Working out which new online casinos are worth investing your time and money in and which should be avoided at all costs is relatively easy. This simple guide will give you all the information you need in order to be able to make an informed choice.
Although the online casino industry is dominated by a small number of major players, newcomers can and do enter the market on a regular basis. The launch of new operators is always good news for players, as it keeps the industry fresh, drives innovation and means that established brands are forced to ensure they continue to provide a great service in order to retain their existing customer base.
Advantages of New Casino Sites
If you’ve been visiting the same casino websites for some time, much of the initial excitement you experienced in those first few weeks or months may have long since deserted you. Signing up for a brand new casino that offers a suite of up-to-the-minute games that you’ve never seen before, along with an exciting new interface, can be as invigorating as a shot of cappuccino.
Every new online casino that hits the web in 2016 does so in the hope that it will become a profitable business. In order to survive in this highly competitive field, these brands have to attract large numbers of customers in a short period of time. The quickest way for them to do this is to offer bonuses and incentives that are the best in the marketplace and hope that word of mouth brings more and more customers to the website.
After signing up you can expect to receive a large no-deposit bonus with which to gamble at your leisure. This is money you can use on any game in the casino, and you receive it without having to make any kind of deposit into the casino account. Such generous terms and conditions offered during this fledgling stage are unlikely to last, so the sooner you sign up for the latest casino brand, the more likely you are to get the best possible deal.
Disadvantages of New Online Casinos
If you want to place bets at the latest operators and withdraw your winnings, then at some point you’re going to have to share some of your financial and personal information. While UK high-street banks and well-established online shopping sites have multiple layers of security that prevent their customers from becoming a victim of identity fraud, you are unlikely to have the same level of confidence about an online casino that has only just opened its virtual doors.
Caution is always advised whenever deals seem too good to be true. With some unscrupulous casino operators, the whole site may be a scam to harvest personal data. How can you tell whether a brand is trustworthy or not? What qualities should you look out for before deciding whether to join or not? The following pointers will help you navigate your way through this strange world.
Licensing and Registration
Security is always a concern whenever anyone is going online, but it is especially so when it comes to your personal finances. A quick and easy way to check whether a 2016 new casino site is legitimate is to find out where it is registered and licensed. Common locations include Alderney, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. These jurisdictions have high standards of gaming regulation, audit all licensees and provide solid protection for players. You can guarantee that games on these pages have been independently assessed as being fair. All the necessary information should be easily located on the ‘About Us‘ page of the casino.
At the other end of the scale are jurisdictions that do little more than rubber-stamp applications for casino licences and therefore offer no protection or guarantees at all. In these places, no checks are carried out into the background of the people running the business. Common locations for such casinos include Belize, Costa Rica and Panama. Although there are some legitimate, well-run new online casinos operating out of these locations, you should only deposit money if you have conducted sufficient research to reassure yourself.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop the most dubious scammers from claiming to have been awarded a licence in the UK when they have done nothing of the sort. If you have any doubt, and particularly if you see an offer that appears too good to be true, check with the authorities themselves to see if the licensing paperwork actually exists.
If you’ve especially enjoyed the graphics, sound or gameplay on a particular casino site in the past and you’re looking for more of the same, finding out who is responsible for the software on your prospect site can help you make a decision about whether to go ahead.
Several major companies such as Netent, Microgaming, Cryptologic, Playtech, IGT, WagerWorks and Nextgen Gaming are among the most popular providers of casino software. Games produced by these companies have been tried and tested by millions of players all over the world, so you know you’re in good hands.
If the recently launched casino is using the exact same software provider as your favourite casino, the chances are that you’ll enjoy playing there, will likely know some of the games and will be in familiar surroundings. If, on the other hand, they make use of software that you haven’t previously experienced, it’s a great opportunity to try out some new games that may look and feel very different to the ones you are used to.
One of the first things you’ll want to establish before you part with any of your hard-earned cash is what sort of reputation this latest casino site has. One of the great things about online entertainment is that the community is supported by thousands of forums, blog and social media feeds where participants can relate their experiences.
Type the name of the casino into your favourite search engine or forum and see if anyone is talking about it. Bear in mind that, even in the digital age, reputations – good or bad – take a little time to build up, so use your own best judgement about what you see and read before deciding whether to go ahead.
Alongside reputation, another way of deciding whether a particular fresh brand is right for you is the quality of customer support it offers. If your winnings have gone missing or your game bonus isn’t showing up in your account, will someone from that brand be available to help you sort things out?
The casinos can be contacted by telephone, email or social media and also have live online support that operates 24/7. A small start-up might struggle to match that level of service, but there should certainly be someone monitoring communications and social media feeds so that you never have to wait too long for a response. And a site with a live chat service is always going to be preferable to one that lists a premium rate telephone number for anyone needing assistance.
The most recent casinos cannot exist without customers. The best providers keep this at the forefront of their minds and do everything they can to ensure their customers are as happy as possible. If you email the casino with a query about membership, how quickly do they respond? Does the reply come from a real-life human being or is it an automated response? The better a site treats its customers – and its potential customers – the more peace of mind you’ll have that, should anything ever go wrong, it will be resolved as quickly as possible.
Whether you’re at the blackjack table, by the roulette wheel or settled in on the slots, playing at an online casino is great fun. For the vast majority of players, however, it’s also about the chance to win money.
As part of its licensing agreement, any trustworthy casino that was launched just recently should publish its pay-out percentages on a monthly basis. A variety of associated information should also be published, such as software reliability and hardware stability. There is no legitimate reason for them to fail to provide this information, so if one you are looking at does not, you may want to place your wagers elsewhere.
Playing at casinos that have the highest pay-out percentages means you have the best possible chance of getting the maximum amount of benefit in the least amount of time. A higher pay-out percentage also means that you’ll be able to play for longer, as your money will go further.
Be sure to check whether the pay-out figures are audited – that is whether they have been evaluated by an independent third party. Watch out for the latest casinos that falsely claim to pay out far more than they actually do in order to entice newcomers to join. The major software providers do not give casinos the ability to alter pay-out percentages, but some smaller casinos may do so, tricking punters into playing games where their chances of getting any of their money back are extremely small.
Putting money into an online casino account is almost always a straightforward process. New casinos of 2016 have gone out of their way to do everything possible to simplify the process of making deposits. It’s when it comes to taking money out – especially winnings – that things tend to get a little more complicated.
A good brand will make cashing out simple, painless and quick. A poor one will make you jump through multiple hoops. Check the terms and conditions before you start to play to ensure you don’t come in for a nasty surprise later on. Some casinos have a weekly or monthly withdrawal limit, so even if you win big, you might not be able to access all of your money right away.
No one enters a virtual casino with the intention of losing money, but unless you choose the right payment method, you could end up paying high fees simply to deposit or withdraw your cash. A debit card is usually the cheapest and safest method of putting money into your account. Although web wallet services such as PayPal and Skrill allow you to make payments without having to provide any of your personal financial information, you’ll pay for the privilege through charges. Credit cards can also be used, but you’ll pay a fee to do so, plus you have to add in the cost of borrowing the money itself.
The quality of the software being used on a casino site also has an effect on its level of security. Major developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech embed security features such as firewalls and 128-bit SSL encryption in order to keep connections secure. Should such a casino become the subject of a cyber-attack, your personal data should be pretty safe.
The final ingredient that may entice you to try out a fresh casino is perhaps the most vital of all – the games themselves. From baccarat and video poker to craps and slots, you’ll find a wealth of games just waiting to be played.
Unlike a bricks-and-mortar casino, you’ll never have to queue up to use your favourite machine or wait for a space to open up at the high-stakes blackjack table. Whatever you want to do, whatever you want to play, the casino is ready and waiting for you at any time of day. There are other advantages too – you don’t have to get dressed up, and no matter how awful the weather gets outside, it’s always perfect inside your computer or smartphone.
One of the best things about online casinos is that you can try absolutely everything for free. This makes it easy to try out new skills and techniques without having to risk any money. It can also come in useful if you’re playing a new slot or card game for the first time and simply want to see how the whole thing works before pushing forward. The chance to play for free also gives you an opportunity to see if the games on the site have the sort of long-term appeal that will ensure you go back again and again.
Differences in software providers may lead to a few changes of protocol but, for the most part, the roulette and blackjack tables will be broadly similar, no matter which online casino you visit.
However, while both Playtech and Microgaming both have an ‘auto-play’ feature which allows the user to take a break from controlling the action and lets the computer take over the decisions about when to bet and how much to stake, the Microgaming version of this software allows the user far more control over the way that games are played in their absence. The differences between new casino sites are likely to be most apparent while playing the slots, as it is here you will see the greatest variety of games, from those based on films or television shows to slots that are simply the product of an extremely active imagination.
Whether you choose to stick with a long-established online casino or to take a chance and dive head-first into a start-up, the most important thing is to have fun.