Online casinos have boomed in popularity since the turn of the century, with millions of people signing up with operators to play their favourite games.
Whether you are a fan of roulette, blackjack slots or something else, it has never been easier for people to play casino online on desktop or mobile.
While visiting a land-based casino is still a hugely popular entertainment activity, the convenience of online play has sparked huge growth in the industry.
People can now to choose to play at a time and place that suits their personal circumstances, with online casinos providing customers with 24/7/365 access.
Read on as we look at the exciting world of online casinos and explain how to choose a secure site to play the wide range of games.
There are plenty of things to consider when signing up at online casino, with the selection of games undoubtedly high on the list.
The best operators offer dozens of different variants of table games including roulette, blackjack, poker and craps.
Slot games are also hugely popular, and the best sites feature hundreds of different titles designed to suit every budget level.
One of the most exciting developments in recent years has been the introduction of live games, which mirror the experience of visiting a land-based venue.
These provide players with the opportunities to pit their wits against live dealers and croupiers, either from the comfort of their own home or while they are on the move.
Bonuses & promotions
Brick and mortar casinos do not generally offer players bonuses when they visit, but it is a completely different story where online casinos are concerned.
The best operators’ sign-up deals to entice people to playing on their site, and these are a great way to boost your bankroll.
Bonuses often come in the form of matched deposits, where the operator tops up the initial amount you pay into your account with free money.
You can find more free spins no deposit that are another popular welcome bonuses, which provide players with the opportunity to try and win big jackpots on slot games.
Many operators also offer bonuses to existing players, rewarding them with free money or spins for playing regularly on their site.
Safety & security
Having determined that a site offers a great range of games and lucrative bonuses, it is important to consider whether it is safe and secure to use.
While scam casino sites are far less prevalent than was once the case, people should always exercise caution before making a real money deposit.
Every operator must be in possession of a license issued by the appropriate regulatory body and this should be clearly displayed on the site.
Online casinos must also guarantee that their games are fair and that all sensitive personal information is fully encrypted to conform with data protection laws.
The best casino sites also advocate responsible gaming practices, thus ensuring that vulnerable people are protected from getting themselves into strife.
Much like their land-based counterparts, online casinos are heavily reliant on the software that powers the different games.
Respected developers such as Microgaming, Playtech and International Game Technology are amongst the leading companies in this sector.
Sites featuring games from these types of firms can generally be trusted to provide players with an immersive gameplay experience.
Their software undergoes stringent testing to ensure that the games are stable, giving people peace of mind that every possible glitch has been eradicated.
Choosing a site featuring games from the top developers is a sure-fire way to make sure that players get the maximum enjoyment from playing at online casinos.
Deposit & withdrawal methods
From a convenience perspective, online casinos unquestionably have an advantage over brick and mortar venues in the payment stakes.
Visiting a land-based casino could involve carrying large amounts of cash, but playing games online does not come with the same risk attached.
Players can make deposits in a wide range of ways including credit/debit cards, e-Wallets and direct bank transfers, while open banking methods are becoming increasingly popular.
Online sites generally process deposits instantly, meaning that players can access real money games in just a few clicks.
For anyone lucky enough to bag some winnings, withdrawals usually take two or three days to be credited back to the chosen payment method.
Studies have shown that smartphones have become an integral part of daily life, with people now spending an average of around four hours per day on their mobiles.
Most online casino operators have reacted to this shift in consumer habits by fully optimising their sites to work seamlessly smartphones.
Many companies have gone the extra mile by investing resources into developing an app, making it even easier for people to access their favourite casino games.
These contain all the same exciting games and features that are found on the desktop version, allowing people to play wherever they choose.
This has created a culture where playing casino games is now a mainstream entertainment activity, rather than something limited to paying one-off visits to land-based venues.
Another area where online casinos often beat brick and mortar casinos is in customer service, with the best operators offering various ways to have problems resolved.
Live chat is undoubtedly one of the most popular options, with some sites offering access to support agents on a 24/7 basis.
Telephone helplines and email are other ways to contact online casinos, while many operators provide support through their social media channels.
The ability to have questions answered or problems resolved in a speedy manner is one of the greatest advantages of using an online casino.
Whether it is an issue with a game, a query over a withdrawal or something else, online players are well catered for in the customer support stakes.