Online gambling is a sector of the gambling industry that is posed to outgrow traditional gambling in the near future.
Estimates showed the global iGaming market to be valued at over $60 billion in 2021, projected to reach about $115 billion by 2028.
This rapid expansion is owed to the general availability of internet access and modern handset devices like tablets and smartphones, as well as a seemingly endless demand for quality gaming products.
Some gaming businesses look to cash in on this demand using aggressive marketing campaigns while providing mediocre services.
This guide will provide an objective review and list the hard facts related to online casinos, underscoring some benefits while also highlighting some warning signs.
What do Online Casinos Represent?
An online casino is any website that provides real-money gambling services. It can be solely a casino-oriented digital gaming space or a combination of casino and sports betting.
Online casinos encompass digitalized versions of near-all gambling services you would find in an actual, land-based gambling venue. This includes virtual gaming content, electronic payments, online loyalty benefits, rewards, streaming services, tournaments, etc.
License is Key
The inexorable rise of the iGaming market has generated a need for a secure and regulated marketplace.
Regulators needed to adapt and develop regulations for an increasingly complex industry liable to different frauds and cyber threats. Several regulators and governments have emerged and consolidated existing policies with necessary new gaming laws to create a comprehensive rule book for iGaming brands.
Those looking to take up online gaming need to double-check for licensing credentials and license numbers for any of the following regulators:
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Government of Gibraltar
- Curacao eGaming
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
- UK Gaming Commission
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Almost all major internet casino gaming companies hold one or more licenses from some of the listed regulators. When doing your best online casinos review, see the bottom of the casino’s home page for licensing details.
What do Online Casinos Require for Registration?
Although it is a simple enough process, registering plays an important role in the long run. The casino will use the personal and contact details you provide to verify your identity and improve the user experience.
Depending on which specific casino you use, you can be required to submit different information. Some sites may only require basic information like name, email, and address. Others may ask for more detailed information, including city, state/province, house number, zip code, and phone number.
Casinos will often send a verification code via email to authenticate your account. Still, some operators can go a step further and require a picture ID or similar identification details before you can start playing.
Online Casino Games
Online casino games mostly fall into two categories: live and RNG games.
Live games encompass various live dealer tables for blackjack, poker, baccarat, and roulette. Most live games are produced by two software developers: Evolution Gaming and Pragmatic Play.
RNG games use random number generator software to automatically generate random outcomes. This software is subject to periodic tests to ensure game fairness.
RNG games mainly include online slot machines developed by software companies specializing in creating such content. These providers also create RNG versions of poker, blackjack, and baccarat, as well as video poker, bingo, scratch cards, jackpot games, and some specialty games, like Slingo (fusion of bingo and slots), keno, virtual sports, and so on.
Bonuses and Promotions – What to Watch out for
One thing you’ll notice about online casinos is they like to promote player bonuses. Every casino will profess to have the biggest welcome bonus or the best cashback bonus.
But the thing that actually determines the bonus’ worth is its terms. Opting for a $1,000 deposit bonus with 30x wagering requirements is pointless if completing the wagering terms, i.e., betting $1,000 times 30 (spending $30,000) is not possible.
On the other hand, a small cash bonus of $50 or $100 can be much easier to redeem.
Bonuses are always optional, and you should carefully think things through before opting in for any offer.
How do Online Casino Payments/Payouts Work?
Online casinos’ banking systems have long been a cause of frustration for many players, processing deposits in an instant while taking hours, even days, to approve your payout.
However, as technology advanced, casinos partnered with new online payment providers to facilitate transactions. Digital wallets like Neteller and ecoPayz, pre-paid vouchers like Paysafecard, and electronic checks like ACH Direct have emerged as suitable alternatives to some mainstream services like debit/credit cards.
Different casino sites can provide the same payment option (like Visa, Skrill, or PayPal), but each casino independently determines its payment policy. This includes the payment and payout limits, whether any fees are charged, and whether users need to provide personal ID documents to the operator.
Crypto Gambling – an Emerging Trend
Crypto gambling is another branch of the iGaming sector that has seen a massive rise in popularity with the boom of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin.
Cryptocurrencies work without central administration and are not tied to any bank or e-payment service, which provides greater anonymity and security.
But using crypto to gamble is still a developing market practiced in certain online gaming circles among people with a deep understanding of mining and trading crypto.
Know Your Local Gambling Laws
Before getting involved with any online gambling site, learn about the gambling laws in your country/state/province.
Depending on your country, you can have restricted or full access to the casino’s gaming content, promotions, and payment services. Even if a proper regulator licenses the casino, local laws may still prohibit some or all forms of casino gambling.