Before we go any further, it’s important to start with the basics. Online casinos are certainly a term that almost everyone is familiar with, but how they work may not be entirely clear to everyone.
Online casinos and casino gambling are a whole new world. For those who have not yet had the chance to explore online casino games at all, the whole thing can sound awkward and painful.
However, the way casino sites work is, after all, quite simple, and when you take certain things into account, it’s actually a lot of fun. Even if you’ve never even played physical slot machines, you can really get to grips with online casino gaming quite quickly.
However, there are things that you need to take into account when playing at online casinos and we will get you through all the points. Also, we recommend you read reviews of casinos from trusted review sites before playing.
Why should I play at online casinos?
There are many advantages to playing at an online casino compared to a brick-and-mortar casino. In the USA, the benchmark is also dispersed gaming machines, which can be found in many different locations. However, these machines offer considerably more limited gaming options than actual gaming halls or casinos.
The absolute advantages of online casinos include 24/7 opening hours and a really wide range of games. Your favourite online game is never booked, and you can play even in the middle of the night. Online casinos are also much more reliable than their reputation, with payouts based on random number generator results just as much as on a modern slot machine.
A lot of things have already gone online, so it’s no wonder that gambling is moving online more and more every year. The interest rate pandemic has accelerated this trend even further, with casinos in many places closing down completely. Online gambling has become more and more accessible.
The benefits of online casinos:
- Open 24/7
- Always with you, on your computer or mobile
- Thousands of different game options – always room to play
- Bonus offers and other benefits
- Often better return rates than, for example, slot machines
- Easy to set a deposit limit for yourself
- Huge jackpot games on offer
The benefits of a casino:
- Unique atmosphere
- Games like live poker
Online casinos are a good substitute for regular gambling. Sure, it’s hard to feel like you’re in a real casino and having a good time online, but the excitement and big payouts are also available online.
The live casino games found in online casinos can be seen as a kind of intermediate model. They allow you to play real table games via live streaming. Selections and bets are made by clicking on a screen, but the action is streamed live from a real game studio, where the show is hosted by a real game master.
Free games at online casinos – how to play for free at the casino
Free stuff always interests players. Online casinos have noticed this too, and there’s a wide variety of ways to play for free.
Free games at online casinos can be divided into two categories:
- Bonuses and free spins
- Demo versions of games
Bonuses and free spins
They are benefits distributed by casinos. For example, some casinos may give out free spins with no deposit at all, making it a truly free opportunity to win extra money from the casino.
Playing with bonus money or free spins always comes with the chance of winning real money, but the chances of winning real money are greatly affected by the terms of the offer. For example, deposit-free benefits often limit the maximum winnings to, say, $100.
In addition, there are wagering requirements that need to be met before the money can be withdrawn. If your goal is to win free money from an online casino, bonus offers and free spins are your best friend. Many casinos also offer no-deposit benefits to their existing customers.
Demo versions of games
A free way to try out games risk-free. Almost all online casino games also offer a free demo version, where you can try out the features and functions of the game for a play money. The casino will then offer you a certain amount of play money to try out a single game.
You can’t win real money when playing with Demo Money, it’s just a way to get to know the games. You can take your time to try out the different features of the games without risking losing money. If an online casino like BetShah offers to play free it tells much relatability of the casino.
Reliability of casinos online
Of course, reliability is always a big question mark when playing at online casinos. Fortunately, however, the gaming industry is now such a big business that it is also very closely monitored. Big players such as the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission monitor the industry closely and make sure that no casino is allowed to go bust.
Perhaps the least safe sites to play on are those that are licensed only by Curacao. Indeed, Curacao’s supervisory bodies are less strict, as the regulations in the gaming sector outside the EU and EEA are in many respects much more lax than those here. This means that, for example, bonus rules may contain some harsh conditions that would not be accepted in Europe.
This, in turn, requires players to be even more discerning. There are many different factors that affect the integrity of a casino, and there are many different regulators. However, because there are so many online casinos, there are some bad apples in the mix. Safety and reliability are affected by many different factors. Here are the main ones:
A secure online casino makes sure that your security is in order. SSL encryption is an absolute must, and you can check this in the lock icon on the left-hand side of the browser address bar. In addition, the casino must offer secure payment methods and comply with GDPR regulations.
Player safety involves both security issues and responsible gaming activities. Responsible casinos offer a wide range of features to limit and control gambling, for example through deposit limits.
Fair play is of course expected from casinos. This includes fair games that work within the stated payback percentage, clear bonus terms and conditions, and a willingness to help and serve players. A trustworthy casino will not unnecessarily slow down withdrawals, even though it may take time to verify your account.
In addition to ensuring the security of your own site and operations, the partners you choose to play with also matter. On a trusted casino site, you will find games from well-known manufacturers, built securely and fairly.
Every online casino must have a licence to offer online gambling. The most common options include licences from the MGA and the Estonian Gaming Authority. Licences can also be obtained from outside the EU, but in this case you need to be particularly careful and take into account any taxes that may be payable on winnings.
There are also many licences that do not directly affect American, but are proof of security. For example, licences issued by the UKGC or the Swedish Gaming Authority are an indication of trustworthiness.
eCogra is probably one of the best known of the independent and autonomous online casino auditing bodies. eCogra monitors online casinos and offers tests on the operation of random number generators, among other things. The most trusted casinos are also approved by this body.
How to avoid unreliable casinos
As well as reading reviews, you should also learn to keep your eyes open. Always be sceptical about big numbers and promises, otherwise you’ll be taken for a ride. So never rush blindly into making a deposit, but always try to get a good overall picture of the online casino and its pros and cons.
One of the most important things is to only play at online casinos that have the appropriate gambling licence. The licence should be from the EU, as then you can claim your winnings completely tax-free. A reliable and secure licence from, for example, the MGA or the Estonian gambling authorities is a very good start.
By far the least likely to have problems are the biggest online casinos, such as those owned by large listed companies. For example, the online casino brands of the Swedish-listed Kindred Group, Betsson Group and LeoVegas AB are very reliable. There are plenty of trustworthy players in the industry, and on this site you will find a large number of safe online casinos.
It’s not a good idea to cheat at an online casino
Underage gambling, multiple accounts, gambling in casinos banned to American players, bonus abuse, examples of scams, if you can find news on the subject in the USA or abroad.
Casino systems and methods have evolved over the years. Nowadays, virtually all players have their account verified before they make their first withdrawal, and paying with another payment card is not always possible. They are careful about these things, so you should be careful too.
Situations that can lead to problems:
- Underage gambling. The casino will ask you for proof of identity, so you will not be able to withdraw your money if you are underage. Playing at a fast casino is not possible either, as age information is transmitted directly through online banking credentials.
- More than one account. Casinos look at information such as registration details, IP addresses and other data to compare whether a player has multiple accounts. At the latest when you confirm the account, you will find out if the same person has more than one account.
- Playing in casinos banned for American. Even if you could use a VPN service and create your own address to log in to a casino banned in the USA, it’s not worth it. The problem is again getting the money out, as the address has to be verified, and the VPN service may also be banned in the casino’s terms and conditions. The VPN service can often be identified by common IP addresses.
Unfortunately, however, the terms and conditions of casinos are also unintentionally abused. In the case of unintentional violations, we encourage you to be honest and report the situation immediately to the online casino’s customer service. For example, an unintentional breach of the bonus terms and conditions can sometimes be cleared up by an additional wagering requirement or similar.
Is it legal to gamble at online casinos?
American are free to play online casino games regardless of where the online casino is registered. There are plenty of foreign alternatives available online.
Gambling is legal, but casinos are not allowed to advertise their activities in the USA. However, depositing, playing and withdrawing winnings is legal – no different from travelling to a foreign casino to play.
If the online casino you choose is still registered in the EU, you can withdraw your winnings to the USA completely tax-free in accordance with EU free movement rules.