For those new to the world of online real money gaming, an online casino can seem like a pretty confusing place. A typical popular online casino is packed with hundreds of games ranging from familiar casino classic table games to more obscure games and of course a whole lot of video slots games which vary greatly by themes and quality. There is also a certain apprehension on the part of the newbie when it comes to which casino to choose; after all there are countless stories out there about dodgy sites which are trying to take your hard earned cash. Even when you have found a trustworthy casino you like, the whole process of registering and making deposits and withdrawals can all seem quite complex and daunting. Here we intend to take the newcomer through the entire process step by step, and make the world of online casino gaming a little bit clearer.
The easiest way to check out whether a site is the real deal is by checking the bottom of the casino’s home page to see where it is licensed and regulated. Although there are many reputable regulators out there, the best regarded and those with the highest standards are European regulators such as the British Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. If you find one of these listed as the regulators you can be sure you are in safe hand, and can check with the regulator’s own site to make sure that the casino is licensed. Regulators will insist that online casinos adopt the highest standards when it comes to matters such as player privacy, security of funds, not placing unfair restrictions on withdrawals and fair play. When it comes to games paying out fairly, look out for the logo of independent bodies such as eCOGRA which carry out regular tests on approved sites to ensure that the games are playing correctly and fairly. Although there are scare stories about pirate betting sites out there, the vast majority are perfectly safe and secure and allow players a fair chance to win.
After satisfying yourself that your chosen online casino is safe and secure, the registration process normally only takes a couple of minutes. Players will be asked to enter personal information such as name, address, date of birth and contact information, all of which is securely stored using encrypted software. It is important that this information is correct, as casinos will carry out further checks to ensure that the identity of the player is correct, and in many cases this will require the new player to send or upload scans of ID and proof of address such as a bank statement. These measures help to enhance the security of all players on the site and to prevent the casino being used for any sort of illegal activity.
In the past people were a lot more cautious about transferring money online, but these days when buying goods and services online has become second nature to a lot of us, the whole process seems a lot more natural. Most casinos will offer a range of funding options, including debit and credit cards, bank transfer options, electronic wallets and voucher systems all of which offer simple and straightforward ways to transfer money to and from your casino account. The variety of methods on offer means that there should be an option to suit everybody, and although there will be minimum and maximum amounts which can be transferred per transactions, these are not generally too restrictive.
Most online casinos will offer a Welcome Bonus of some description, and as long as you understand what you are getting yourself in for these are usually well worth taking advantage of. Take a look at our Bonus Guide for more detailed information, but as a general rule it is worth glancing through the terms and conditions to make sure you understand what you are agreeing to. Once you have made your first deposit (and accepted your bonus) you are ready to start playing. A good tip is to start off with small stakes, and to try a range of different games to see which ones take your fancy. You will soon discover whether you prefer the realistic action of the live dealer casino, the thrills of the latest animated video slots, or one of a host of other real money gaming options.
Online casinos are places to enjoy some casual gaming fun, and to replicate the excitement provided by a land based casino but in the comfort of your own home. However, if gambling online is starting to have a negative impact on your life then there is a lot of support available from online casinos. Most regulated online casinos will offer features such as deposit limits, time outs or self-exclusion from the site on a temporary or permanent basis as a way to curb excess gambling. There are also fantastic independent bodies such as Gamcare which can provide help and support to those people for whom gambling has become a problem. If you do feel that you or someone you know may have an issue with gambling, then please check out our Play Safe page for more information.
Playing at real money online casinos should be fun, and if it stops being fun it is probably time to stop playing. For most people online gambling remains a great way to pass the time, an injection of excitement as you wait for the roulette ball to settle or watch the bonus symbols in your slot game line up to form a winning combination. Sign up for a trusted online casino to enjoy the internet versions of games which have been keeping people entertained for hundreds of years, and which continue to do so in the virtual world of the 21st century.