Ask anyone what first attracted them to an online casino and it could well be the fact that it offered a cracking bonus, was a brand that they had heard about, or it ranked highly when they did a Google search.
Hopefully, players will seek out a few reviews beforehand, such as on this very website.
But many people will have their head turned by the bonus cash on offer and the amount and variety of games on offer, and while that should always be considered, their are some unsung aspects of an online casino that should be championed more.
Here’s a rundown on some of the other things that should be considered alongside the more obvious factors.
When shopping around for a holiday, people might think about getting the cheapest possible deal. But what if something goes wrong? Is the support in place to ask questions, smooth over issues and generally be around when needed?
It’s the same for online casinos. So the welcome offer might be fantastic, but if you are signing up to an online casino with the hope of playing for a while, you may come across a few niggles which you want sorting out quickly.
That’s where good old fashioned customer service comes in. Players can sometimes run in to difficulties with their bonuses or rewards, or may need to ask technical questions about their gameplay.
Good online casinos will have a range of contact methods available, from email, live chat and yes, even having an old-fashioned conversation over the phone.
Also, will the casino be around when you need them? Check what hours the support services are operational, and ask yourself if they will be useful to you.
Players and online casinos can get into disputes, but that’s much less likely to happen with good communication options.
People who win a chunk of money will want to get their hands on it.
But players are at the mercy of the casino, to some extent, and some are quicker than others. A credit card might take 3-5 days, and an e-wallet might be instant in theory, but that can extend to 1-2 days ‘processing time’.
Online casinos have to do security and fraud checks with all players, and that often kicks in when a player wants to take some money out. If a casino isn’t really well staffed, these checks might take longer than they should.
Meanwhile, that money is still sitting in the player account as playable funds, and the temptation may be to start wagering again.
That can lead to disgruntlement – when you get a big win, it’s nice to have that cash back with you as soon as possible.
Again, customer service is important here, but players can also check they are signed up to something like eCogra, which is a quality assurance body that the casino is operating to good standards.
READ: Our guide to fast payouts.
It sounds boring, and it probably is, but actually it is rather simple to keep yourself safe while playing at online casinos.
Remember, as a player you will be handing over all sorts of personal details from bank account numbers, to pictures, passport or driving licence details and other data.
You want to be handing that over to a trusted operator – not a rogue or careless one.
This is particularly a problem in jurisdictions with a less than adequate system of regulation, or in which laws are rather vague.
One of the best signs of a safe casino is if they are approved by a trusted regulator such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. That way players know that their activities are being monitored.
But players can also check out reviews, player comments, forums and other web articles which may give a clue as to whether the online casino has a track record.
Take a look at the site – does it look as professional as some of the trust brands you know? What are the terms and conditions like – are they convoluted? Do the withdrawal times look reasonable? If you ask a question, is it answered quickly and professionally.
If a bonus looks to good to be true – it probably is.
READ: Our guide to safe casinos.
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