Does your online casino offer an ace service? – Image via Pexels
The online casino industry is an extremely competitive sector, with operators fighting hard to grab a slice of the increasingly lucrative pie.
This is excellent news for consumers, as this provides them with a vast array of different places to play their favourite games.
However, as is often the case in this type of scenario, having plenty of options can make it difficult to decide which service you should use.
Reliability is undoubtedly the most important consideration when it comes to selecting an online casino to an open an account with.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at how to identify a reliable online casino to help you get the maximum enjoyment out of playing the different games.
Safety & security
When someone signs up for an account with an online casino there is probably one overriding question in their mind – will I get paid if I win?
Improvements in legislation in recent years have played a key role in making the online casino sector a more trustworthy place.
Operators must possess licenses issued by the appropriate regulatory body that oversees the gambling industry in their jurisdiction.
These must be displayed clearly on the site, giving users peace of mind that they can sign-up for an account safe in the knowledge that the casino is reliable.
Regulatory bodies generally come down hard on operators that fail to obtain the correct licenses, so securing these demonstrates reliability.
While playing games at online casinos is a great form of entertainment, it is important that people only ever gamble what they can afford to lose.
For a small percentage of people gambling can become problematic, and operators must take appropriate steps to ensure that they don’t allow things to get out of hand.
A reliable casino will advocate responsible gaming practices, thus ensuring that vulnerable people are protected from getting themselves into trouble.
Link-ups with organisations such as Gamstop highlight that an online casino is committed to taking responsible gambling seriously.
This gives players further peace of mind that the operator is reliable and can be trusted to do the right thing if someone’s gambling spirals out of control.
Reliable software is the driving force behind online casinos – Image via Pexels
Online casinos rely heavily on the software that powers the games, and this can be a great way to determine the reliability of a particular site.
The best casinos will have strong partnerships with a select group of developers who specialise in creating games for the gambling sector.
International Game Technology, Playtech, Scientific Games and Microgaming are amongst the firms who can be trusted to supply top-class casino games.
Their software undergoes stringent testing during the development process to ensure that they remain stable, even through lengthy gaming sessions.
Sites who feature games from these companies can generally be trusted to deliver an extremely reliable gameplay experience.
Bonuses & promotions
Bonuses and promotional offers can be a useful yardstick in working out whether an online casino offers a reliable service.
The old adage that ‘if something seems too good to be true, it probably is’ certainly rings true where casino sites are concerned.
Many unscrupulous operators offer hefty bonuses to lure people into signing-up for an account, but attach restrictive terms and conditions to them.
The best casinos also use bonuses and promotions to grab people’s attention, but they make sure that the requirements to unlock any winnings are fair and proportionate.
Checking the small print on the different offers can provide you with a useful insight into whether an online casino can be trusted.
Deposit & withdrawal methods
Online casinos should offer a wide range of payment options – Image via Pexels
As previously mentioned, people want to be sure when they open an account with an online casino that they will be paid out if they win.
Reliable casinos will offer a variety of payment options for players including credit/debit cards, e-Wallets, bank transfers and open banking methods.
Online sites generally process deposits instantly, but it is the withdrawal times than can be the giveaway with regards to reliability.
If an online casino wants you to jump through hoops before releasing your withdrawal, it is often a sign that they are not to be trusted.
Reputable operators generally ensure that the money hits your chosen payment method within 2/3 days – a site taking longer than this should be avoided.
Mobile & apps
If an operator has taken the time to fully optimise their online casino to work on mobile, it is usually a sign that they are reliable.
That point is accentuated if they have developed a standalone app, with companies having to invest sufficient resources into developing this.
Reliable operators will ensure that their offering on mobile mirrors the experience on desktop, ensuring that players can enjoy all the same features.
With people increasingly shifting towards mobile to access the internet, it is imperative that online casinos cater for their needs.
Checking whether your chosen casino works seamlessly on mobile can go a long way to determining whether the site is reliable.
Another element where reputable operators stand out from the crowd is in their customer service, and it pays to test this out before signing up for an account.
The best online casinos make it easy for you to resolve problems by offering a range of different ways to speak with support agents.
If a site offers 24/7 in-person customer support, it is generally a sign that they are committed to offering the highest level of service.
Professional telephone support and prompt replies to emails are other indicators that an operator can be trusted.
A vibrant social media presence with strong levels of engagement also points towards the reliability of an online casino.