino and their quality will have an impact on the decision of a player whether or not to register an account and start playing at a particular online casino.
The number of the games is just one of the factors and it can vary from one casino to another. At some online casinos you will be able to play 500 games, or perhaps even 800 or 1,000 or above, whereas other casinos will only offer 200 or 300 games. The number of games usually depends on the number of casino software developers that provide the game. Generally, casinos that offer games from multiple providers usually offer a larger number of games.
The quality of the available games is perhaps more important than the quantity. Few companies are considered to be the best online casino software providers in the world – Playtech, Microgaming and NetEnt are always among them, but there are a dozen of other companies that also develop high-quality games, as well as a number of smaller and newly established companies.
Some players have a preference when it comes to software developers. For example, if you fancy NetEnt’s casino games the most, then you would definitely be looking for an online casino that offers NetEnt games, and you wouldn’t worry too much whether they offer games by a provider that you don’t like as much.
Types of Games
When it comes to types of casino games, we usually distinguish online slots, table games (and card games), video poker games, live casino games and scratch cards, and that’s the widest possible categorisation. Some casinos go even further and distinguish between video slots and classic slots, as well as 5-reel and 3-reel slots or add categories for certain specific types of slots. Most of the games that you will find at practically every online casino are slots and most players enjoy playing slots. Slots are the type of games where software developers are free to let their imagination and creativity run wild.
When it comes to table games, at the casinos with better and ‘more equipped’ game libraries you will find at least few or more variants of both Blackjack and Roulette, as two of the most popular table games, but there will also be Baccarat, Craps, Pai Gow, Sic Bo, Punto Banco and many more.
The number of video poker games may vary from a few up to few dozens or even up to a hundred games and you will usually find at least a handful of scratch cards. Other specialty games like keno and bingo might also be available.
Live casino games are often considered to be the Rolls Royce of online casino gaming and that’s not an unsubstantiated claim. Live casino games are played in real time, against a real dealer who sits/stands in an authentic casino atmosphere on the other side of the screen. Live casino games are broadcast live and the player gets to see the dealer how she/he deals the cards and the croupier how she/he spins the wheel. Actual playing cards, dice and Roulette wheels are used for live games and that’s the guarantee that the games are fair and random.
It is hard to find an online casino that doesn’t offer some sort of a bonus, at least to newly registered players. The New Player Bonus, also known as the Welcome Bonus is usually in an amount that matches the player’s first deposit, although many casinos offer similar deposit bonus also on the second and third, and on subsequent bonuses. Moreover, there are also casinos that offer a no-deposit bonus, which is a bonus that players can claim even before they make their first deposit.
The maximum bonus amount may vary, some casinos stick to amounts close to £100 or even lower, but other operators may offer as much as £200, £300 or even £500, especially if we take into consideration the amount that you can claim on multiple deposits. Some casinos award the bonus funds automatically to all players who meet the criteria, whereas at other casino sites you will be required to opt in or type in the appropriate bonus code.
Usually there’s a timeframe during which you will need to use your bonus, otherwise you will lose the remaining bonus funds. The wagering requirement is perhaps more important than the bonus amount and the bonus percentage. The wagering requirement tells you how much money you will have to play through before you can withdraw any bonus winnings. The requirement is usually an amount multiple times higher than the bonus amount or the bonus and the deposit taken cumulatively. For example, if you have claimed a £100 bonus and the wagering requirement is 50 times the bonus amount, you will need to wager at least £5,000 before you can withdraw your winnings.
Always make sure that you check the wagering requirement and whether you can realistically meet the criteria before claiming a Welcome Bonus.
Other Promotions and VIP Programmes
In addition to new player bonuses many casinos usually offer other promotions, such as cashback promotions, daily promotions, seasonal promotions, or special promotions. The terms and conditions under which these promotions are offered may vary. These promotions also have certain wagering requirements and you are strongly advised to check both them and the rest of the terms and conditions before deciding whether the bonus offer is attractive or not.
In addition to bonuses and promotions many casinos run loyalty or VIP programs which reward their loyal customers. Players can collect points for every quid they have wagered and these points can later be exchanged for cash and used at the casino or withdrawn directly, depending on the specific conditions. Players who reach higher VIP levels are also entitled to other benefits, as well as bonuses, including even personalised bonuses and special birthday presents.
We talked about payment security, but we haven’t yet mentioned payment methods. Generally, the more methods a casino accepts, the better, as players will have the chance to choose which method suits them most. Some casinos accept at only few methods, whereas other may accept several payment methods, even a dozen or two.
Most casinos accept credit and debit cards, at least major brands like Visa and MasterCard, and a majority also accept the leading e-Wallet payment options – Neteller and Skrill, whereas fewer accept PayPal. Bank transfers and fast bank transfers are almost always included in the options and numerous other online methods and prepaid cards like Paysafecard, Zimpler, Trustly and plenty of other are also accepted. There are even casinos that accept crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.
Again, the range of options isn’t the only criterion. Most casinos don’t charge any deposit or withdrawal fees, so you will be able to use the full amount that you deposit. It is definitely wiser to look for a casino that doesn’t charge deposit fees, instead of a one that does. Moreover, most players prefer when their deposited funds reach their casino accounts instantly, and fortunately most casino operators allow instant deposits.
The deposit and withdrawal limits are another issue. Some people like to be able to deposit smaller amounts of money as they play only casually, whereas those with larger bankrolls would prefer if they are able to deposit more money at once. Same goes for withdrawals. The limits may vary and if you have a specific preference you should look for a casino that meets your expectations.
Last but not least, withdrawal waiting periods are also a factor. First the casino must approve your withdrawal request and then the processing period starts. Based on the policy of the specific operator and your chosen payment method, the withdrawal period may take from one or two days, up to 5 or even 10 working days.
Customer support shows how casinos feel about their customers and how far they are willing to go to convince players that they care for them. Some casinos offer support through at least few communication platforms, whereas other operators may only offer email customer support. Generally speaking, it is always better to have multiple options, especially if there is phone support, preferably via a toll free phone line.
The FAQ section is there to provide answers to some of the questions that might bother customers and potential customers, so they don’t have to call customer support all the time. It is really easier for players when the FAQ section contains answers to as many questions as possible.
It is hard to define the best casino, as different players have different needs and expectations. However, there is a range of preconditions that a casino must meet in order to qualify as one of the most reliable operators. Above on this page we have explained some of the key aspects of what constitutes a top online casino, but there are few other minor details that should be noted.
Most casinos nowadays offer games through their websites and download casinos are in decline. Still, there might be players who prefer download casinos. Whether or not the casino site is user-friendly has a bearing on your overall gaming experience. Also, scope of options that are available in the mobile version of a casino and the mobile devices that are supported are of great importance to players who wish to be able to play their favourite games in their mobile device.
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