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At BETANDBEAT™, you will find an experienced team going beyond simply listing online gambling sites and great casino bonuses. Our content goes deep and tries to break down what many casino games are about, in a way that's easy to digest for you.
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- Modern Gambling – we cover mobile gambling, as well as bitcoin casinos, and esports gambling
- Interviews – read great insights from professional gamblers and iGaming industry experts
- Expert Team – our specialist writers are passionate with the science behind casino games
How should you go about choosing the best casino site? After all, you may spend quite a bit of money on there so here are the key characteristics you need to consider.
In an industry where fraudsters lurk, gambling licenses are a proven method of identifying legitimate online casinos out of the hundreds of online operators. Checking a company’s certification is an excellent way to avoid becoming victims of criminals using phishing websites or games with manipulated RNG algorithms.
Long-running legitimate gambling sites work hard to meet the strict casino licensing requirements, such as paying the appropriate fees and maintain total control over their finances to pay all winners. Another example of these rules comes from the Malta Gaming Authority, requiring online casinos to separate their operating funds from all of their players’ funds. Violating any rules, such as allowing underage members to play any online casino games, or not having a KYC policy in place, can lead to heavy fines as well as suspended licenses.
All licensed online casinos have their license details visible to anyone who browses their website, often on their homepage and on each page’s site footer. There is not a single good reason for a gambling site to hide its license, so if they don’t show it, chances are they simply don’t have any. In a regulated industry, a license assures new players that their money and private information are safe.
Various jurisdictions have specific regulation offices that license online casinos operating within their territories and jurisdictions. Notable gambling authorities and gaming control boards include the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Malta Gaming Authority, United Kingdom Gambling Commission, and Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Each iGaming authority office has common standards set among licensed operators, such as protecting minors from gambling and preventing gambling issues. Others have specific rules for various aspects of online gambling, such as the use of cryptocurrencies. Specific jurisdictions are stringent when it comes to protecting the players, such as the Isle of Man. You also have areas such as Costa Rica that allow nearly any operator to obtain a license.
It is important to note that rogue gambling sites can also look like legal online casinos by using a regulatory board license image (one that they simply faked). To complete the illusion of a safe website, clicking on the license will take you to the jurisdiction license board’s official website. It pays to manually look up the official name of an online gambling operator through a gambling license agency’s database, helping you know which casino is legitimate or not.
To put everything together, legitimate online casinos are the ones with a proper license from their respective jurisdiction. If you choose online gambling sites running in different jurisdictions, pick one with a license from a strict regulatory office such as the MGA or Gambling Supervision Commission from the Isle of Man. Heavily regulated jurisdictions tend to have your safety as their priority.
Safety and security
Trust is an essential commodity among the safest casino sites since every patron holds an operator accountable for their money and private information. No matter the amount, cash is everything to all casino players. What is the point of doubling, quadrupling, or increasing one’s bankroll to 10x its amount if any criminal can steal someone’s money by cracking your account’s password?
A casino player’s sensitive personal identifiable information (PII) should be the primary concern, alongside money and other payment information. Imagine if your full name, home address, social security number, picture of your license, and other critical data are in the hands of a criminal. You are looking at a possible fraud crime where hackers can rack up loans and credits under your name. Money is the least of your worries when a data breach occurs within a casino that does not have a way to prevent criminals from accessing their player’s PII.
If you are playing in a legitimate online casino, your money and PII depends on the operator’s ability to protect their own site and cloud data from external and internal cyberthreats. A quick method to know if an operator has the proper protection is to look for the HTTPS on the URL bar. Please take note that all major social media sites and email providers also have HTTPS on their URLs.
Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) adds a layer of protection among online casinos that encrypts any and all data or text it transfers. With a secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption or transport layer security (TLS), all information sent to a secure site will be encrypted and nearly impossible to read. In contrast, regular HTTP casinos have all their players’ information out in the open. Criminals can easily “sniff” the packets of data sent to unprotected sites with free apps using a technique called a “man-in-the-middle attack”, especially with public WiFi hotspots in public spaces, bars, or even hotels.
Gambling sites that have the best security in place against cheaters on their platforms are ones to consider when finding the safest casino sites. Reputable sites have fraudulent pattern detection systems using AI and machine learning, allowing them to find possible hackers or criminals. This type of protection ensures that the operator can payout your casino winnings and kick out poker bots who can cheat you out of winning the pot from online cardrooms. An excellent way to find casinos with this security is the platform they are using. Visiting the home page of the platform software provider lets you know if it has a fraud detection system.
Online casinos, card rooms, bingo sites, online betting apps, and esports betting platforms all tend to have a license to operate and proper security on their website. However, a license and good security measures do not automatically turn them into trusted gambling sites. The reputation of an operator comes from the experience players had when playing in their online casino.
Customer support is also a massive way for gambling operators to differentiate themselves from one another. In such a sensitive industry like iGaming, problems are inevitable: passwords lost, account locked, payments delayed, bugs during a game, and so on. Are they fast to get back to you? Do they come up with excuses at every step? Are they really trying to shift the blame? How a casino deals with these issues is paramount to building a solid reputation.
One of the factors of a trusted operator is choice. Casino site operators may run multiple brands on the platform to give you a wide range of options to enjoy. Questionable operators tend to have a limited range of games and betting options. A majority of these options tend to favor the house.
Payment and withdrawal methods are other factors to consider. Suspicious casinos also have significantly fewer payment options. A good chunk of them tends to forego credit cards, online e-wallets, and other options that provide fraud protection to customers. This is why fraud with crypto gambling is massive, you have no recourse to get your money back even in cases of flagrant scams.
Going through the terms and conditions of a gambling site can help you judge the trustworthiness of a casino. Any typos, grammatical errors, or spelling errors on the essential part of a gambling site are red flags. Running the policy document of a gambling site through a plagiarism checker can also help you know if this is just a copy from another online casino. Any red flags you find from a site’s terms and conditions can tell you more about the operator’s reputation than the homepage.
Fortunately for those with limited time to go through an operator’s website, numerous people have placed their research and experience on online casino review sites. These sites have blacklisted online casinos based on the feedback and complaints provided by actual customers. Narrowing down your search by filtering out any blacklisted operators can save you time when looking for trusted gambling sites.
Putting the effort to look for reputable gambling sites ensures fair games, smooth deposit and withdrawal, and issue-free experience. These issues include technicalities within the terms and conditions that can prevent a player from withdrawing their bankroll. Finding reputable sites lets you spend your money on games you want to play without the hassle or stress that comes from worrying about your winnings.
Promotions and bonuses
The best online casinos entice potential players to sign up and deposit money by using welcome casino bonuses and other types of promotions. These sign-up welcome bonuses consist of casino credits based on your deposit amount. But there are more types of offers! Other welcome promotions include “match bonuses” where you receive credit equal to the amount you deposited, and more rarely, a welcome cash bonus without deposit requirement.
Note that some other bonuses do not require you to fund your account, such as no-deposit casino free spins. These incentives simply require you to be a member of an online gambling site to enjoy several free spins on qualifying slots. The rationale from the operator’s perspective is that they will convert you into a paying player later down the line.
Apart from bonus credits and free spins on specific slot games, online casinos have other ways to get new people onto their platforms. You have free bets at table games and casino card games. For sports punters, you can get credits on future sports wagers and special sportsbook odds, instead of regular casino credits.
Nearly every operator tends to have the same offer of credits, free games, and free wagers for both new and regular patrons. To stand out, certain operators go beyond being generous by adding more to the basket. You can see this with incredible welcome bonuses that include multiple incentives such as match bonuses and free spins. There are also promotional days where all new and regular patrons can frequently get additional credits by simply making a deposit.
While the bonuses are enticing for anyone, there is a catch attached to them, including with no-deposit bonuses and free spins. Every bonus contains a wagering requirement, a goal you need to clear before you can withdraw the casino credits. At times, all of your winnings from your free spins, table game bets, and sportsbook wagers must also be wagered several times to withdraw the money. Wagering requirements are different from deposit requirements. Wagering requirements allow you to keep on betting your profits from previous wins back.
Most gambling sites have different wagering requirements on their promotional bonuses. It pays to read the offer’s terms and conditions attentively to know what you need to cash out your bonus credits or winnings.
One example of a wagering requirement is betting your total bonus about 20 times. If you get $100 worth of casino credit, you need to wager a total of $2,000 to cash it out.
When things go wrong, everyone turns to customer support on any gambling site. Patrons need assistance when their deposits aren’t processing, when a specific game is not distributing their winnings, or there is an extended delay on their withdrawals. Operators need to have a line of communication with their players and punters, such as email support or 24/7 live support via chat. Reputable operators tend to offer multiple options in contacting their staff, including phone support.
Not all issues require human assistance. For example when a customer needs to know specific terms, such as a minimum deposit amount. Fortunately, reputable gambling sites provide a self-help section called the knowledge base, where the answers to nearly all questions a player has can be found.
The response speed of online casino support staff shows you how dependable a gambling site can be. Customer service usually responds within 24 hours to email messages. And 24/7 live chat usually has an automated answer to inquiries, but you can expect to get a message from an actual agent within an hour. Should a support staff respond to your email after waiting for five days or after 24 hours through the live chat, it is a definite red flag on how poor the operator’s customer support is.
Having a banned account on a gambling site is one primary reason a player needs a reliable customer service staff. Trusted online casinos tend to have clear communication with a player in regards to a blocked casino account. These operators will let you know why you are suddenly locked out of your account and provide steps to correct the problem. Should a customer service agent keep providing the same answers or is constantly transferring you to other people regarding a banned account, you will want to find a third party to help you sort the issue.
Testing a customer service line helps you determine how trustworthy they can be, which can be done by simply emailing them or opening a live chat line. Ask them a series of difficult questions, such as blocked casino accounts, withdrawal failure, or permanent banning, and take note of their response. If the customer service agent provides a clear answer within the expected time frame, the online gambling site is worth putting down to your shortlist.
The payment options of an online gambling site are crucial since they are relevant to an operator’s and a player’s bottom line. Debit and credit cards as well as bank transfers are the most common ways to top up your account among casino, sportsbook, and racebook websites. Even gambling websites that offer free money casino games where you receive free spins or credits to wager with still require a way for you to withdraw your winnings.
Reputable online casinos tend to have a wide range of payment methods to accommodate any patron including e-wallets. Services such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Entropay, and Paysafecard allow players to make online transactions conveniently. These e-wallets also act as a security measure that allows patrons to top up their accounts separately from their credit cards and bank accounts.
In contrast, illegitimate casinos or operators who have numerous patrons with low feedback tend to have a small number of payment options. A certain number of these casinos tend to use money transfer options such as Western Union, which lacks the same customer protection measures as credit cards or e-wallets. Money transfer services also lack the fast deposit and withdrawals speed of e-wallets and credit cards.
While casino patrons have enjoyed the quick e-wallet cash-outs and the reliability of the payment method, there is another option that operators have been integrating into their platform: cryptocurrencies for gambling. Blockchain coins such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and even Doge, all made it possible for players to deposit their money and withdraw their winnings within an hour or less than a day. For comparison, credit cards and bank transfers can take up to three to five days to complete a transaction while e-wallets can take one to three days.
Despite the convenience of cryptocurrency among online casino patrons, digital coins lack the player protection measures provided by credit cards, bank transfer, and e-wallets. All transactions on most Blockchain networks are final and cannot be reversed. Players who send their cryptocurrencies to the wrong address or are duped by rogue casinos will never retrieve their money.
Players and punters in certain regions rely on alternative payment methods such as e-wallets for casino deposits and withdrawals. Additionally, there are jurisdictions such as England and Australia that ban credit cards for online gambling. Fortunately, these strict regulatory authorities are opening up to new payment methods such as cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency acceptance among online casinos come from the MGA’s efforts in exploring the use of Blockchain coins to their licensed operators.
Sports betting, online slots, bingo, poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat, esports gambling, and other casino games are the main reasons why people are spending real money on gambling sites. A good share of online casinos do focus more on table games, slots, and other instant casino games (e.g., RNG games, video poker, video roulette).
Other sites specialize in other games such as online poker rooms, sportsbooks, and racebooks. Long-running gambling sites combine all kinds of gambling attractions under one roof (e.g., 888, PokerStars, Bet365).
Slots are your most common RNG games among online casinos since they come in different flavors. You have the generous high-RTP slots that turn all of your spins wins while giving you a small return on your bet. There are 3D slots that turn your gambling experience into a full-length Pixar movie. For those looking to make a small fortune, there are progressive slots where its highest payouts can reach millions of dollars.
Recreating the casino experience are the various table games among gambling sites. You can find your basics such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat. Special variants of these table games have unique and exciting side-bets are available among online casinos such as Blackjack Perfect Pairs, Punto Banco, and French Roulette.
Poker comes in several delicious styles, from live poker to RNG video poker. One of these games includes classic video poker that uses the five-card draw rule where you build a strong hand for a high payout. Video poker also has its variants that introduce unique rules such as Deuces Wild where the 2 cards act as wild cards. Online casinos also have a rich selection of poker card games that range from Texas Hold’em to Ride’m Poker. Poker table games usually involve playing against the dealer, which is a different experience than just forming a winning hand in video poker.
Skill games are an emerging trend among millennials who grew up with the development of video games. As the name suggests, skill casino games allow you to use your own physical and mental capabilities instead of relying on luck. These games are either a slot machine with a skill-based mini-game such as Next Gaming’s Asteroids or are full-featured skill games such as GameCo’s Danger Arena.
As you understand, top online casino sites tend to have a wide range of slot games, table games, card games, and skill games. Going through a site’s game library can tell you if they are worth your time and money.
Whilst most online casino sites have a diverse range of games that appeal to most, the games do lack “authenticity”. Regular gamblers still find land-based casinos more vibrant and buzzing. Online live casino games are the solution. They bring in that authentic gambling experience of playing with an actual dealer and not a computerised algorithm.
Live dealer casino games consist of a video stream with an actual croupier and game table. A gambling UI is provided to you on top of the live stream, giving you options on what to wager. The majority of live dealer games tend to have the betting placement on the felt to add realism to the experience. During these games, other real players join you at the table in making bets with the live croupier. These players can interact with each other through a built-in chatroom. Certain games also allow a player to interact with the croupier where you can give them a tip for luck.
There are wide varieties of live casino tables to choose from among gambling sites that offer them. Prominent examples are live dealer blackjack, live dealer roulette, live dealer baccarat, and live dealer Ultimate Texas Hold’em. All of these games play out like their physical counterparts in brick and mortar casinos where a croupier deals playing cards or spins a roulette wheel.
To integrate the casino experience into a live streaming game, certain changes are made to the online versions. Playing cards are the most noticeable change where live dealer games use larger cards with barcodes or RFID embedded in each playing card. When croupiers draw a card from the shoe, it passes through a scanner that identifies the cards that are active during one session. This is used to prevent fraud and accidental errors, too.
Other live dealer casino games invoke a gameshow-like format such as Evolution Gaming’s Mega Ball, Monopoly Live, and Dream Catcher. Because of the format, croupiers act like TV hosts to add an immersive experience of participating in a variety show.
What makes playing with a real dealer appealing is the “actual” randomness of a hand’s result. In every RNG game, your winnings depend on the algorithm or complex math equations. Advances in technology have made digital casino games produce nearly authentic results. However, it does not replace the actual randomness of an actual card shuffle or physical ball rolling around a physical roulette wheel.
Great live casino sites provide players with an immersive gambling experience than rivals real-world rooms. It is worth joining a gambling site that offers both live dealer games and online casino games to give you the best of both worlds. Most household names do offer both so you will be fine if you stick to those big names.
What you are seeing on your browser, mobile phone, tablet, or smart TV when visiting a gambling site is the casino’s software platform. All the functionality you require for an online casino is included in a casino platform such as deposit/withdrawals, games, digital wallet, and contact to customer support. Operators can utilize the platform to keep track of patrons, manage their casino library, set a welcome bonus package, and much more.
Game technology companies are responsible for creating casino games in order to sell them to the operators you know. It’s a bit like going to the movies. The films you are watching aren’t produced by the theater operator, they are created by studios. The casino site you use did not create each slot game, but rather purchased them from one of the popular casino game studios.
Microgaming has been one of the longest-running platform providers since 1994. Other prominent providers include IGT, Playtech, and SkillOnNet. These providers offer turnkey software to operators that include the games, language support, payment system, and other essential components of an online casino. Turnkey casino software also allows operators to customize the look of the casino platform to incorporate their brand.
RNG game developers create all slots, table games, and other casino attractions within gambling sites. Developers incorporate a PRNG algorithm in each digital title alongside the game mechanics such as card draws, slot reels, and roulette wheels. When done right, the algorithm produces and integrates the results to the title’s visual feature.
Slot game suppliers such as WMS, Yggdrasil, and Play’n Go focus more on the visual and mechanical features of their titles. To stand out, slot providers have been breaking the norm for years such as adding more reels, special symbols, unique bonuses, and massive payouts. You have the likes of Konami tapping into the player’s nostalgia by turning their legacy titles into slot machines. Other slot development studios like Inspired Gaming and Betsoft focus on telling stories through 3D visual cut scenes.
With casino patrons playing slots and table games on their phones and tablets more often, developers ensure their titles are cross-platform software. RNG game developers need to adapt to emerging online technologies to make their titles compatible with nearly any modern device. This reason is why developers have their titles run on HTML5, making it easy for high-res games to run smoothly on phones and tablets.
Casinos made it possible for everyone to enjoy Las Vegas, Macau, and Monaco casinos right on their computer and mobile devices. In addition, slot developers and iGaming programmers have been enhancing the experience with a wide range of casino games that use exciting modern technologies.
Accessibility is a driving factor among casino platform providers to make sure everyone can enjoy any gambling site without the technological hassle. Previously, online casinos came in massive executable files that you needed to download. Only a few operators still use this method whilst newer gambling sites are no-download casinos. These casinos are accessible through any web browser on your computer or mobile device.
Mobile casinos are on a rising trend given their convenience and accessibility. Casino game developers must consider the compatibility of the website on touch screens when creating mobile-friendly gambling sites. Mobile-optimized online casinos should make it easy for you to navigate the platform with your fingers. Engineers also need mobile casino apps to be accessible for your thumbs while holding your phone or tablet with a single hand. Operators are at risk of missing out on potential revenue if any part of their casino platform is inaccessible to mobile gamblers.
Thanks to the use of HTML5 to build mobile slots, blackjack, baccarat, and other games, these can run on a wide range of browsers, phones, tablets, and desktop devices. It’s as close as you can get to the famous motto: “write once, run everywhere”.
It is important to note that most players wager on both their computers and mobile devices. The laptop or desktop version of a betting site should reflect the same data as its mobile-friendly counterpart. From the deposit/withdrawal options to the casino games, the gambling experience should be seamless and similar on both, big and small screens.
With the progress of technology, mobile sports betting is much smoother than it was even a decade ago. Even graphically intense slot games will run smoothly on modern phones and tablets. As one door opens though, another door presents itself in the form of virtual reality casino games. Certain games technology companies are working on virtual rituality casinos, providing an immersive experience to truly passionate gamblers.
Play Online Casino For Free Before You Gamble With Real Money
Most online casinos offer slot demos you can play for free, or completely free casino games you can play without worrying about losing anything except your time. Many online casinos also offer demos of real slot games that you can try out for fun, and then play the real money slot if you want.
Additionally, most online poker rooms have two modes available: free play money, and real money. However, remember to switch up your spending limits and playing habits when switching from free to real money!
Finally, a great way of gambling online for free is to take advantage of sign up bonuses which give you free money to play with – as long as you fulfil the bonus requirements!
Independent & Fair
Most online review sites promote any website that pays them affiliate commissions. We don't. At BETANDBEAT™, we want to build a relationship with our audience based on trust so we do not sell our soul to the highest bidder. We have the leverage.
Our editorial team is staffed with amazing researchers, writers, editors, and illustrators, all passionate with all the gambling topics we cover. This is why the quality of our content is always appreciated across our audience surveys.
The iGaming industry is massive, and our team is very involved within the various worlds of online gambling. Slots, poker, sports betting, casino table games, bingo, and esports gambling, are just a sample of what we truly love talking about. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Should you trust online casino reviews?
Online casino reviews should only be trusted if they're written by an unbiased author. If a site has an affiliate link or has other financial incentives to make you play on the casino they're reviewing then the review is inherently untrustworthy. It is always worth it to read multiple reviews to get an idea of the overall sentiment towards the betting site.
How to know if an online casino is legitimate?
Legitimate online casinos will have a license to operate given to them by the gambling commission of the country in which they operate. In order to get these licenses they need to pay a fee as well as comply with regulations set by the gambling commission to ensure the site is fair and reliable.
How to find the safest online betting sites?
The safest online betting sites will be the ones that are licensed and regulated by your country's gambling commission. These online casino operators must follow strict regulations regarding the security of player funds as well as taking steps to limit the access of problem gamblers.
How to block all gambling sites?
The best way to block all gambling sites will be to set up home internet restrictions from your router. Most internet service providers have parental controls built-in which can block access to gambling sites when enabled. There is also the option to self-exclude from individual sites and once you've done so they won't let you log in for a set amount of time.
What are the most profitable games to bet on?
Games where you can play against other players rather than the house, such as poker, will be the most profitable games to bet on. Other casino games where you play against the house will be unprofitable over the long run due to the house's built-in edge. However, games that offer you long odds such as roulette or slot jackpots can give you the chance to win big but you have to be very lucky.
How to withdraw money from online gambling sites?
Withdrawing money from an online casino or sportsbook is easy to do once you have passed the KYC procedures to ensure you are not laundering money or partaking in fraudulent activities. Once you've logged in, go to the 'bank', 'cashier', or equivalent option. From there choose the withdrawal option and select your desired payment method. Finally, enter the amount you'd like to withdraw from the site and press 'withdraw'.
What exactly are offshore casino sites?
Offshore casino sites are casino sites that don't genuinely operate in the same jurisdiction in which they offer their services. Most countries require online casinos to have a local license to operate, and they must comply with a set of rules to get one. If a site doesn't want to do that, it can operate in a country with laxer restrictions. Consequently, playing on these offshore sites is a lot riskier.
Is real money gambling recommended?
Real money gambling is only recommended if you have disposable income that you can afford to lose and you don't have a gambling problem. You should never bet with money that you can't afford to lose. If you think you may be a gambling addict or have an addictive personality it's advised that you don't gamble at all.
Can you play casino games for free?
Casino games are playable for free on mobile apps and other gaming devices. These apps simulate popular casino games such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, and others. However, you cannot win real money playing these games as they are only for recreational play.
How to find the best mobile casino apps?
Finding the best mobile casino apps is best done by looking at the reviews on the app store. If the app has millions of downloads and thousands of reviews that have been mostly positive then it's likely a good app. If there aren't many reviews but they're all 5 stars then they're likely paid reviews and aren't representative of the product.
How do you register with online gambling sites?
Registering with an online gambling site requires you to give them some information before you start playing such as your name and where you live. They'll also ask you for a valid form of ID so they can verify that you're over the legal gambling age. If you play a lot on the site they may ask for proof of income which is required to show that you're not money laundering.
Which online casino pays out the most?
All legitimate online casinos will have exactly the same payout rates as the odds of winning in each game such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, etc. are the same no matter where you play. Instead, when looking for an online casino you should look for which site has the best promotions/rewards/user experience. These change often so it's worth shopping around.