Your Online Casino Checklist – Things to Know Before You Start Playing

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This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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You’ve seen the ads in between football matches. Or maybe you saw Chris Rock in those Super Bowl ads. You’re intrigued, you want to get a slice of the action. You want to start having your own Las Vegas experience, virtual style. 

Online casinos are popping up what seems like on the daily, and if you’ve never played before, it’s an intimidating experience. So many options, unknown companies, graphics overload, analysis paralysis. 

But don’t worry, once you tick off the big ‘must haves’, it’s pretty easy. Here’s a top 3 checklist of what you need to know before you start playing.

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Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions 

You’re a newbie, an inexperienced player, wet behind the ears. We’re not trying to insult you. No, when it comes to signing up to casinos, this is a massive advantage. You see, with the casino industry growing as it is, the competition is fierce. 

This means that companies are doing everything they can to convince you that they deserve your custom. One of their strategies is offering juicy, generous bonuses to new players. Take advantage! These are some of the most common ones you need to look out for: 

No-deposit. 

The jewel in the crown is the no-deposit bonus. As the name suggests, casinos offer no-deposit bonuses without the player having to spend any of their own money. The bet amount is usually quite small, but considering it’s 100% risk-free, it’s a great way to start playing. 

Matched bet. 

You put in X, and the casino matches it with Y. The amounts vary, with some casinos offering your bet multiple times over as a bonus. For example, with a 200% matched bet, you effectively have 3x the money to play with. 

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Free spins. 

These are usually bundled with other offers, but are also very popular. You pick your favorite slot and spin until you can spin no more. The per bet value is small, but the number of spins is high. Pick a casino with a big jackpot, you may get lucky! 

Remember, make sure you’re getting the best available offer. Look for promotional codes, special links, that kind of thing. Don’t get shortchanged with these, as they’ll only come along once. 

Check the Reviews

When you book a hotel, you check TripAdvisor. When you make a restaurant reservation, Yelp is your go-to before you do anything. And before you click ‘Buy’ when shopping online, it’s YouTube and online reviews galore. 

So why not do the same for casinos? Not every operator is created equal, which is why you really need to do your due diligence before entering your details and signing up. The easiest thing is doing a quick Google search (e.g. ‘operator name + reviews’) and having a gander at the top results. 

We recommend looking at aggregators that look at a range of online casinos, too. Ignore the ones that are obvious promotional tools for operators, and focus on the ones that do a deep-dive on the casinos they’re reviewing. 

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The secret weapon, however, is adding + Reddit to your Google search. Lots of people are doing this, as it results in feedback from real people. Alphabet has noticed the trend and has therefore given more preference to sites like Quora and Reddit. Look for feedback on casinos here, as they’ll likely be from real users. 

Focus specifically on customer service. Because if a company has a good track record with how they treat their customers, it generally reflects well on everything else they offer (e.g. game selection, overall site quality, and trustworthiness). 

Does the Casino Have Government Licensing? 

Our final tip is to check for the absolute minimum bar that a casino should give you, government licensing. This doesn’t mean the casino is necessarily a great operator or that the best games on the market will be available to you. But considering just how many scams are out there on the internet (not just with casinos!), government licensing at least guarantees that it’s a legitimate operation and that your money is safe. 

You can check all of this information on the public record. Most casinos will have a link or logo on the footer of their website. Bet365, for example, is registered with the UK’s gambling commission. The official website has a full rundown, including website details, address, and other trading names. 

Always check this yourself; don’t just trust what a casino claims. That’s because scam websites will of course try and pass themselves off as legit. Don’t worry too much, this isn’t meant to be a scaremongering exercise. Most casinos are legit and governments continually work to take down unscrupulous operators. But it’s always worth double checking.

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These three tips are not completely exhaustive, but they cover 99% of what you need to know. Hit these on the checklist, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great experience. 

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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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