It’s not hard to find just any online casino: sometimes, it feels like putting in virtually any random URL in your web browser will get you to a site willing to let you place a bet. But it’s a much more difficult task to determine which of these sites are worth your time, and which ones you should avoid.
While the world of Internet gambling might seem mystifying at first, there are plenty of reliable indicators that can point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a great casino to play in. And if you’re not sure what they are, you can rest assured that we have done everything we can to help you find only the best online casinos.
Our Vetting Process
How can we be so confident that you’ll be safe by playing at our recommended sites? The secret lies in our stringent vetting process. We know that our recommendations can also impact our reputation, so we’re careful to ensure that each and every casino site we suggest is safe and trustworthy, and offers a quality gaming experience for players.
In order to be as certain as possible about our picks, we take a look at numerous factors while evaluating each site. These generally break down in a few categories: items related to safety and ensuring the sites are legitimate, the quality of the games you can play, and the efforts made by operators to give players the best experience possible.
Of course, it’s a bit more complex than that. Read on to learn more about how we figure out which sites are good enough to make our cut, and which ones should be avoided at all costs.
Licensing and Regulation
There’s still a perception by some politicians and gamblers alike that the Internet gambling industry operates in a “Wild West” environment where there are no rules or regulations. In reality, virtual casinos are quickly accepting oversight similar to their land-based counterparts. All reputable sites are regulated in at least one established jurisdiction that serves to provide oversight and consumer protections for players.
Increasingly, many countries, provinces, and states are requiring local licenses in order to operate. If you live in one of these areas, we’ll let you know which sites are approved by your local government – and others that might still operate there outside of that system.
Security is of Utmost Importance
A major concern for many players is whether their personal information and their funds will be safe at each website. One of the major parts of our vetting procedure is ensuring that each casino we recommend uses state of the art technologies to protect their players at all times. That means that they use modern encryption standards and store any personal information properly to protect you from hackers and identity thieves.
What good is a casino without any games? We can’t count any site among the top ones on the Internet unless it offers players all of the options they want. That means the creme de la creme of online slots (hopefully including some with big jackpots), table games like blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat, and video poker machines. It’s even better if the game selection goes beyond this basic collection by offering some specialty options, or if the site offers a live dealer section where you can play games with real human beings determining the results at a table you can watch over a video feed.
Any good site should offer a variety of ways for you to get your winnings, hopefully ranging from e-wallet sites to bank wires, checks, and perhaps other options. To qualify as one of the best online casinos, those cashout methods must also be reliable and fast. Nothing can ruin a casino experience faster (or slower, as the case may be) than an unexplained, long wait for the winnings you’ve rightfully earned.
Promotions, Bonuses and Freebies
One of the big advantages that Internet gaming sites have over brick-and-mortar casinos is the fact that they have less overhead, meaning that they can afford to give more back to their players. This usually comes in the way of promotions: bonuses that players can enjoy on their deposits, rewards programs, and other incentives. The best sites offer a ton of value in these offers, and use terms and conditions that are fair to players.
Any site can say that their games are fair and safe, but it’s very hard for players to prove this – especially without spending a lot of money playing first. That’s why any good online casino will prominently display the fact that they have been tested by an independent lab that has audited their games and certified them to be fair. If you don’t see this, then that should be regarded as a major red flag, and something that will ensure we wouldn’t recommend them to our readers.
This is a little more subjective, but we also put a lot of emphasis on the reputation that a website has built up over its time in existence. It’s always better if a site has a long track record, but even one that has only been around for a few months will already have people talking about it. And if that talk is bad, we’ll usually steer clear. After all, there are plenty of sites that have made players happy for a long time, meaning there’s no reason to take your chances on one that has let down its users.
By looking at all of these key areas, we can feel confident that we’re only recommending the very best online casinos to you. Each of the sites you find us talking about here (unless otherwise specified) is safe, reliable, and most of all, a lot of fun for anyone who wants to give Internet gambling a try. If you’ve been looking to break into the world of online casinos, any of the sites we give high marks to is a great place to start.