Discovering which online casino is a perfect match for your needs is often difficult, not least because of the lack of coverage such sites have in the US. However, we have a very specific list of criteria that online casinos should meet in order to be recommendable for users. These are outlined below:
Regulated & Licensed
First of all, the most important aspect of any online casino is licensing. Before creating an account, always examine the licensing details and check whether or not the service is regulated. This applies to both offshore casinos and online casino USA, with the latter often being more reputable and trustworthy for US customers.
The reasoning for looking through licensing details is simple - it’s important to know if your safety is being guaranteed and how secure the site is. If it’s difficult to find licensing credentials, or policies are unclear, consider the site unsafe. Missing simple but crucial details are huge red flags. Licensed casinos are often required to:
- Ensure the security of players’ information
- Help with any problems
- Protect underage users and prevent them from using their services
- Provide support for problem gambling
Safety & Security of Accounts
Not enough is said about the important role that regulators play in forcing online casinos to constantly improve the fairness of online casino gaming and the safety of customer’s accounts. Third-party regulators, like eCogra or TST, are vital cogs in the machine that powers safe online gambling. ADR, a service set up by eCogra, is an Alternative Dispute Resolution and serves as an impartial adjudication service for disputes. Features such as this are important for players seeking safe and fair online casino sites, and they’re common amongst sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority among others.
Look out for the eCogra symbol on an online casino before signing up, as this will give you a solid idea as to whether or not the site is a safe and fair place to enjoy online casino gaming.
Most online casinos advertise welcome bonuses as part of the sign-up process for new customers. In doing so, sites provide players with a slight edge going into their first few days or weeks on the platform. Although they may seem like a really good idea, it’s always important to skim through the T&C’s to make sure you won’t be held to absurd wagering requirements.
Essentially, wagering requirements are the online casinos’ way of making money from your welcome bonus - or any bonus for that matter. Often, players must wager the bonus amount 10x, 20x, 30x, or more. The best promotions are the ones that don’t include any wagering requirements, but these are incredibly rare.
Some popular welcome bonuses are:
- Free spins
- 100% match bonuses
- Reload bonuses
- Loyalty programs
- Enhanced odds
- Spins tournaments
Remember, bonuses and deals that have wagering requirements are usually time-limited. This means players are often expected to complete the bonus requirements within a certain amount of time. If not, bonuses can be invalidated and the player will lose out on the full amount.
It’s always a good idea to try and find the best online casino for payment methods. By searching for casino sites that suit your specific needs when it comes to processing transactions, you’re automatically improving the chances of enhancing your experience. Always look for online casinos that have a wide range of banking methods available, including:
- Credit/Debit Card (likely limited)
- Bank Transfers
Transaction times may vary depending on the payment method selected, but as a general rule of thumb, eWallets are the most efficient way of sending funds to and from an online casino account. Be sure to take fees into account before confirming a withdrawal, too.
Games Available on the Site
More often than not, online casinos allow unregistered users the opportunity to go through the various sections of the site. This gives players insight into what sort of games are available, how many there are, what prizes are up for grabs, and much more. Some games to keep an eye out for are:
- Sports Betting
- Live Casino
- Mega Wheel
Online Casino Payouts
Having a keen eye for payout percentages is one of the best tools to have in your armory. Look for online casinos that boast high RTPs (Return To Player), as this will give you an idea of the chance of winning. The higher the RTP percentage, the more you’ll be paid out over time. On average, online casinos payout between 95%-97% across their entire catalog of games. For example:
- Roulette has an RTP of around 97%
- Baccarat has an RTP of about 98%
- Slots games have an RTP of 95%
From this, we can gather that Baccarat is an online casino game with the best RTP rating. It’s worth noting that this is a general overview and not representational of every US online casino.
Customer Support Options
If an online casino shows that it cares about its player base, it can make a massive difference. Upon looking at the options available, you may be able to test their services by creating an account. For instance, some sites allow users to create accounts without depositing, and from there you can try out the live chat feature. By asking questions it becomes easy to understand how knowledgeable the support members of staff really are.
The key to a solid experience for players is a responsive, helpful, and informative customer support staff. Not only does this provide a great experience for the player in question, but it can be a major boost for online casinos trying to get some extra publicity and attract more customers. Customer support may also be at hand 24/7, which is something that shows true dedication to customers.
Contact methods should include the likes of email, live chat, contact form, telephone, and possibly even by mail. If an online casino can supply each of these, then it’s surely a good choice for both veteran players and rookies.
While most online casinos are supported by desktops, far fewer are available on mobile devices. This is changing rapidly as demand for services on mobile rises with each passing year, and we’re now seeing more online casino sites develop downloadable apps for iOS and Android devices.
It’s worth heading to the Google Play Store or App Store and searching for your preferred app. Casino apps are a great way of enjoying online gaming action on the move, as long as you’re connected to the internet. The selection of games available could be less compared to the desktop version of whatever site you usually use, as many game developers on a lower budget cannot optimize their games for mobile devices.
Payouts, customer support, and payment methods should all be the same for mobile online casinos, making it an all-around brilliant experience - just on a smaller screen.
The quality and the reputation of game developers whose titles are available at online casinos are often overlooked, but we encourage you to research them beforehand. An online casino is nothing without games, which is why it’s always important to do a quick search online for the developers’ names to ensure they haven’t been involved in legal action regarding unfair games or other misbehavior.
Some notable game developer companies include NetEnt, iSoftBet, Play’n GO, Yggdrasil, Microgaming, and IGT. Renowned for their impressive array of slots and progressive jackpots, these developers have made a name for themselves by always striving to improve their releases. So long as more developers aim for, and possess the same motivation for positive behavior, the online casino industry will continue to thrive.
Ease of Use
Why play at an online casino if its interface is impossible to use? Flick through all of the menus that you can, make sure loading speeds are up to scratch, and that all the basic features work properly. If all of the base criteria are met, then the likelihood of the online casino being well-run by a talented team is much higher. One other thing you might be able to try is placing demo bets if they’re available. Doing so is a great way of discovering how well the online casino can run a particular game. However, quite a lot of real online casino sites don’t support this feature - but it’s always a major plus if they do.
It’ll stand out like a sore thumb if the site can’t process a simple function, like using the search bar, so always be sure to test the sites’ user-friendliness before jumping on board as a customer.