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Finding the best online casinos to play at can be a tough ask in 2021 with the amount of misinformation available. The best online casino sites will depend on your location. This articlec will teach you everything you need to know about the best casinos online.
Being new to an online casino can be daunting but rest assured with a little guidance you will be playing at the best and safest gambling sites within minutes. Use the quick links to find a good online casino for you:
The best online casinos in 2021 largely depend on your location and the laws surrounding online gambling in your jurisdiction. The best casinos will cater to multiple currencies, have thousands of real money casino games, responsive customer service and a strong reputation among players.
Online casinos are worth billions of dollars to the global economy and while figures are hard to confirm because of the privacy policies of casinos in certain jurisdictions, they are not hard to piece together.
In 2017 regulated online casinos generated $US50.65 billion in regulated markets with this figure jumping to more than $US55 billion in 2018.
In the United Kingdom alone more than £800 million was gambled in 2014 at casinos and bookmakers, with this figure only including vendors regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Imagine how much more is wagered at offshore gambling sites and in markets such as Australia where online casino play is heavily restricted.
Many governments around the world do not allow online casinos to be hosted in their countries, but are unable to stop their citizens from gambling at online casinos hosted in regions which allow them.
Some Asian countries deny access to gambling sites via IP blocking, with more governments investigating this option, although it takes great change in legislation for something like this to be pushed through.
England, Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Denmark, Australia, Canada and North America are some of the most lucrative markets for online casinos.
Australians cannot legally play at online casinos any more, although there has never been anyone charged for doing so. Basically it is illegal for offshore gambling sites to market their services to Australians, although many still do flout the rules. The World Gambling List chooses to abide by the regulations in Australia and does not advertise real money offshore online casinos to Australians.
Europe is a huge continent and the online casino landscape varies greatly from country to country. Some countries such as Sweden have regulated the industry themselves, while others receive tax from Maltese- or UK-licensed online casinos. Other countries in Europe are yet to really address online casinos in their laws, which means it’s a free for all, and you can play at any online casino. Rest assured there will be plenty of online casinos catering to popular European currencies like EUR, NOK, SEK and the DKK.
The USA is slowly developing into a gambling powerhouse, but the reality is there are very few states with regulated online casinos. If you are in New Jersey or Delaware you will find regulated options, while there is also a regulated poker site in Nevada. However, the other states in the USA do not have regulated online casinos, which means the only option is to play at offshore offerings. The USA gambling landscape is rapidly evolving since the successful repeal of the PASPA ruling, which effectively banned online gambling.
India does not have any regulated online casinos, but there are plenty of great options based overseas. Much like Canada and New Zealand, India does not really address online casinos in its laws. The best online casinos for India are regulated in places such as Malta, Curacao and the United Kingdom. There are even online casinos that cater to the Indian Rupee, offer great local bonus offers and speak dialects of the local language. Gambling in India is very limited at a land-based level, with no legal sports betting and only the floating casinos of Goa as a legal casino gambling destination.
Canada is another country that does not ban offshore casinos, nor does it tax them. This makes Canada one of the key gambling markets targeted by online casinos, with most UK- and Malta-licensed operations accepting players from here. There is the notorious Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada, which regulates many online casinos that will accept players from Canada, but these are often shunned in favour of more reputable gaming sites based overseas. Other state governments have sanctioned online casinos, but the fact there are better options based elsewhere has prevented them really gaining much traction. Find our more about the best online casinos for Canada.
The UK is the most developed gambling jurisdiction in the world, with billions of dollars pumped annually through United Kingdom Gambling Commission-sanctioned online casinos. At the tips of UK online casino players fingers are 1000s of real money slots, live casino games, online poker and much much more. Basically anything that is happening in the online gambling world, is happening in Britain. There are more than 1000 licensed gambling sites bearing the UKGC tick of approval, with all having to maintain a high standard of regulation to keep this ticket. Read our guide to the best online casinos for the United Kingdom.
New Zealand citizens are legally able to play at offshore online casinos, with many of the world’s best servicing the Kiwis. The best NZ online casinos with over 1500 games (slots, table games, poker etc) and licensing from some great jurisdictions such as the UK and Malta. You will be able to play in the New Zealand dollar and use a huge variety of deposit options, including mainstream NZ options like Paypal, POLi and credit cards. Rest assured that if we are displaying a casino as NZ friendly, it will have strong regulation, plenty of great games from quality providers and 24/7 customer service.
Ireland might be a small nation, but there are plenty of the world’s best online casinos accepting players from here. While Ireland falls under the jurisdiction of European countries and uses the Euro, the Northern parts of the country fall under the reign of the UK. The best Irish online casinos are based in places such as Malta and the United Kingdom and feature many of the world’s biggest brands. Online casinos readily cater to both the Euro and the Sterling and many cater specifically to Ireland, including home-grown companies like Paddy Power.
Online casinos are banned in South Africa, although some bookmakers have got live casino games available. While there are many online casinos that will accept players from South Africa, these are breaching the laws surrounding gambling in the country. Forms of online gambling that are legal in South Africa include sports betting, horse racing betting, SA live casino, bet games and various lotto pursuits. Interestingly, one of the major online casino companies — Microgaming — has its roots deep in South Africa, although the exact ownership structure is shrouded in mystery.
The online casino industry is diverse but not every country has regulation surrounding online casinos. Rest assured there are plenty of good International online casinos that accept players from right around the world. Even if you are in a country where online casinos are banned there will be an international online casino that will take your bets. Remember, when looking for an International online casino, do your homework and only choose casinos with strong reputations.
There are many things to take into consideration when choosing an online casino. Is it legal to bet at online casinos from your home country? What deposit options are there for people in your region? Is the casino licensed? Do they have the games you want? What is their reputation like? Are there any reports of slow cash-outs? What type of platform are you playing on? In this section of our top online casinos guide we will run you through to steps to successfully gamble online:
As you read above, there are many different laws for online gambling in different nations. If you are unsure about the status of gambling in your country, do some research. It pays to be aware of the rules. You could be in a country with a great regulated gambling industry, so why accidentally play at an offshore online casino.
Most countries are yet to fully address online casinos in their local laws, which means many players can sign up at UK and MGA-licensed casinos. If you are in this boat you should select one of the online casinos in the table above. If you are in a black market, such as Australia, China or many states in the USA, there are options out there for you as well, including casinos powered by Betsoft, RealTime Gaming and many other companies.
Do your research regarding licensing. The worst thing you can do is play at a casino run by shady characters. The best online casinos in certain jurisdictions get the plaudits for a reason: because they are forced to maintain high standards. Read reviews of casinos before playing there.
Many online casinos allow you to browse their games before you sign up, which gives a fair idea of what they have to offer. Some casinos will use multiple software providers and have more than 700 games, while others will stick to one platform.
For instance, If you’re looking for 3D slots it pays to know NetEnt has one of the better selections.
Generally the instant-play casinos will use multiple software providers, while there are hundreds of casinos in various jurisdictions which have Microgaming as their provider and have software available for players to use, as long as they are on a Windows PC.
Making an account at your chosen online casino is an easy process. You will need to provide your personal details and it’s very important you provide the correct details, because otherwise down the track you may not be able to withdraw winnings from your account. Your name, address, phone number and email address are all things the casino will require.
This step is not essential, but it is beneficial to your bankroll. Bonus money does come with wagering requirements, meaning you can’t just withdraw it, rather you must bet it a certain amount of times before you can turn it into real money. Generally the bonus will come into action at the next step, but it’s possible at some casinos you have to opt in. Just read the fine print of the online casino’s terms and conditions before you consider taking their bonus.
While you can read plenty about online casino deposits on this page, this is an important step for new players. In short, online casinos cater specifically to many regions around the world and in turn will have suitable deposit options for you to use. Some of the most common found at online casinos include credit and debit cards, Paypal, Neteller and many more.
ou are now able to begin playing at the online casino, which means you have hundreds of real money games at your disposal. Remember to gamble responsibly and abide by the rules in your jurisdiction.
Often the team at the World Gambling List gets asked about the best online casinos in the world. This is obviously a matter of personal opinion, but there are some clear standouts in the gambling industry.
Things we took into consideration when ranking our best online casinos list include the markets they serve — if they don’t serve multiple markets we won’t include them. They also need strong reputations in the industry and great customer service — those two are a must. We are constantly making changes to our ratings and this list will change from time to time, but our best online casinos in the world as at January 2021 are:
LeoVegas.com is sitting in the top place in our list of best casinos in the world. This company boasts multiple licences and has an outstanding reputation in the industry. It also has some great apps, for both Android and iOS devices in regulated gambling markets. Key markets LeoVegas targets includes the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and many regulated European countries. Read our LeoVegas review for further information.
Guts.com is another UK-licensed online casino that also has other gambling licences. Operating in multiple jurisdictions, including Canada, UK, Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand, Guts Casino Sportsbook is owned by the Gaming Innovation Group — one of the fastest-emerging gambling ownership groups. Games at Guts includes slots, an outstanding live casino and many really unique games such as keno and bingo. More information is available in our Guts review.
Betway.com sits comfortably among the top online gambling sites in the world, as well as boasting an outstanding online betting component. The Betway Casino is powered by Microgaming, which may have been a negative in the past, but now that the software giant is publishing other comapnies slots games, we rank this casino very highly. Betway Casino has some really nice new player bonus offers and promotions to line your pockets upon sign up, while their reputation among players is unparallelled. Read our Betway Casino review.
William Hill is one of the most well-known gambling brands on the planet, with over 80 years having passed since William Hill began taking bets. While it’s now all about online gambling, William Hill still maintains a bricks-and-mortar presence in places such as the UK and some states in the US. WilliamHill.com, largely through a content agreement with leading software provider Playtech, has an outstanding array of real money casino games, including live games and 100s of the best real money slots available. WilliamHill also has some great apps available for casino players, but these will only be available in some countries. Read our William Hill review for more information.
Mr Green is one of the fastest-emerging online casino companies in the world and it’s easy to see why once you have become a member. Mr Green has an outstanding array of games from leading providers like Playtech, Quickspin, Microgaming and NetEnt. Mr Green also has an outstanding selection of both high- and low-limit live tables, with several really unique titles thrown in. Giving more weight to Mr Green being the fourth-best online casino in the world, is that it also boasts a serviceable sportsbook — although if you were to compare its sports offering to that of WilliamHill or another big UK corporate betting site you will probably be disappointed. Read our Mr Green review to find out more.
TempleNile.com is licensed to operate in Malta, the United Kingdom and Sweden, although they are really willing to accept customers from anywhere there has not been a ban on online gambling, which encompasses grey markets such as New Zealand and Canada. Temple Nile Casino has a great selection of casino games from leading providers like Microgaming, but what sets it apart is the fact it has games from upwards of 20 smaller boutique iGaming providers. Temple Nile Casino also has a great VIP rewards program, which can help you get cash and bonuses back, simply for just playing at the casino. If you want to find out more about this casino, read our Temple Nile Casino review.
Royal Vegas Casino has been around upwards of 20 years now, with this Microgaming gambling site one of the most respected on the web. While its management company has changed hands several times (it used to be run by Fortune Lounge), it is now managed by the very capable Buffalo Partners. Royal Vegas is one of our favourite Microgaming-only online casinos and features both their downloadable (Windows) platform and an instant-play interface (which can be used on platforms like Mac). RV stocks all of Microgaming’s slots, video poker, casual games and of course the live suite of games, which really is first-rate. If you’re looking for a trustworthy online casino Royal Vegas could be for you. Read our Royal Vegas review for further information.
Only launching in the first half of 2019, MrFavorit.com has quickly established itself in the iGaming world. Boasting games from a huge selection of online casino software companies, including Microgaming, iSoftBet and live specialists Evolution Gaming, Mr Favorit is licensed to operate by the Malta Gaming Authority, while it also offers real money games to the UK via third party agreement. These two licences mean the casino can be trusted and is a good option for players based in European countries, Canada and New Zealand, among many others. MrFavorit tends to have some nice promotions running on a weekly basis and in their short history have continually added new games from their plethora of software providers. Read the MrFavorit review for more information.
Jackpot City online casino has been around for longer than we care to remember. A casino powered solely by Microgaming, Jackpot City has a great selection of online slots and table games. This includes a great selection of live games with both high- and low-limit tables available. Run by the same folk as Royal Vegas, Jackpot City is a great option for players in Canada, New Zealand and much of Europe. With these target markets in mind the online casino has then added every conceivable payment method you could want. The fact it has downloadable software for Windows computers, as well as the standard Microgaming app, make Jackpot City one of the best online casinos in the world. Read the review of Jackpot City for more information.
A well-known online casino brand, Betsson Casino has a huge footprint in Europe and has a strong reputation right across the globe. Betsson Casino is powered by several of the industry leading software developers, including Microgaming and Net Entertainment. The online casino also features a strong live casino, with the table limits among the most diverse in the world. If you are looking for a safe online casino, Betsson is probably a good choice, particularly if you are depositing in the EUR, because they have some great promotions surrounding this currency. Betsson Casino review.
We are constantly scouring the gambling industry for new online casinos on the market, and put an emphasis on reviewing them fairly, and updating our reviews after the casinos have been operating for a while. Below we highlight the best new online casinos in 2021:
Fortune Clock Casino launched in January of 2020, and has quickly become a good online casino based out of Curacao. IN its short time online, Fortune Clock has proven to be reliable at paying out winning customers, while their withdrawal times are first-rate. Read our Fortune Clock review for further information.
Casoola Casino is due to be launched in the first quarter of 2020 and shapes as one of the more exciting online casino launches in a while. Managed by the Genesis Casino Group, Casoola Casino will have over 1300 games, including online slots by many of the biggest providers in the industry. Casoola Casino review.
While nothing quite matches the thrill of walking on to the gaming floor at one of Las Vegas’s many casinos, the online casino game selection is improving all the time. The selection of live dealer games is a welcome addition and has heralded the true arrival of online casinos. Some of the more prominent games played at the top casinos online include:
Known as pokies in some quarters, slots are one game which is genuinely better on your computer. The 3D games are life-like (or magical) and the progressive jackpots available on the internet can sometimes top $US10 million. Popular slots providers include Betsoft, Microgaming and Net Entertainment. Explore the history behind slots as well as different strategies and types with our informative guide.
Perhaps the No.1 casino game in the world is readily available to online players. There are various versions from many different software providers. Several of our favourite blackjack titles include Ezugi Live Dealer, Microgaming Live Dealer and many of the RNG titles by the same software provider. More about online blackjack.
The Devil’s Wheel is one of the all-time classic casino games. Online you can play a large selection of live titles, including some you wouldn’t find at a land-based establishment. Roulette at online casinos, while catering for high rollers, also has games which don’t price out low-limit players, unlike some land-based gaming venues.
Poker: If you want to play casino poker you can, including games against the dealer such as Casino Hold’dem. There are also options such as casinos with the Microgaming Poker Network, which was released in 2015 and provides an API client for gambling websites. Then there are obviously sole poker websites such as Pokerstars, WSOP and Full Tilt Poker. You can learn about the ins and outs of poker here, or delve into the online poker world.
Pontoon is a very similar casino game to blackjack in a lot of aspects, however there are a few key differences. Pontoon allows players to double down, before they play out the hand, taking multiple hits or “twists”. This means players can double down after they receive a third card. Online Pontoon games are commonly found at the top casinos online.
Caribbean Stud: A poker variation where players bet against the dealer, rather than against each other. Caribbean Stud has adapted extremely well to the online world, with many casinos stocking this as a live game. Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt all have multiple versions of Caribbean Stud available in both RNG games and live dealer. Read our guide to Caribbean Stud for more information.
Baccarat: Baccarat is one of those games where it doesn’t really matter if you are playing at home or at the Bellagio. The house edge is low, the stakes are usually high and the rules are simple. Online it’s exactly the same with live dealer and RNG-based versions available. One of the best things things about playing baccarat at online casino sites is that often the table limits will be more friendly to those of us who don’t have massive bankrolls. Read more about baccarat.
Craps: Craps is one of the oldest casino games and is really quite simple despite appearing busy and confusing when playing live. Without proper guidance and understanding you can lose money quickly when playing, so be sure to read our how to play Craps guide. Craps is not found as frequently at online casinos, as it is in land-based venues with it often much more possible to play at RNG version, than a live dealer Craps game.
Bingo/Housie: While bingo, or Housie, as it is known in some places, is not as widespread as slots, there are plenty of online casinos that stock a few versions of this game. Traditionally played at places such as scout halls, bingo has evolved into a popular online casino game, with both RNG and community games available to players. Online bingo is particularly prominent at UK casinos, with this game played right across the country. Some of the bigger online casinos with House include 32Red and Royal Vegas.
Keno: Another game that is more commonly found at land-based gambling venues, keno has been adapted for internet casinos. You can play both live games (where you watch a live video of someone picking the numbers) or you can play via an RNG game, which still allows you to pick your numbers, but the balls being drawn are done via random number generators. The aim of the game is pick as many of the drawn numbers prior to the game. The more numbers you get, the more cash you win. Read more about playing keno online.
Casino War: Always regarded as one of the easier games at online casinos, Casino War basically pits dealer against player. If your card is higher than the dealer’s you win and vice versa. You can also bet on a tie. You will find Casino War at many of the top online casinos, but if you are looking for it in live dealer you are probably out of luck, because we haven’t seen it before. Having said this, online casinos are rapidly evolving, so don’t be surprised if a live version of Casino War springs up soon.
Sic Bo: Of Asian origins, Sic Bo has been adapted into many Western casinos. Sic Bo is a dice game where the player bets on the possible outcomes of the three dice thrown down by the dealer. The origins of Sic Bo date back to the ancient Chinese, with it now a staple in South-East Asia. Online you will find it in live format but generally only at casino sites targeting Asia. If you are desperate for your Sic Bo fix you will find it in RNG format at most of the best online casinos.
This is the big advantage online casinos have over their land-based rivals — they don’t have big overheads so they can afford to give more back to the customer. And while online casino bonuses usually come with heavy wagering requirements, you can walk away a winner from using a bonus. Things to look out for include ridiculous terms like a $10 cap on winnings or anything over 50x turnover requirements. Some of the more common bonuses you will find at online casinos include:
Welcome/Matched deposit bonus: This is when an online casino gives you something for opening your account. Often it will come in the form of a matched deposit. For instance, you might deposit $100 and receive a 100% match up to the value of $100. Meaning you will have a total of $200 to bet with. All of the best online casinos will have a welcome package available to new players.
Free spins: These are redeemed on the slots and most online casinos have ongoing promotions surrounding these games. Many casinos will give new players 100 free spins over the first five days they have their account, as a way of getting the customer to come back and play again after the initial deposit. In the UK, legislation makes casinos call them bonus spins, or extra spins, rather than the “deceptive” free spins. On top of free spins often being a part of online casino sign up bonus offers, they can often be acquired through other ongoing promotions.
No-deposit bonus: As it sounds, the no-deposit bonus is when the casino gives you some cash to try out the games. Often the wagering requirements will be unrealistic on this type of bonus, but they can be a great way to get the vibe of the casino before depositing real money. Be aware, many casinos online will have a no deposit bonus available, but it will be net to impossible to profit from it.
Cash back offers: Usually taking the form of a percentage of your losses, cash back offers can be great for VIP players at online casinos. A 2 or 5 per cent cash back scheme with low wagering requirements can be worth a lot more to a whale than a few hundred bonus when they sign up. Usually cash back schemes will be part of a VIP scheme, set up by many of the top casinos.
Casino VIP memberships: These can be very beneficial and many online casinos run them. They can include things such as lower wagering requirements on bonuses, exclusive bonuses, free cashouts, cash back offers and your very own dedicated VIP customer service member. Many of the best online casinos will offer VIP memberships to players they deem to be high value.
We have seen it with sports betting for years but as devices such as iPhone and Android phones reach new heights, mobile casino gambling is growing. One leading casino told the World Gambling List 30% of its turnover had come from mobile.
Games on mobile phones are more restricted than when you’re playing on a computer, but there is still a good selection and now with many live-dealer feeds being based on HTML 5 you can play on your smartphone or tablet.
The online slots selection is usually top class at mobile casinos, while RNG table games are extremely functional. As the mobile market grows, expect the game selection to become stronger and stronger.
Mobile casinos now have a huge range of video poker games, blackjack games, roulette games and pretty much any other key game that you might find at an online casino. These games will generally run on a 4G or WIFI connection and function much the same as they would on desktop.
Some online casinos will allow you to play on your mobile for free, although quite often you will have to create a new account before you can use this free-play functionality.
Probably the most common way to play at online casinos on mobile devices is via apps, with many of the top casinos boasting Android and iOS apps.
Depending on which country you are in you may be able to download market apps for various online casinos from places such as the Apple App Store and the Google Plus store, which is for Android users.
Some countries, such as Australia, have legislation against real money gambling apps. If you use Android and want to download an app in a country where they are banned you may be able to download a non-market app directly from the casino.
Android casino apps are more common than those of their chief rival Apple. This is because they can be marketed as third party applications, meaning they don’t have to pass stringent tests to get into the Google Play store — they can simply be downloaded from the online casino’s website. Rest assured if the online casino has regulation, their app will still have to abide by the strict rules placed on them even if you are downloading it directly from the gambling company.
iOS casino apps will only be found in a country that has gambling regulation, or the one exception is if there is no regulation at all, which includes countries like Canada and New Zealand. Basically we are at Apple’s mercy when it comes to playing online casino games on iPhones or iPads, with no way to install third party casino apps, unless you jailbreak the phone.
A web app is a simple icon on the desktop of your phone or tablet that links you directly to an online casino’s website. Basically it is just a shortcut to create quick access to your account, with it just loading the web page on your browser. It is possible to create web apps quickly on both Android and Apple devices.
What this means is there are countries which license and regulate online casinos, the vendors forced to abide by certain restrictions to operate. For instance, online casinos based in the United Kingdom must be audited by eCOGRA, which is an independent regulatory body which tests games for fairness and resolves disputes.
If an online casino is based in Malta it does not necessarily mean it is restricted to serving this country. Many of the biggest online casinos are based in Malta and serve countries including England, USA, Australia and many others.
Some online casinos do restrict their services. For instance, many casinos do not service the USA because of the strict federal laws surrounding online gambling. To confuse matters further there are casinos operating outside this somewhat confusing law.
While there are plenty more countries providing online casinos to the world, not all of them operate from savoury licensing jurisdictions. Eventually we will have more in-depth reviews of each of the places providing casinos, but for now here are some of the more respected places they are based.
The methods involved in depositing money at online casinos are plentiful, with most having full banking facilities for countries they serve. This means deposits can be made via credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club etc), bank transfers (some local, some international), web wallets (Neteller, Skrill etc) and other forms of payments specific to certain countries. In Australia, for instance, there is a company called POLi which processes payments to casinos through accessing your online bank account.
Withdrawals work in a similar manner to deposits with the casino usually processing payments within 24 hours of requesting it, mostly quicker. Depending on the method you have selected to withdraw funds it could take a few business days for the cash to be yours. If you are using a web wallet or some other withdrawal methods you may get your money quicker, or even instantly.
Banking transactions at the safest online casinos are usually safeguarded with 256-bit SSL encryption technology. This is the best encryption available for keeping funds safe; it is in line with what major banks around the world use.
Online casino software is provided by many different developers, with many gambling sites using a mixture of providers and integrating these games into one platform.
Traditionally online casinos were powered by just one software developer, with pioneers like Microgaming and Playtech powering most of the early gambling sites.
But now technology companies have platforms that casinos can take and basically integrate any games into it, which means you could find casinos with 50 or more software providers.
The online casino software the World Gambling List endorses in 2021 is:
The online gambling industry has graduated into a multibillion-dollar industry and now stands alongside land-based casinos as their peer, and the biggest growth driver in the sector. Even countries with traditionally staid attitudes to gambling such as the USA are slowly cottoning on to the untapped potential in the industry and the tax it can generate for states desperately looking for more money. Other countries such as the United Kingdom have embraced it for many years and have outstanding regulatory bodies that are constantly updating their modus operandi.
It’s crazy to think the first online gambling websites such as Royal Vegas Casino opened their virtual doors in the mid 1990s and quite frankly were horrible, glitchy creations with a handful of basic RNG games. But the seeds had been sown for a much greater future. More and more software companies, many that still exist to this day, such as Microgaming, Playtech and Net Entertainment, were launched and since then the development has not stopped. As internet speeds and technology have improved, online casinos have evolved to a point where you can now play your favourite casino games via video streamed on to your computer, television and even your mobile phones.
As the years have progressed from the first online casino more countries have legalised it as a legitimate business and now many states in the USA allow their land-based casinos to also host an online portal. Most countries in the European Economic Union have also regulated gambling although many of them fall back on Malta as their licensing body and receive their tax kick via the Malta Gaming Authority — the biggest jurisdiction in the world. Other countries around the Caribbean like Curacao and Antigua and Barbuda have also established regulatory bodies and are big players in the industry.
Countries such as Australia and China have completely outlawed online casinos although the nature of the internet is that even if it’s illegal there are still companies willing to take your money — and, yes, they are still regulated. Some licensing jurisdictions like the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Gibraltar and Malta abide by each country’s laws and won’t allow their products to be used in places who have outlawed online gambling. However, if a country fails to address online wagering they will happily allow their licensees to operate in these places — known as grey zones. A prominent instance of this occurring was in Australia where casinos based in the UK and Malta operated there until late 2017 when the government effectively banned poker and other forms of online gambling.
Problem gambling has been around since the first card was flung in anger, but now with an online casino literally at the tip of our fingers at any time of the day there is a much greater threat. This means respected casinos take an active interest in betting patterns and things like large deposits. Their licensing bodies will put in place checks to make sure the operators are acting responsibly towards their patrons. Having said this a UK study, British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010, reported that up to 75% of gamblers online could be pathological or problem gamblers, in comparison to just 20% of land-based punters. Online gambling companies poked holes in the report at the time with some claiming it was funded by land-based casinos trying to protect their turf, but without a doubt the added privacy and availability of online gambling means the risk of problem gambling has never been greater.
Online casinos have long been a hotbed for money laundering and as recently as 2018 casinos licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority have been accused of poor practices surrounding their accounting. Basically organised crime is using the industry to clean their money, much like land-based casinos operators have been found to do. Many licensing bodies, and online casinos for that matter, have integrity departments looking into every transaction that is made at an online casino with more and more resources being poured into stopping the practice of money laundering.
The modern history of the gambling industry is set to be shaped by the USA, which is slowly beginning to legalise sports betting and online gambling across the country. This has sent the big gambling companies across the world into a frenzy, with many such as William Hill, Bet365 and 888 Sports seeking and receiving approval to form partnerships with casinos in New Jersey. Nevada has a sole regulated poker site still standing with the online world not really embraced by the land-based operators protecting their turf. The other state in the USA which has regulated gambling is Delaware.
Many other states in the USA have began the process of legislating some forms of gambling, but realistically it will still probably take some time until the entirety of the country is being served by legal online casinos. Until that time millions of dollars will continue to be pumped into offshore sites.
With much of the world locked down because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, online casinos have become even more popular. Gambling hubs like Las Vegas and Hong Kong have been forced to shut down to comply with social distancing rules.
And with sports betting largely absent because most major sports were forced to shut down or cancel, online casinos have become one of the few gambling outlets left. This has lead to gambling regulators like the Gambling Commission and MGA issuing warnings about the perils of problem gambling and warned licensees no loose advertising would be tolerated.
With the global online casino landscape rapidly evolving, one of the biggest pros has been that they are catering to specific or multiple markets. This means that often a casino will be hosted in multiple languages and cater to many different currencies. While the World Gambling List is written only in English at this point, we will point you in the right direction if you are searching for a certain language to do your gambling in. For instance, most European countries that do feature regulation will have casinos “facing” in their direction which means they will be in Swedish, Dutch, Spanish or many of the other languages spoken. You can read our casino reviews for further information on what languages are supported by each casino.
Most online casinos will outsource their payment processing and receive a global solution, which means they will have a stack of currencies available to choose from during the sign-up process. In short, all this really means is that your account balance will be displayed in your chosen currency, often corresponding to the country that you live in. However, if you are from a country without regulation or a smaller nation you may have to deposit and convert your money to another currency. Often there is a small conversion fee to do this, but it usually is less than a few per cent, or a small set amount, and then you will see the balance of your account in a popular currency such as the USD or Euro.
Laws surrounding online casinos vary greatly from country to country which means it is hard to determine whether you specifically are legally allowed to play at an online casino. Even if you legally are not allowed to play at an online casino, it doesn’t mean you can’t. There are very few cases globally of a punter receiving the raw end of the stick from authorities for playing at an online casino; generally it is the operators themselves who are targeted. In the few cases where players have been prosecuted it has been in countries such as the United Arab Emirates where religious beliefs are backed up by stringent laws. Even now though casinos based “offshore” operate and accept players from countries who have strict gambling laws. You could break the countries’ laws down into three categories:
White market: Countries like the UK and Malta are considered white markets and have regulated, legal gambling options. Often countries classified as grey markets will also be targeted by white market operators because there will be no sanction for accepting players from here.
Grey market: Countries like Canada and New Zealand are considered grey markets, which means that there are no laws stopping offshore companies from targeting casino players, yet there are few or no regulated casinos by the specific country. Grey markets are like gold for gambling companies because they don’t have to pay tax to the country the players is from.
Black market: The illegal online casino industry is booming and worth billions of dollars. Countries like the USA, Australia, China and Malaysia are black markets and have thriving online casino scenes. Licensing bodies such as Curacao and Costa Rica allow their operators to target black markets which often forces the hand of governments around the world to take action and offer regulated gambling themselves.
If there has been a theme in this article it is to do your research before committing a lot of money to a casino. It pays to query customer service before you deposit to make sure there is someone there. You can always make a small deposit and then withdraw it to make sure the process works smoothly.
Customer service at online casinos can be reached via several methods (obviously depending on what casino you are playing at). There are options such as email, live chat, Skype and sometimes even local numbers for players to call. This is definitely one area of a casino to have a look at before you commit real money.
When you first start out playing at online casinos you will find a myriad of terms thrown at you, like download casinos, instant play casinos, mobile casinos and many more. While they are all essentially the same products, these are some of the different types of casinos are described:
Working in the online gambling realm, it’s crazy how many questions we get asked constantly. These range from things like are there online casinos in my country? To, how old do I have to be to play at an online casino? Here are the answers to some of the more common questions we get asked about online casinos.
We must get asked this question about online casinos at least once a week, and there is no real definitive answer. There are some great UK casinos like Leo Vegas and Mr Green, but we can’t all sign up at them. Instead it comes down to individual answers like the best casino for players in a certain country is xxx casino. If online casinos are banned in your country it gets even murkier as to what is the best online casino.
The USA went through a period of great change to its gambling laws in 2018, with most states now either actively working towards regulating the gambling industry, or have done already.
While most states are considering legalising sports betting in the USA, online gambling has been slightly slower. Currently the USA states with regulated, or do have legislature in place to regulate, online gambling are New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, with California and Pennsylvania progressing well in their bid to regulate the industry.
Online casinos that have strong regulation will only use licensed casino software companies, which means they will be heavily audited by third parties like eCOGRA, which tests things like random number generators for fairness. There are two main types of software that you will find at online gambling sites, with these being the licensed and regulated games from companies like Microgaming and Playtech, while the other is from companies like RealTime Gaming, which allows online casinos to alter the source code of their games — in essence they don’t provide player assurances after the game has left their grasp. Instead when playing at a RTG casino, or one like it, you should be sure that site you are playing at has a strong reputation, with good reports from players.
This really does come down to preference. All we will say, is that online casino games are improving all the time, with 1000s of real money slots available and many variants, that you would not find in brick and mortar casinos, of live table games available behind the virtual doors of good casinos. In total many of the best online casinos have over 2000 games in total.
This is when a video feed of a real live casino game is streamed to your computer or mobile device, while you place bets on a virtual table. The beauty of playing live dealer online casino games over live in-the-flesh table games is that there is generally table limits to suit all types of players, you won’t be priced out playing. The sheer variety of games is also outstanding when talking about live casino games.
While this question comes down to so many factors, we’ll say straight off the bat, that it’s very hard to beat the atmosphere of a land-based casino — we’ve played at the Bellagio and Caesars Palace — we know how much fun it is. But the answer is not this straight forward — if you’re purely looking for the best odds and convenience, online casinos might be for you. To give you an example, in most places in the world a slot machine will pay between 84 and 90% of the money put into it, while at most online casinos slots will pay out upwards of 96%.
This is because there are less overheads and more competition in the online gambling realm. For instance you don’t need bar and wait staff at an online casino. This means online casinos, with an eye on shading their competition, give more back to the players and use it as a selling point to lure new players.
When you win, often it can be frustrating waiting to get paid from an online casino. How long it takes will depend on what your situation is. For instance if you are in the US and bet with an offshore company the payout might take up to 10 days to hit your account. If you in the UK and play at an online casino licensed here, you realistically can have your cash within two days. Some online casinos are even beginning to process cash-outs instantly.
Yes there are many gambling sites that have dual functions. This includes some of the biggest names in the industry, like William Hill, Bet365, Guts.com, Betsson and LeoVegas. While we wouldn’t say most online casinos have some sort of sports betting offering, the number is increasing yearly as third-party platforms become more accessible for gambling companies.
All casino games have a house edge, and if they don’t there is a small percentage taken from each bet to cover the house costs. For instance a table game might have a house edge of 0.5% which is the best you can hope for when using basic strategy on a blackjack table. This means 99.5% of the money put into the game will be returned to players. The house edge doesn’t factor in the stupidity of the players, so in most cases an online casino is earning at a much greater capacity.
Right now it is hands-down the United Kingdom. The UK is the biggest regulated jurisdiction in the world and has hundreds of licensees that serve various markets all over the world. Many online casinos will hold multiple licenses, but the biggest will generally hold that magical United Kingdom Gambling Commission seal of approval. Having said this the United States and to a lesser extent India (because the economy is not worth as much per head) are the sleeping giants of the online gambling industry. The USA has only just began regulating online casinos in most states, while India and its population of close to 1.5 billion is yet to put anything in stone, but have began discussions about regulating some forms of gambling.
Gambling has traditionally been a man’s domain, but online casinos have began tapping into the female mindset. For instance do you thing bid budget Microgaming slots releases like Bridesmaids are targeted towards men, I don’t think so. Many of the latest studies do however show that men gamble more, spend more and are more prone to problem gambling, despite this gap decreasing in recent times.
An online casino bonus is a perk for a player, usually given when you open a new account. These casino bonus offers can come in numerous forms, including no deposit bonuses, matched deposit bonuses, free or extra spins and anything else the website can dream up. Be aware there are wagering requirements generally attached to online casino bonuses, which in some cases, can make it very hard to actually turn a profit from your bonus money.
Yes you can, most online casino software companies, will also give their licensees permission to allow players to play their games for free. Often websites like this one will also host free versions of slots and RNG table games. However there are no live games available in freeplay mode — this would cost the casino sites too much money.
Australia has banned online casinos, as of 2017, with an update to the Interactive Gambling Act closing a loophole which allowed offshore gambling sites to target Australian residents. In 2020 there are still many online casinos that target Australia, but these sites are as reputable as the ones that have now departed this massive gambling jurisdiction.
You would be surprised how often we get posed this question by online casino players. Maybe minds are straying back to when the Microgaming Playboy Bunny’s were first released. Well the good news is there are adult casinos, but the bad news is we choose not to promote them on the World Gambling List.
This poses a few different questions. If you are a slots player, online casinos are 24/7 and you can pop onto your phone or computer and play anytime. If you are looking for live games you may need to do a little bit more homework, although there are plenty of around-the-clock options if you are based in the right place. Look at it like this, if you are in the UK and play at an online casino based there at 7pm at night you are likely to find plenty of live tables open for business. However if you visit this same casino at 2am UK time you might find the dealers have gone home for the night. The good news is there plenty of online casinos that will have live games open right now, you just have to find them.
As a general rule, yes you do need to use your own identity when signing up at an online casino. This is because you must prove your identity, with this known in some places as Know Your Customer (KYC). Basically online casinos are obliged, through agreements with their regulators and the country’s they operate in, to keep tabs on the money and who is spending it to stamp out things like money laundering and fraud. If you can’t prove your identity online casinos could stop you from withdrawing any winnings and report your account activity to the relevant authorities.
This is again dependent on what you are looking for, but rest assured if you play at an online casino with any of Net Entertainment, Playtech, Microgaming or Betsoft software you will find some great slots games. Often online casinos will have a variety of slots providers supply them with games, which means you can find a great array of slots titles. For instance SlotsMillion has over 2300 real money slots available.
It’s not illegal is probably the correct answer here. Basically New Zealand does not have any laws surrounding online casinos in operation, other than that they cannot operate there. This however does not stop many of the best online casinos from operating in New Zealand from offshore locations. There are not many gambling sites that won’t accept NZ dollars and your custom.
There are plenty of online casinos that have been around since the late 1990s, with these including Royal Vegas Casino, which we understand is the oldest left still online.
Often regulation will stop online casinos from putting their apps in the Apple App store, and with no third party apps available on iPhones, you probably will have to just play in your mobile browser. If there is regulation, or no regulation stopping online casinos, in your country it’s likely you can download iOS apps. Android users are a in a different situation, with these devices allowing third party downloads, which means that you can download gambling apps directly from the company that offers it. Always do your homework before downloading a gambling app to an Android device, because there is far less restrictions placed on their operations.
Paypal is one of the biggest processors of gambling deposits in the world, however they only operate in regulated markets, or ones where there are no laws banning online casinos. It’s highly likely that if you can’t see Paypal as a deposit option at a UK or MGA licensed casino it means Paypal won’t process gambling payments in your country, in accordance with local law. If you are in a country where there is regulated gambling, read Paypal online casinos for further information, including what countries cannot use Paypal.
This really does come down to the individual, what game they are playing and whether you know what you are doing. Online casinos have a return to player (RTP) rate and this means they give back a set percentage of all money put into the online casino, but rest assured the casino always wins in the long run (How do casinos profit?). An example is if you follow the best basic strategy when playing blackjack you should have a RTP of close to 95%. Obviously ladyluck still has her say, so always set yourself limits on how much you are willing to lose in a session. Also set yourself an upper limit, where you walk away a winner, before squandering your hard work on the slots or tables.
Online casinos set their own return to player rate (RTP) and this determines how much money they pay back to the casino. This RTP rate will vary from game to game, but at the end of it, the casino will be able to give you a figure, which on average is anywhere between 85% and 95%. All of the top online casinos on this page are 92% and upwards RTP. Things can get murky if you are playing at online casinos with lower standards of regulation than the sites we advertise. For instance RTG casino operators have control over individual slot games RTP which means it could vary greatly from site to site.
Security protocols at the top online casinos mobile sites is as strong as their desktop version. Basically if an online casino has a good reputation, it will also encompass their mobile casino as well. Staying safe when gambling on mobile largely comes down to your WIFI connection — if that is secure you should be fine as long as the casino is a legitimate gambling site.
eCOGRA is a body that verifies that online casinos are treating players fairly. If you see a casino with the eCOGRA tick of approval, it’s an affirmative sign that they are a legit business. The eCOGRA (eCommerce and online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) body makes sure that casino, including things like random number generators and banking practices, are at a high standard. This eCOGRA symbol is one of the strongest indicators given to a player in the online gambling industry.
This is a question that gets pondered a lot in the gambling industry and in a lot of ways the future is already here for online casinos. Already several online casinos have created Virtual Reality experiences for their players. Basically you put on some fancy goggles and then it seems like you’re walking around a casino — where you can choose the game you wish to play. If you want to check out a great virtual reality casino, visit SlotsMillion.com. Other advances we can expect in online gambling is the continued growth of mobile, with the products available on handheld devices getting better by the day. This is partly down to the improved speed of internet connections, but also a greater emphasis on development from the iGaming software companies.
This really does depend on a few factors, including the variance of the game you are playing. However as a general rule baccarat is regarded as the mainstream card game with the best odds. This is why it is so popular with high rollers, particularly in Asia. Baccarat’s house edge can be anywhere from 1.01% to 1.24% at online casinos. Video Poker is also another game with a low house edge, that is popular at online casinos.