The casino industry is booming right now, with advancements in technology allowing operators to develop increasingly immersive iGaming sites.
People are spoilt for choice when it comes to playing online casino games as companies in the sector strive to stand out from the competition.
While this is great news for players, it also presents plenty of challenges for anyone who is unfamiliar with what to expect from online casinos.
To save you time and effort, we assess the main characteristics players look for at online casinos and explain why you should consider them before signing up for an account.
Bonuses & promotions
One of the first things you will notice when searching for online casinos is each of them offer bonuses and promotions designed to tempt you into playing on the site.
These are often a useful guide in determining whether an online casino can be trusted to provide you with a reliable service when you play for real money.
If the advertised bonus seems too good be true, this may be an indicator that the operator is attempting to use underhanded tactics to entice you onto the site.
Paying close attention to the terms and conditions is a great way to filter out casino sites who attach unreasonable T&Cs to their bonuses and promotions.
Selection of games
Many players consider the selection of games to be the most important characteristic to consider when they are choosing an online site.
Generally speaking, the best online casinos offer players a vast array of table games such as roulette, blackjack, poker, craps, baccarat and more.
There should also be a wide variety of slots games, each of which should be packed with exciting bonus features designed to keep you entertained for hours on end.
If an online casino has hundreds of games from respected developers, it is a sign that they can be trusted to offer a top-notch iGaming experience.
To develop that last point even further, players should spend time looking at which software providers have created the games at an online casino.
In simple terms, an online casino is only as good as the software that powers it, so make sure that the sites you join feature games from the best development companies around.
Firms such as Playtech, Scientific Games, International Game Technology and Microgaming have a proven track record of supplying the brilliant online casino games.
Their software is stringently tested to ensure it provides stable gameplay, giving you peace of mind that you can enjoy playing without any issues.
Mobile & apps
Mobile & apps is an important element at online casinos – Image via Pexels
Mobile and apps have become an increasingly important characteristic that players look for at online casinos over the past few years.
With people now spending an average of around four hours per day on their smartphones, casino operators have been forced to optimise their sites to work on mobile devices.
Many have gone the extra mile by developing standalone casino apps, which make it even easier for players to access their favourite games.
For anyone thinking about signing up with an online casino, checking out what they have to offer on mobile is an excellent way to determine how good the site is.
Safety & security
Safety and security are other hugely important characteristics for players to consider before choosing an online casino.
Anyone who opens an account on a casino site wants to be certain their personal details will remain secure and they will get paid out if they win.
On that basis, it is essential for players to determine whether a site uses the latest encryption technology to keep your information safe.
Players should also check whether an online casino possesses verifiable licenses to offer iGaming services within their jurisdiction.
Deposit & withdrawal methods
Checking which payment options are available at an online casino is a sensible way to determine whether the site is trustworthy.
There should be a wide choice of payment methods available including credit/debit cards, digital wallets, open banking and bank transfers.
If you see respected payment brands such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, this is generally an indicator that the online casino is reliable.
When it comes to withdrawals, any casino that makes you wait more than 2/3 working days before you receive your payout should be avoided.
In an ideal world everything will run smoothly at an online casino, but there may be occasions where you need issues resolving by the customer support agents.
Many people make the mistake of overlooking this element when deciding where to play, but it is important to factor this into your thinking.
Testing out an online casino’s support channels is an excellent way to find out whether they are committed to offering first-class service.
If a site offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, it is usually an indicator that they take the resolution of queries seriously.
Most people are able to gamble responsibly, spending only what they can afford to lose and never getting themselves into financial difficulties.
Even if you are that type of person, it is still important to check whether an online casino is committed to responsible gambling before you sign up.
Ultimately you want to play online casino games in a friendly environment against like-minded individuals who play purely for fun.
With that in mind, it is imperative for players to determine whether a casino operator is serious about implementing responsible gambling practices.