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Choosing A Top Online Casino
With such a wide variety of online casinos to choose from it can sometimes be a little daunting to find a casino that’s right for you. Here at Casino Finder HQ, we are a group of experienced industry professionals who are determined to review the best that online casino gaming has to offer. We take pride in giving our thorough evaluation for all new casinos in the industry.
All online casinos listed on our site are individually vetted by our experienced team with a strict criteria in offering a safe and enjoyable gaming experience to our readers. While the vast majority of our reviews of online casino operators have been positive we have come across sites not adhering to industry guidelines and offering players a poor gaming experience and such have ensured these casinos are blacklisted on our site.
How We Review & Compare The Best Online Casinos
Each online casino that we feature in our site has been carefully and thoroughly reviewed. We assess the casinos based on a lot of factors, such as security and licensing, bonuses and promotions, game selection, gaming and software providers, payment methods, and customer support. We use these criteria in coming up with our independent online casino reviews.
At Casino Finder HQ, we are dedicated to helping players make informed decisions based on different criteria. Let us take a look at each of these below:
Approved Licensing and Security
We only feature trusted online casinos that are licensed and regulated by an independent gambling authority. A licensed casino is more reputable than an unlicensed one. It gives players some kind of protection in case of a dispute. You can raise your dispute to the governing body which is regulating a particular online casino. It is easy to see if a casino is licensed or not. Legitimate casinos have nothing to hide; thus, they usually display their licensing at the bottom of the homepage.
However, not all governing bodies are created equal. We rate the online casinos as well based on their licensing. The most trusted regulators are the following: the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, and Gibraltar Gambling Commission. These licensing bodies advocate responsible gaming, and ensure fair and legitimate gaming. They strictly monitor the licensees. Thus, players of these licensed online casinos
We strictly check as well if the casino’s website adheres to certain security measures in protecting the data privacy and the transactions of their players. We only recommend online casinos that utilize reliable SSL encryption technology and firewalls to protect identity theft and fraud.
Online casinos offer bonuses and promotions. However, not all bonuses are competitive. When ranking the casinos that we feature, we dig deep into their casino bonuses. A welcome bonus is pretty common among online casinos. Nevertheless, casinos differ in the bonus amount, free spins, deposit requirement, and wagering requirement. We take all these into account when we are reviewing a casino.
There are bonuses that appear enticing at a glance. However, upon closer look at the terms and conditions, such bonuses may be difficult to cash out. For instance, the wagering requirement may be too high that it seems impossible to go home with actual winnings. We include these factors in our reviews so players can have a picture of what to expect. We weigh in other bonuses and promotions as well, such as daily free spins, special offers, casino birthday bonuses, and more.
Additionally, we are particular about whether or not a casino offers a VIP or loyalty program. Hence, we include this in our reviews as well.
Great Game Selection
The main reason why players visit an online casino is the games library. One of our considerations in reviewing the casino is the game selection. We do not only consider the quantity of games included in the games library. We equally look into the quality of games being offered. A casino is just as good as the games that it offers. This does not necessarily have to be just the popular casino titles. We take note of unique and exclusive slots and casino games as well.
You may have a favourite casino game, which is why we recommend that you look for that particular game when you are searching for an online casino to play. Most casinos catergorize their games as follows: slots, roulette, blackjack, and video poker.
We rate the casinos we feature based on the number of slot games they offer. The slot titles must be varied in terms of gameplay features, themes, and prizes. Huge jackpots also attract players, so we consider those as well. In the slot section, players must find classic slots, 3D slots, and video slots. Casinos must also continually push for newer titles; and as much as possible, these new slots must be put in a separate category for easy access.
Slot games are varied and can include expanding wilds, scatters, bonus rounds, and free spins. Leading online casinos cover all these.
An online casino without blackjack games is not worth mentioning. Blackjack is a popular choice both in land-based and online casinos across the globe. Hence, it is unforgivable for a casino not to offer any Blackjack game. That is why all the casinos we review offer a few or several Blackjack variants. They vary in terms of rule sets and stake limits.
Another casino staple is roulette. This casino classic is found in most online casinos, and certainly in the casinos that we feature in our site. Roulette is highly popular even to new players, particularly because of its simplicity and the excitement it brings. This game is offered in different varieties, the popular of which are French Roulette, American Roulette, English Roulette, and European Roulette.
One of the reasons why people play casino games online is the possibility of hitting it big. Players gamble not only to enjoy and unwind, but mainly to win. This is why progressive jackpots with huge grand prizes are highly attractive to players. With this, we make sure that the casinos we recommend have exciting progressive jackpots, some of which can even reach a million.
In reviewing the casinos, we do not only focus on the casino classics. We also look into the other games offered. A casino with a large video poker selection is highly recommended. We prefer casinos that offer other games as well, such as the following: 3-Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Casino War, Keno, Pai Gow Poker, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Craps, Sic Bo, and Let It Ride Poker. Special mention are extra games like bingo and scratchcards.
The closest thing the players can get to playing in a land-based casino virtually is through live dealer games. At the casino’s live games section, players can conveniently play traditional casino games in an atmosphere that feels like you are in an actual casino.
Play games with real people and real tables. Players can interact with professional dealers during the game. The games are streamed live in high-quality, so you can experience the thrill of playing in an actual casino without leaving your home.
Not all casinos offer live dealer games. Most players prefer casinos with a live games section. Hence, we also take this into account when we hand down our verdict. Players usually look for Live Blackjack, Live Roulette, and Live Baccarat. Thus, we always make sure to mention these if an online casino offers them or not.
Another important thing that we consider is whether the online casino offers a free trial to new players. Casinos who allow their players to take a look at the games and test them before actually signing up are reputable. They are confident about their game selection and have nothing to hide. We prefer such kinds of casinos.
Innovative Software Providers
There are online casinos that only have one gaming software provider, and there are those with multiple game providers. We prefer the latter. We give importance to casinos that partner with the leading software providers in the industry. The names that have become a staple in online casinos are Netent Casinos, Novomatic Casinos, Playtech Casinos, Micoraming, NextGen Gaming, Evolution Gaming, Play’n Go, and Yggdrasil. Other game developers worth noting are WMS, The Stars Group, IGT, and Real Time Gaming.
We also give our hats off to other less-known casinos that provide unique and innovative games. While these are not as popular as the top rated software providers, they offer refreshing titles and unique options for players who are looking to try something new and different. The more software providers there are, the more options the players have. We are continually on the lookout for these rising gaming providers.
Ease of use for Payment Methods
What good are the games if you cannot cash out any winnings? That is why, here at Casino Finder HQ, we are quite particular about the payment methods available. We want the players to have ease in depositing funds to their account and withdrawing any winnings from the casino.
As much as possible, we shy away from casinos that don’t provide their players with decent choices of payment methods. The wider the options, the better. Players need to have as many choices as they can when it comes to depositing and withdrawing money. We recommend casinos based on the payment methods they offer. We also see to it that these casinos are transparent about their terms and conditions regarding deposits and withdrawals.
The common payment methods include credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets. There are also those that offer PayPal and Bitcoin as payment options. We do not only consider how many payment methods are being offered; but we also make sure that these methods are secured and trusted.
We give better ratings to casinos with fast payouts. Same-day payout casinos and instant withdrawal casinos are highly recommended. This is why, in our reviews, we inform our players about the casino’s payment methods, including the available deposit and withdrawal options, the withdrawal times, and the minimum and maximum limit, if any.
Helpful Support Staff
We believe that casinos must always be there for their players. They must be able to answer any queries and concerns courteously and in the fastest way possible. We rate a casino highly if they provide responsive customer support. The customer support team must be reliable, friendly, and knowledgeable. We prefer if they are available 24/7. Aside from response time, we also consider the work etiquette of the support team.
Most casinos offer live chat and email support. However, we prefer if they also provide phone support. Thus, we give better ratings to those that offer 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support.
We only recommend casinos that offer a mobile version of their site. For a casino to not be compatible on mobile is simply unacceptable. A great casino acknowledges the fact that many players opt to play games using their phones and tablets. With the availability of HTML5 and other modern technologies, casinos have no excuse not to make their page mobile-responsive. Players must be able to access the casino and play certain games on the go.
We give a higher rating to casinos that offer both instant play on mobile and a downloadable mobile app. Players need to have the option whether to download the app or play on site. The mobile version must also be easy to navigate. The graphics must remain crisp and cutting -edge as the web version.
Most casinos do not offer all of its games on mobile. This is acceptable, since it is a common practice among casinos. However, we expect the mobile version to have a decent selection of games. Each category (slots, jackpots, table games, and other games) must be fairly represented. A few titles must be made available for each category. If the casino offers live dealer games, these should be made available as well on mobile. The mobile version must be compatible with most, if not all, mobile devices, regardless of their platform: Windows, Android, or iOS.
Availability in Many Countries
Every casino has a few or several restricted countries. This in part has something to do with gambling laws of each country, especially in relation to offshore online casinos.
While we do not expect a casino to be available in all countries across the globe, we do appreciate it if they are available in most countries. The more countries the casino is available, the better. As much as possible, we want players to be able to access and play the casino regardless of where they are or which country they are playing at. Thus, in our reviews, we always list down the restricted countries of each online casino.
Online Casinos vs Traditional Casinos
Since time immemorial, gambling has been a popular pastime and form of entertainment. For many years, casino gambling has been mainly land-based. However, in recent years, the trend gradually shifted from traditional casinos to online casinos.
Online casinos have started emerging in the 1990s, and have since then steadily gaining popularity. As online activities continue to grow, the popularity of online casinos will likely skyrock. More and more companies are now shifting online, with online casinos now being offered and made legal in many countries across the globe, particularly in Europe and Asia.
The question now is whether online casinos are taking over traditional casinos? Which among the two is still the king in the gambling world? Let’s take a look at a detailed comparison of the online casino and traditional casino in terms of their advantages and disadvantages.
In terms of ambiance, a traditional casino looks more exciting. It is complete with luxurious amenities and great entertainment, and you get to socialize with fellow players in person. The thrill of having first-hand experience is just different than in gambling online.
Online casinos, on the other hand, give a different ambiance. There are no table service, no actual human interaction, no flashing lights. However, the experience is not at all boring. The closest one can get to the thrill of playing in a land-based casino is through live dealer games or virtual casinos.
When it comes to safety, both traditional and online casinos have risks. Traditional casinos are more prone to instances of brawls and theft. People also tend to lose more money playing in casinos. It’s easy to easily get stuck inside the casino premises. However, land-based casinos have security measures in place.
Online casinos, on the other hand, are safer if you just stick to legitimate and licensed casinos. As long as you stick to playing in casinos with an excellent defense system against fraud and identity theft, then playing in an online casino is generally safer.
Ease and Comfort
Of the two, online casinos provide more ease and comfort. Traditional casinos are not easy to get to especially if you live in a city or town where there are no casinos. In most casinos, distance and proximity are a common problem. In other words, ease and convenience are relative to how far you are from the casino. When there are no casinos near you, you spend additional cost on travel and other expenses. You will not be able to play at your favorite casino as often as you like.
With online casinos, however, you can just play the games anywhere you like. All you need is a stable internet connection and a device to play the games with. No need to reserve in advance. No need for a dress code either. You have more control since you can play and stop anytime you like. It’s very convenient.
When it comes to prizes, both traditional and online casinos offer huge prizes. Land-based casinos offer exciting jackpots and huge rewards, worthy enough for players to spend on travel just to visit and gamble at the casino. Online casinos, on the other hand, also offer huge jackpots in their progressive slots. The great thing about online gambling is that you can play multiple games at once. Hence, you get more chances of winning.
It is exciting and thrilling to play slot games and table games at land-based casinos. These alone are enough to visit a casino. However, these games can only accommodate a certain number of players at a time. Thus, you will need to wait for your turn in order to play the games. In this regard, the games at traditional casinos are limited.
Online casinos offer a wide range of games. In most cases, the game selection is more extensive than in land-based casinos. The only disadvantage is that not all online casinos offer live dealer games. Nevertheless, you get to play high-quality games without having to wait for your turn. The tables do not become full. You can play to your heart’s delight.
Traditional and online casinos offer promotions. However, online casinos tend to be more generous. This is understandable because promotions drive costs especially on the part of land-based casinos.
Online casinos offer various promotions like a welcome package, free spins, cashbacks, and even referrals, something that are not quite common in traditional casinos.
When it comes to VIP treatment, however, players prefer traditional casinos. The reason is easy to see. VIP members can experience the benefits first-hand in a traditional casino. They receive special treatment and luxurious amenities. Depending on the casino, this can include complimentary drinks, expensive suits, private hotels, and an accommodation to luxurious resorts, among others. There are also the VIP staff who are ready to assist you and make you as comfortable as possible.
Online casinos follow a ranking system in their VIP membership. This means that the more you play and wager, the more you earn points and go up the ladder. However, the benefits are not first-hand. The usual benefits include special bonuses, cashback, discounts, and participation in special draws.
Now to answer the question, will the online casino take over traditional casinos? It appears that traditional casinos will continue to exist, thrive, and grow in the foreseeable future. Online casinos and traditional casinos coexist and do not necessarily have to topple each other. It all boils down to what the players prefer. Whether they will patronize traditional casinos or online casinos, or both; this will ultimately depend on their personal gambling preferences.
Online Casinos FAQ
Are online casinos legit?
Not all online casinos are legit. However, many of the online casinos are legitimate. The best and safest way to check if the casino is legit is to find out whether it has a proper license or not.
Are online casinos safe?
Yes, online casinos are safe. That is, if you stick to legitimate casinos. Always be wary of casinos that don’t have a proper license or are blacklisted.
Do I pay tax on online casino winnings?
It depends on the laws of your country. In most countries, online casino winnings are not taxed. There may be certain exceptions. The best way to find out is to read and check the gambling and taxing laws of your country.
What are wagering requirements for online casinos?
Basically, a wagering requirement is the number of times you will have to play through a bonus before you can actually withdraw or cash out any winning. Wagering requirements are imposed on some games, and in most cases, on welcome bonuses and other promotions.
Can I play online casino games for free?
It depends on the online casino. Top online casinos or highly recommended ones offer an array of games that you can play for free using virtual money.