Rating Online Casinos
by J. Phillip Vogel
lesson offers 20 Questions to assist with rating online
in the Online Gambling Guide.
As an authority on internet gambling, I am continually asked many
questions by gamblers who are contemplating taking the plunge into the
sea of online casinos.
Among the questions are “Is it safe?” or “Do you have to play for real
money?” Other queries are about banking, taxes, the legality of online
gambling and software.
There are additional betting choices today like sportsbetting,
specialty poker/cardrooms and skill games. With a number of large mega-gaming sites
multiple choices in 1 place, a rating system is useful.
This begs the question,
“How can I tell if an online casino is any good?”
Given the number of online casinos and poker rooms that are steadily
popping up to meet the popularity of gambling online, it has become
complicated to pick out only those that are the very best casino and
While concerns regarding those less-than reputable or scam casino sites
have lessened over the years as the industry has come together with
better regulation, there are still a few bad apples left to justify
rating online casinos.
To complicate matters further, there is often not a wide gap among the
legitimate sites in terms of how good or worthwhile they are.
For example, some sites that prefer to stay on the cutting
edge by updating their software and game selection on a continuous
basis. On the other hand, others opt to remain with their outdated
software rather than suffer the added expense of continued growth.
The sites that are lazy may not be criminal but they sorely lack much
of the value, professionalism and in some cases customer service that
you will find at the leading casino sites.
Based on this, it is always in the players’ interest and benefit to
find the very best site that suits their gaming tastes while exploring
for others that are even better than the last.
The first step in locating and rating online casinos is very
simple: Do your homework. Do not simply rely on advertisements or broad
Visit a reputable online gambling portal or several are better; read
the reviews and observe what others have to say about the sites. You
will want to read any books, magazines, newsletters and ezines
that are pertinent to the subject and seek out everything you
can about online gambling sites.
Once you have found a few online casinos or poker rooms that appeal to
you, explore them extensively.
Look over the game previews, their online promotions, any banking
issues that may be occurring at the present time and of course, the
security features available.
If the company background is offered, it is a good idea to scan that as
well. This info. is usually found on the menu item--About Us.
As you examine these sites and consider rating online casinos, you will
want to ask some key questions:
the graphics and overall design professional grade?
long have they been in business?
they post their payout percentages and how well do my favorite games
many games do they offer? Are
enough games that I’m likely to play?
do I contact them if there is a problem?
are just a few of the important questions
that need answers before you download and install the
software and deposit money.
As you become more experienced, and determine what it is that meets
your needs, the list will likely grow.
There is a brief checklist below that will assist in choosing the
online casino that is right for you.
This will develop a clear picture of the sites that you may be
However, while this test can serve as a basic guideline for rating
online casinos, it is not definitive and online gamblers must make sure
that they thoroughly research any casino site before becoming a player
Additionally, just because a site is using a software platform that
other reputable sites are using does not necessarily mean that they are
automatically a recommended site also.
Rating Online Casinos:
are 20 questions divided in four major categories: reputation,
security & banking, and player incentives.
For each question, circle the answer that best
suits your current
Online Casinos: Reputation
many awards has the site won?
D. 5 or more
monthly payout percentages are:
mentioned on the site
by an independent auditor
and available for examination by
they affiliated with a traditional casino
or gaming group anywhere in the world?
they affiliated with or a member of any
online gaming regulatory group such as eCOGRA?
heard about this online casino(s) via:
directly from company
a banner ad on a web site
review in a magazine
Online Casinos: Software
many games does the site offer?
than a dozen
the site offer any multi-player games
with chat options?
software is available via:
and Java or Flash
Download, Java or Flash and CD
realistic are the site’s graphics and
Not at all
Like an old arcade game
Nice, but not entirely realistic
Fantastic 3-D images and realistic game sounds
they use a
Random Number Generator (RNG)
to assure fair outcomes?
No/They don’t mention a RNG
Online Casinos: Security,
Support & Banking
all financial transactions
supported/protected by the latest encryption software?
fast are withdrawals processed?
Once a week
Every 48 hours
What types of customer support do they offer?
E-mail and toll-free telephone
E-mail, toll-free telephone and live
How many ways can players make deposits and withdrawals?
they offer security features that allow
players to check their deposits or game results?
the site offer loyalty, returning
player or Player Reward programs?
How much is the initial sign-up bonus worth?
or cash up to $100
or cash up to $200
Do they offer player bonuses for using specific deposit
up to 5%
more than 5%
Do their Player Reward points carry-over each month?
they expire at the end of each month
they carry over from month to month
Are there referral bonuses available?
20% or more
Online Casinos: The
did your site do? Add up the totals from each section according to your
responses (A=0 points; B=1 point; C=2 Points; D=3 points) and compare
value to the table below:
Casinos is followed by Online Winners
to the Online Gambling Guide
to Gambling Teachers Quiz Series
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