There is no doubt that one of the industries that have evolved the most because of the internet is the online gambling industry.
Since the first online casinos were launched in the mid-1990s, the industry has evolved in leaps and bounds and is now a multi-billion dollar global business that comprises four main sectors – online betting, online poker, online bingo and one of the biggest of all, online casinos.
An Online Casino is Your Own Personal Casino
With just a few mouse clicks, online casinos allow players to convert their PC or laptop (with a reliable and stable internet connection) into their own personal, instant and discreet 24/7 real-money casino with many traditional casino games. Even the earliest online casinos offered players a slots, video poker, keno, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, progressives and many more.
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Today online casinos are more popular than ever and have even evolved into the mobile space. In fact, most of the world’s premier online casinos are ‘mobile-friendly’ so they can be accessed on smart phones and tablets just as quickly and easily as desktop computers, notebooks and laptops. Mobile casinos give online casino fans the chance to play a choice of real money games ‘on the go.’
“The value of online casinos far exceeds just convenience.”
But the value of online casinos far exceeds just convenience. Being able to access and play real money or demo games 24/7 at pretty much any licensed and regulated online/mobile casino is a barrier to entry these days.
No, the true value of online casinos lies in how lucrative their RTP (return to player) is, how fast they pay out big winnings, the quality of their software (games) providers, the size and variety of their game portfolios, how generous their bonuses and promotions are, whether they have a worthwhile VIP or loyalty program, and how fast, helpful and efficient their customer support facilities are.
Players can determine the value of playing at an online casino by rating it in terms of these criteria:
Highest Casino Return to Player (RTP)
Return to player is the percentage of every unit played ($, £, € etc.) paid out as winnings, and the rule of thumb is that the higher the RTP (or conversely, the lower the house edge), the more generous and thus better the online casino. For instance, an online casino with an RTP of 97% should be far more enticing to players than a casino with an 88% RTP. Players are advised to always seek out online casinos with the highest RTP.
Swiftly Paid Out Casino Winnings
While most premier online casinos pay out winnings swiftly and efficiently, not all casinos are overly eager to part with particularly large player pay outs. For instance, in some cases they may opt to pay out winnings over a period such as a year, which is not ideal. Fortunately, most casinos specify their pay out rules in their terms and conditions, so players should always read these before signing up.
Top Quality Casino Software Vendors
Games are the ‘engine’ of any online casino, and the better the engine, the more attractive and popular the online casino. Players should look out for online and mobile casinos powered by valued software firms like Netent, Betsoft, Microgaming, WMS, Playtech and Realtime Gaming (RTG). These firms develop games known for their superior themes, graphics, features, pay outs and high RTP.
Online Casino Games – Bigger is Better
When it comes to the size of an online casino’s games suite or portfolio, bigger is always better. The benefit of online casinos with larger than average game selections is that players have more games and variants to discover en route to compiling a list of their tried and trusted favourites. Add to that, most remote casinos with hundreds of games add to them regularly, typically every month.
Casino Bonuses and Promotions
It’s no secret that everyone wants something for nothing and online casino players are no exception. For many online players the decision to sign up with a particular casino hinges on how generous its new player bonus offers are, where they can claim free credits or spins or bold welcome bonuses on top of their initial deposits. Daily, weekly and monthly promotions are also a major drawcard.
If unsure of whether an online casino bonus is worth claiming or not, there are software applications players can use to determine this. They allow players to complete various fields with data such as bet size, bonus percentage, deposit, wagering, they type of bonus (post wager, cashable, sticky or cashback etc.) The software then collates this data and delivers a verdict to claim or leave it.
Value-added online casinos normally dissuade ‘bonus hunters’ from signing up with their stringent terms and conditions. In fact, if you’re found to be a bonus hunter you’ll have your account closed.
VIP Loyalty Casino Programs
Most top online casino sites offer players a free-to-join VIP or loyalty program where from day one they earn loyalty points on real money games. When they collect enough points they can redeem them for real bonus cash. There are also usually various ‘tiers or levels’ players can ascend based on how much they play over a given period, each with better rewards such as bigger game limits.
24/7 Casino Customer Care
If for any reason players need to contact an online casino for any reason, whether to query a bonus, ask about a particular game or chase up a withdrawal request, they should able to get hold of someone 24/7 via Live Chat, phone or email who is fast, efficient and friendly. This is the mark of high value online casinos because they understand the importance of consistent customer service.