Should I sign up to a new online casino?
The answer is simple. It’s 2023 and time to look for something new. There are lots of exciting new casinos launching, with some very exciting welcome offers.
Online is now our gambling medium of choice. The latest figures from the Gambling Commission show that online gambling now accounts for 33% of all gambling in Britain. To put that into numbers, the GGY (gross gambling yield) between April 2015 and March 2016 was £4.5 billion. That’s more than the National Lottery (£3.4 billion), the high street betting sector (£3.3 billion) and the traditional, land-based casinos (£1 billion).
And where does the lion share of the £4.5 billion pounds come from? Online casinos – £2.6 billion to be precise. That’s £1 billion more than the online betting sector!
The future of casino gaming is online and the future is mobile. Businesses are seeing the potential for the perfect storm of cutting-edge technological development that consumers are accustomed to in the smartphone age, coupled with fast-growing demand for casual, on the couch or on the train casino gaming.
By the same token, cutting edge may not necessarily be your thing. Maybe you are just looking for some new slots to play, a killer welcome bonus to add a little thrill, or you’re a huge Batman fan and you’ve just read that Playtech are unleashing a whole selection of DC slots and you want to find the casinos that have them. We can help all of you because we know that every individual player’s needs are different. And we know that there is a casino out for there for every individual player.
What should I look for in a new online casino?
Different casinos have different strengths and weaknesses. What you like about a casino may be entirely different to what Lisa likes. Lisa is a Starburst junkie who loves the dulcet, synthesizer induced, space-aged torpor of spinning those gemstones over and over again. I also just made Lisa up. (We all know Lisa). What you like isn’t necessarily what Pete likes either. Pete’s only interested in PayPal casinos that allow him to deposit and withdraw money through his Paypal account so Anonymous can’t get his home address. Newsflash Pete – Anonymous don’t want your home address. Because if they did, they’d be able to get it anyway. But they don’t. Because like Lisa, I just made Pete up.
However, one thing you, Pete and Lisa do like is an attractive welcome bonus when signing up to a new casino. Everybody wants something for nothing. Cynical but true. We love the feeling of scoring a great deal – buy one, get the second half price. A free pint with your burger on Monday. It gives us a sense of satisfaction that, in some small way, we have beaten the system that day. We may enjoy this feeling but often, it is more a question of perception than reality.
A new casino offering a sign-up bonus may appear to give us something for nothing, but the truth is more complicated than that. Let break down for you the most common welcome bonuses:
The deposit bonus
A casino deposit bonus is offered pretty much across the board. Effectively, the casino is matching the value of your first deposit (often up to £100) in bonus credit. For example, if you deposit £100, then the casino will give you another £100 to play with. Some casinos may even go further than just matching it – on your first deposit, a casino could offer a 200%, 300% or even 400% bonus. Seem too good to be true? It pretty much is. We’ll explain why in a minute.
Free Spins at new online casinos
Or perhaps more accurately, casino free bonus spins, are frequently offered with your first deposit. Often this will be 20 or 30 spins (maybe more) on a specific slot or group of slots of the casino’s choosing. Frankly, this specific slot is most likely to be Starburst, the internet’s most recognisable slot. Ideal for Lisa, the aforementioned imaginary Starburst super fan.
The No deposit bonus
It is what is sounds like; a casino no deposit bonus credit, for signing up without having to deposit a penny. Of course, the emphasis here is on credit as it’s certainly not free money. Any winnings will go into the siphoned-off bonus account and you’ll have to jump a few hoops before that’ll look anything like real cash.
The Wagering Requirement
The way you turn this bonus money into tangible money is by completing the wagering requirement attached to almost every single Bonus’ Terms and Conditions. Now, “The Wagering Requirement” may sound like a slightly naff Richard Gere thriller from the 1980s, but I assure you that it’s all too real. In the T’s & C’s, there will be a number followed by a multiplication symbol. This number will usually be between 20x and 45x of the value of the bonus and sometimes the value of the deposit. However, the percentages could be even higher.
So, what of the actual games?
That basically depends on what you like.
Some games, slots especially, are shockingly backwards; tacky and not befitting this millennium (a lot has changed in 17 years). On the other hand, some games have a smooth interface, immersive graphics and explosive, genuinely thrilling bonus rounds, complementing a player’s anticipation of scoring a fat jackpot.
Only gaming enthusiasts will know a NetEnt slot from an IGT slot, and as we’ve mentioned this is not mere details. However, once you combed through our reviews, you will know a Microgaming from a Williams, a Playtech from an Yggdrasil, a Bally from a Novomatic and you will know what you are looking for. For some players, this will be a deciding factor when alighting upon your new casino. Don’t just settle for what you’ve heard of – the big betting companies have online casinos and they are not necessarily the best.
When it comes to depositing and withdrawing money, flexibility is key. Not every player is in the same financial situation as the next.
Debit cards are a must (thumbs up), credit cards too (even with the associated fees), bank transfers (often quite slow), pay-by-phone (bit antique (suitable for antique players)), Bitcoin virtual currency (bit futuristic?) and a host of trusty e-wallet services like Paypal, Neteller and Skrill (fees again, but a little privacy?).
However, even if you have a preferred payment method in place and you’ve chosen the casino that you think is for you and you’re giddy with excitement and then you try to sign up and… the casino is not available in your country. We will do our best to flag where a casino is available and verify that it is properly licensed and regulated. Only such casinos will appear on our website.
Customer Support at New Online casino sites
Obviously, this will depend somewhat on the size and scope of the company that runs the casino. Some may have a comprehensive 24/7 telephone line and an instant chat feature for on the hoof help, yet others may not provide such instantaneous relief.
At the very least, the player should expect a competent and polite support service with an emphasis on a prompt resolution of issues. This can make a huge difference in your gaming experience. There’s nothing like a protracted, unresolved dispute over winnings withdrawal or identity documentation to really kill the mood.
And speaking of, always look out for the option of a manual flush – the ability to request all pending funds be protected until the withdrawal is complete. Without the option to reverse a withdrawal request, there can be no space for temptation in the casino’s often lengthy pending period. Also, we will highlight a casino’s withdrawal limits and promised processing time scales so you know what to expect. Surprises can be fun. This is categorically untrue when it comes to banking.