Online Casino Sites Reviewed & Compared
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A good online casino can bring the hustle and bustle of the Vegas Strip directly to your screen. You can launch the games it offers from the comfort of your home and on the go.
Whether you enjoy slots or classic table games, such as blackjack, roulette, or poker, a quality internet casino will provide you with plenty of opportunities to test your luck and skills with real money on the line.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already heard this promise.
But how many sites are actually capable of delivering on it? How can you distinguish the best casinos from the ones that aren’t worth your time? How do online casinos earn their money, who supplies their games, and are they safe to play?
The purpose of this site is to provide you with a comprehensive and up-to-date snapshot of the modern internet casino industry, complete with expert reviews based on real data sourced from casino sites.
This guide will also help you avoid many beginner mistakes, hopefully maximizing the enjoyment you get from your online casino adventure.
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All reviews, game guides and articles you find on online.casino are written by renowned experts within the casino industry.
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Things to consider when choosing an online casino
Online casinos aren’t created equal, so you should always compare the sites that are available in your region before you commit to a real-money deposit.
Many factors can influence the quality of your experience, including game selection, supported banking methods, customer service, bonuses, and the loyalty program’s structure.
We recommend sticking exclusively to the top operators on the online.casino top lists, who all enjoy a spotless reputation among players and who have their paperwork in order.
With so many quality casinos around, there is no need to take any unnecessary risks.
When vetting a casino on the internet, your first step should be to check whether the site is licensed by a legitimate regulatory organization.
This information should be readily available on the casino website and is usually located at the bottom of the home page.
At this stage, we also recommend checking whether your casino undergoes regular Random Numbers Generator audits by an external certification company.
The best casinos online have licenses from safe and respected jurisdictions.
Some of the best online casinos operate out of jurisdictions classified as tax havens. Don’t be surprised if you notice that your casino is licensed in Costa Rica, the Isle of Man, Malta, or Curacao. In addition, several high-profile operators are based in the United Kingdom, a country with long-standing gambling traditions and permissive online casino regulations.
In most cases, these licensing choices are motivated by necessity rather than greed. Over the past two decades, the industry has become so saturated that the companies that haven’t been able to escape overbearing taxation or unreasonable regulations have lost the ability to compete on the international stage, which confined them to fenced local markets.
As hinted above, legal casinos can’t accept players from all over the globe regardless of their regulator.
Many countries prohibit internet gambling outright, while others require local online casinos to operate in isolation from the rest of the world.
Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to most English-speaking jurisdictions, with the exception of some restrictive US states, such as Washington or Utah.
Nevertheless, country restrictions are something to be aware of if you plan to gamble while travelling.
International operators don’t require their customers to install geolocation software, but many casino websites block connection attempts from restricted countries and territories.
In most cases, attempting to circumvent such safeguards results in account termination.
Safety and security
Online casinos are required to process sensitive information pertaining to their clients, such as their personal details or transaction history.
Casino operators are aware that their reputation depends on their ability to keep such information secure. Consequently, no casino on the internet exchanges data with your device without SSL encryption.
Still, if you want to err on the side of caution, you can check whether your connection is encrypted by clicking on a small padlock icon located near your browser’s address bar.
On the back-end side, a typical internet casino implements multiple technical and organizational measures designed to protect its users’ data.
Casinos usually store information on secure servers and don’t make it readily accessible to low-level employees.
While these measures should be sufficient in most circumstances, the responsibility for maintaining the confidentiality of login credentials ultimately falls on the player.
Thus, you should never share your information with any unauthorized third parties.
If you want to check the trustworthiness of an internet casino, looking up the paperwork is only half of the puzzle.
The other half is the casino’s reputation with the players, which you can verify with a simple Google search.
Our rule of thumb is to never rely on a single source, especially when it’s something like a forum post that could’ve been written by a disgruntled player motivated by an unlucky slots session.
What should raise a red flag are independently verified reports of dishonest conduct, especially regarding honouring bonus conditions and cash-out requests.
A common practice among fraudulent casinos is to lure gambling enthusiasts in with a promise of an advantageous bonus and then refuse to pay them because of terms-related technicalities, which are sometimes completely made up.
Note that not every withdrawal-related problem is caused by malicious intent.
Small casinos tend to operate on a tighter budget than top sites, so they might have legitimate issues with paying out big wins.
This clearly doesn’t mitigate the frustration a player is bound to feel because of a delayed cash-out, which is why we recommend sticking to high-profile platforms.
These shortcomings are also a good reason to avoid new online casinos that haven’t made a name for themselves yet.
The only exception to this rule should be new casinos operated by high-profile companies that already run other reputable gambling sites.
Game providers & game selection
Each gambling site offers a different selection of casino games. Some focus on slots, while others tempt their customers with high-quality table games or live dealer options.
However, much like in the world of land-based gambling, even the best casinos don’t design the software they offer.
Instead, casinos rely on specialized third-party companies to supply them with their gambling products. Some of the biggest names among such developers include Playtech, Microgaming, Konami, IGT, BetSoft, and Net Entertainment.
The games they produce are designed to be compatible with a wide range of casino platforms, so many popular slots are available on a wide range of sites.
The most successful slots tend to produce spin-offs and clones, which can become ubiquitous across seemingly unrelated platforms. For example, even casinos that don’t offer the original Cleopatra game typically have an Egyptian-themed slot that mimics its gameplay.
At its best, this trend can generate very refined titles, although it does introduce some repetitiveness into the industry. Fortunately, the largest casinos offer hundreds of games, so this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you stick to high-quality platforms.
Online casino sites tend to support a wide range of payment methods. All legitimate operators in the industry accept credit and debit card deposits. In addition, most sites will give you the option to use popular e-wallet services, such as Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal.
Other commonly available options include Ukash, Entropay, and Paysafecard.
Most casinos online do not accept cryptocurrency payments, which is understandable considering the anonymity they provide. However, many sites allow players to fund their accounts via wire transfer, money order, or even a check.
The industry standard is to process deposits instantly, but you need to use an electronic payment method if you want to start playing right away. An e-wallet or credit card payment may go through within seconds, but a wire transfer can take up to five business days.
Withdrawals are handled differently as the casino staff must confirm each request to prevent fraud. This process normally takes between 24 and 48 hours. Note that some deposit banking methods may not be available for withdrawals.
Finally, in many casinos, e-wallet cash-outs are available exclusively to customers who have already used the same method to fund their gambling account.
Virtually every casino on the internet will provide you with at least one channel to contact its staff. E-mail support is the most common option by far, and it’s available even on the smallest sites.
High-traffic casinos also tend to offer live chat and phone support. Further, some gambling sites accept traditional mail, although that’s more of a relic of the past than a viable contact method.
The response and operating times differ from site to site, but quality casinos generally respond to e-mails within 24 hours and deliver 24/7 live support.
In most cases, the support staff will be happy to provide you with assistance even if you’re not a paying customer, so it’s always a good idea to contact them if you have any questions about the bonuses or terms of service.
Most casino websites also feature an extensive help section to provide you with basic information on available banking methods, software, bonuses, promotions, and VIP schemes.
In addition, some sites give their customers access to game descriptions, which can be convenient for profit-seeking players who like to compare all available gambling options in terms of house advantage.
Modern casino platforms are designed to be compatible with mobile devices. If you visit a casino site using a tablet or smartphone, you’ll likely see a mobile-optimized lobby instead of the standard home page.
A typical mobile casino interface is more streamlined than its desktop counterpart, although it should give you access to all the important features, including banking, promotions, and customer support.
Whenever this isn’t the case, you can load the desktop version of the website to perform the necessary operations and return to the mobile version once you’re done.
Mobile users typically don’t enjoy access to a complete suite of casino games because iGaming sites tend to offer many legacy titles that were designed before the advent of mobile gambling.
Again, you can often circumvent this problem by launching the desktop version of the site, but some desktop games can be hard to play on small-screen devices.
Given the modular nature of modern casino engines, the software powering your casino site is highly unlikely to define your overall gambling experience.
You might get some exclusive slots, but unless you choose a North America-facing RTG site, you’ll still likely end up playing plenty of IGT and NetEnt games.
All of the new casino platforms are completely browser-based and run on HTML5, which makes them compatible with common desktop browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Safari.
This feature also allows mobile users to load desktop casinos as long as their hardware is up to the task, which should eventually help bridge the gap between mobile and desktop casinos.
Most internet casinos do not offer a download option these days as game size is rarely a problem due to the widespread availability of broadband connections.
Back in the day, downloadable casino software was common because it allowed all players to feast their eyes on improved graphics and additional special effects, but this is no longer the case.
Live dealer casino
Many large gambling sites offer a live casino option, allowing their customers to enjoy popular table games with real croupiers and authentic casino equipment.
Much like standard online casino games, live dealer games are typically supplied by specialized third-party studios.
These studios are tasked with operating the tables and preparing an enjoyable lineup of games, sometimes streaming the same video feed to multiple casino sites. Some of the most popular live casino options include blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
Live dealer games are significantly more expensive to run than their RNG-based counterparts, so the cost of playing them might be prohibitive for budget gamblers.
In card games, the number of player slots is typically limited, which is understandable as no dealer is capable of running a game for an unlimited number of players while following standard betting rules.
This isn’t the case for roulette and other games that don’t require the participants to play out their hands, but such a setup diminishes the social aspect of the live casino experience.
Factors that make an online casino stand out
As mentioned, the competition between international gambling operators is fierce. Every site wants to be considered the best casino online, so it should come as no surprise that high-traffic platforms are constantly trying to one-up one another with their bonuses, VIP programs, and returning customer promotions.
This e-business arms race is generally beneficial for the players, as it provides them with plenty of opportunities to get maximum bang for their buck.
On the downside, many of the flashy four-digit bonuses come with nigh-on-impossible wagering requirements, which are supposed to compensate the casinos for the money that they pay out.
We recommend profit-oriented players to go for the more modest, balanced bonuses as they are significantly easier to claim.
Almost all international casinos offer a matched welcome bonus. Such promotions award you with additional cash based on your initial deposit’s size.
For example, a 200% bonus will triple the amount of money credited to your account, and a 100% bonus will double it.
To prevent bonus abuse, these offers come with wagering requirements, which are sometimes also referred to as playthrough.
A playthrough requirement prevents you from cashing out until you’ve wagered a specific amount of money a predetermined number of times. This base amount may be equal to the size of your deposit or the size of your deposit and bonus combined.
In the first scenario, making a $100 deposit and claiming a 100% bonus with a 20x playthrough would require you to wager $2,000 (20x $100 deposit) to complete your playthrough.
In the second scenario, you’d need to wager $4,000 (20x $100 deposit + 20x $100 bonus).
Thus, it is vital to read the terms and conditions for such promotions.
Games other than slots typically don’t contribute 100% of your wagers to your playthrough because of the lower advantage they give to the house.
In most casinos, video poker, table games, and some specialty games contribute only 10-20% towards clearing the bonus. Some sites even offer games that don’t contribute anything.
If you place a withdrawal request without completing your playthrough, you will forfeit your bonus, and the casino will deduct your losses from your account balance.
In addition, many casinos enforce rules that prohibit their customers from clearing bonuses by placing low-risk wagers.
An example of such a wager would be betting on both Red and Black in roulette or betting on Pass and Don’t Pass in craps.
All major internet casinos reward their most loyal customers via VIP programs.
These programs are typically volume-based, which means that the more you play, the more cashback you receive.
The specifics differ from site to site, but in most cases, players receive VIP points for placing real-money bets. Players can later exchange these VIP points for real money, usually in predetermined increments.
For example, a casino may award its customers with one VIP point for every $10 wagered and allow them to exchange these points for real money at the rate of 100:1.
Such a scheme would be equivalent to 0.1% cashback. While this doesn’t sound impressive, it lowers the house edge on every game you play by 0.1%, which can be a big deal for profit-seeking players.
Many volume-based VIP programs are tiered. In a tiered VIP program, all players are assigned ranks based on the amount of money they tend to wager.
Reaching higher ranks typically allows customers to earn VIP points faster. In some casinos, high-status players also gain access to VIP-only promotions.
Much like in the case of welcome bonuses, low house edge games contribute less towards earning VIP points.
Welcome bonuses and VIP schemes aside, most online casinos boast a unique set of events and promotions for returning customers. Some of the most common options include reload bonuses, free spins, instant bonus scratchers, and prize draws.
These offers are typically available for a limited period of time to reward frequent, consistent play.
Some casinos take these incentives a step further, offering leaderboard-based contests with real-money prize pools, slot tournaments, or guaranteed jackpots awarded to random players at the end of each day.
The quality of such limited-time offers is closely associated with the amount of traffic the casino can attract.
Small casinos usually only launch a few token promotions per year or forego such offers altogether, while larger sites can afford to attract customers with more impressive deals.
Tips for playing casino games online
Whether you visit an online casino looking for thrills or for a chance to win money, there are a few guidelines you should follow to get the best out of your internet gambling experience.
The most important rule is never to deposit more than you can afford to lose. All online casino games are stacked in favor of the house. If they weren’t, casinos wouldn’t be able to earn any money and would quickly go bankrupt.
Even if the casino didn’t have an advantage, the inherent volatility of the games would still present a risk to your bankroll. Perhaps counterintuitively, this volatility is also what allows casino players to find short-term success.
Thus, there is no point in getting annoyed or frustrated if you lose. Think of playing casino games as paying for entertainment. Don’t focus too much on the chance to come out ahead.
From a mathematical perspective, if you keep betting against the odds long enough, you’re guaranteed to eventually run out of money. If you really want to maximize your chances, your best option is to go big and take advantage of the aforementioned casino volatility.
This leads to our final point—don’t trust any “surefire” or “guaranteed” betting systems.
No betting system can alter the game’s mathematical structure. All so-called winning casino strategies are either based on fallacious thinking, such as a false belief that the outcome of one spin can affect the outcome of your next game (the famous Gambler’s Fallacy), or on lowering the chance of losing a series of wagers at the expense of increasing the risk of ruin.
Play for free before you play with real money
Most internet casinos will give you a chance to test their games for free without making a real money deposit or even setting up an account. This option should be available directly from the lobby or game browser.
Once you start a casino game in free-play mode, you’ll receive a predetermined number of virtual chips that you can use to place wagers.
You won’t win any real money that way, but you’ll get to learn how the game works and how volatile it is. This feature is particularly useful for inexperienced gamblers.
Withdraw if you win big
Assuming you have some care for the money you deposit to the casino, you should always withdraw if you win big.
The reasoning behind this approach is simple: once you’ve nailed that jackpot, you’ve beaten the game. You’ve managed to triumph against the odds and turn a profit, so there’s no point in subjecting your winnings to further risk.
If you don’t cash out, the rules of probability will eventually catch up with you and reduce your bankroll to nothing.
Refusing to follow this principle is equivalent to refusing to take advantage of the casino volatility, which is the only ace the house will ever allow you to have up your sleeve.
Simply put, if you refuse to withdraw when you win big, you give up on your only win condition.
Even if you don’t care about your winnings and just want to keep the reels spinning, we recommend withdrawing your initial deposit.
That way, you can start chasing another big payout while simultaneously guaranteeing yourself that, at the very least, you’re going to break even.
Online Casino FAQ
The world of online casino games can be thrilling and entertaining, but it can also be confusing for inexperienced gambling enthusiasts. Below, you will find a series of answers to common beginner questions, which will hopefully help you understand how internet casinos operate and how they earn their money.
Most internet casinos are operated by honest companies and are perfectly safe to use. Unfortunately, every online industry has its share of scammers that reflect poorly on the whole. Thus, if you want to enjoy internet gambling in a safe environment, you should always research the casinos that catch your attention before you put your hard-earned money on the line.
This process isn’t always easy because dishonest casino operators are rarely straightforward with their customers. In most cases, they pretend to run a legitimate casino and then refuse to honor your withdrawal requests while stalling for time and giving you unreasonable excuses. Once their reputation is in tatters, they close shop and set up a new operation, aiming to repeat this pattern.
If you’re interested in learning how to avoid these dangerous faux casinos, section 4 of this article will be an excellent place to start.
All reputable international casinos are owned by legal businesses operating out of gambling-friendly jurisdictions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it legal to play their real-money games from anywhere in the world. All internet casino customers are required to follow the gambling laws and regulations that apply in their area of residence, and many jurisdictions do restrict access to such platforms.
In theory, if the local laws prohibit you from using a specific casino site, your country should be included on its list of restricted territories. The sad reality is that this isn’t always the case, and casino terms of service won’t protect you from criminal liability. You should always check your local gambling regulations before signing up for an online casino account.
Australia and UK residents should be free to access the vast majority of online casinos. In the United States, the situation is much more complicated because of ambiguous, outdated state-level regulations. Canada is way more permissive in this regard, but many Europe-based casinos still refuse to offer their services to Canadian residents.
Online casinos are typically regulated by government-mandated gambling oversight commissions.
International casinos tend to operate out of gambling-friendly countries that don’t overburden them with unreasonably high taxes. This means that most such platforms conduct their business under licenses issued by countries like Costa Rica, the Isle of Man, Malta, or Curacao.
For more information, please consult the Licenses section of this article.
Most international casinos will allow you to sign up for a real-money account as long as you are at least 18 years old. This requirement typically results from the casino operator’s legal obligations and doesn’t necessarily reflect the minimum gambling age in your jurisdiction.
Internet casinos are serious about preventing underage gambling and expect their customers to adhere to their local gambling regulations. Consequently, if a casino discovers that you are over 18 but under the legal gambling age in your jurisdiction, you will likely forfeit your winnings, and the casino will terminate your account.
Gambling-related tax obligations depend on the laws in a players’ jurisdiction. No internet casino is going to assume any liability for its customers’ unpaid taxes, so you should familiarize yourself with your local gambling regulations before making a deposit to any iGaming site.
Some of the countries that don’t require their residents to pay any taxes on casual internet gambling winnings include Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, players must report and pay taxes on all winnings.
Much like their land-based counterparts, online casinos offer games that are stacked in their favor. Except for keno, the house advantage typically isn’t very high, which allows individual players to be successful in the short run.
In the long run, the house always wins. Given enough games, even a sub-1% advantage can generate consistent profits for the casino. As a result, casinos that attract plenty of traffic are significantly wealthier than their less popular counterparts, which is one of the reasons why the internet casino industry is so competitive.
Internet casinos are relatively inexpensive to run, at least compared to brick-and-mortar gambling venues. This allows casino sites to offer welcome bonuses and returning customer promotions that don’t have an equivalent in the traditional casino industry.
Online casino games are produced by specialized third-party companies, such as Konami, NetEnt, IGT, or Playtech. Some of their older releases were straightforward ports of games designed with land-based casinos in mind. Nowadays, many new titles are developed simultaneously for online platforms and traditional slot cabinets.
Internet casinos typically don’t offer exclusive games that were produced in-house. Several small casino operators undertook such efforts in the past to give their sites a unique feel, but the end result was almost always a testament to the gap separating them from professional studios regarding organizational experience and software development capacities.
Companies that develop casino games test their games before shipping them to casinos. This process is completely independent of gambling sites. Most game development companies don’t have any corporate ties with online casino operators.
In addition, all legitimate casinos are expected to undergo regular third-party audits to ensure that the RNG software they use to generate game outcomes is completely fair and random.
The house edge is the mathematical advantage the casino holds over its players. This advantage results in guaranteed returns to the casino operator over time. It also makes it impossible for players to turn a profit in the long run. Not every casino game gives the house the same edge.
For most slots, the house advantage falls within the 3-6% range. In video poker and some table games, the house edge can be lower than 1%, assuming the player follows proper strategy and doesn’t make any mistakes.
Progressive jackpot slots can become mathematically profitable to play over time because the jackpot grows every time a player places a wager. If the main prize grows large enough, the house edge can be completely negated.
While this might sound like an amazing opportunity, you should keep in mind that progressive jackpots can only get this large because the odds of hitting them are minuscule. If you focus on chasing them, you’re infinitely more likely to contribute to the bank than to break it open.
The default currency of most international gambling sites is the US dollar, although it isn’t difficult to find UK- or Australia-facing sites that use Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, or British Pounds instead. Many casinos will allow you to choose your primary currency or assign it to your account based on your IP address.
If you aren’t sure whether the casino you’re interested in supports your local currency, we recommend visiting the Banking section of its website or contacting customer service.
No legitimate casino will ever ban you for winning regardless of the amount of money in question. That said, there are fraudulent casinos that will refuse to honor payout requests, usually citing imaginary terms of service violations. Such disputes sometimes do end up in unjustified bans, which account for the vast majority of internet stories of this kind.
For this reason, we recommend our readers to choose casinos we have researched before they commit to a deposit. The number of dishonest casino operations isn’t high compared to the number of legitimate sites, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Online.Casino mission statement
Before we started our casino guide, we wrote a mission statement. This guides us in creating the best online casino guide there is, for the players.
The mission statement goes:
We are Online.Casino – the next generation of online casino comparison.
We connect the entertainment and rewards of casino, with trust and real data.
We will provide you with the fastest and leanest comparison platform.
We will surprise you and bring you value.
We open doors & take you away from the mundane everyday life.
We present new encounters.