Is It Legal to Play at Online Casinos?
In more restrictive legal jurisdictions, the vast majority of laws relevant to online gambling apply to online casinos and banking methods.
For example, in most states in the US it's illegal:
- To operate an online gambling casino for real money
- For banking institutions to transfer real money to or from online casinos
But US federal law doesn't specifically prohibit individuals from gambling online. A handful of states do. But even then, there are no known cases of individuals actually being prosecuted for gambling at an online casino.
Things are much simpler in countries where mature attitudes prevail. For example, Australian adults can play for real money only at sites hosted outside of Australia. But the United Kingdom enjoys an extremely liberal stance toward online gambling for real money.
Casinos can use Internet IP address detection and address information during signup to restrict who can play for real money.
To be completely sure, look up the laws and statutes for your jurisdiction. In most cases you'll find they apply to either online casinos or banking services, not you.
What Devices Can I Use to Gamble Online?
These days pretty much every computing device with a web browser gets you seated in the action:
- Windows PCs
- Linux PCs
- Android mobile devices (phones, tablets)
- Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad)
- Other mobile devices like BlackBerry or Windows Phone
Online casinos develop software to download and install on most of these devices. But they also offer "instant play" or "no download" options that let you play directly in your web browser.
How Old Do I Have to Be?
It depends on where you live. You must be at least 18 in the UK. In the US it varies from 18 to 21 by state and game. Online casinos do their best to comply whenever they can.
But they're obviously unable to know the truth about your age beyond what you tell them, or as it appears on government IDs they require for real money transactions.
However, online casinos do reserve the right to deny payment to minors.
Do I Have to Download Software?
No. You can, and should if you're a bells and whistles kind of person. Downloaded gaming software can provide a better gambling experience because it can leverage specific capabilities of the device it's designed for.
But if the challenge and excitement of taking risks and testing the limits of your strategies is sufficient, the instant play, no download option is simpler and typically more consistent across all your devices.
The top online casinos let you play their games for real money or purely for fun. And that's great because free play lets you:
- Evaluate an online gambling casino
- Try new games
- Practice and work out your strategies
- Take a break from the intensity of real money action
What Is the Minimum Deposit?
You're in luck. Today's top online gambling casinos offer a no deposit bonus that lets you play for real money without having to deposit a cent of your own!
There may be a playthrough requirement that determines when you can withdraw the bonus and real money you won playing it. For example, a $40 no deposit bonus with a 20x playthrough implies wagering $800 ($40 multiplied by 20) before you can collect the bonus and winnings.
You'll meet the requirement if you really like the online casino. But if you don't, it's no loss to you, and you got to play real money for free. Either way, top casinos are lowering their playthrough all the time to remain competitive.
Will I Get a Welcome Bonus?
Yes, but only if you claim it! The top online gambling casinos are fighting tooth and nail for your business. Every successful business understands that newcomers want to feel welcome. And there's no more attractive a welcome than than real money. Have a look here for the best online gambling bonuses.
What Banking Methods Can I Use?
If you live in a jurisdiction with progressive views on adult gambling entertainment, your banking options are seemingly endless:
- Credit, debit, and gift cards
- Bank transfers
- Wire transfers
US players aren't quite so lucky. But don't lose hope. Some Ewallets still accept US citizens for real money gambling transactions. And there's always the trusty wire transfer.
Is My Personal Information Safe with an Online Casino?
Yes. Nothing is more critical to an online casino's reputation than the security of your personal information. As a matter of fact, it's the first attribute OnlineCasino.com examines when rating top online gambling casinos.
Can I Withdraw My Bonus Money?
Yes. But there may be withdrawal requirements, and they vary from one online casino to the next. The top casinos make that information easy to find and understand, and provide excellent 24/7 customer service to help you withdraw your bonus money as quickly as possible.
Are Online Casinos Audited?
Yes, the best online casinos are audited. But keep in mind that this is an area that varies a lot from one casino jurisdiction to another.
A jurisdiction is the legal domain in which an online casino operates, though not necessarily physically resides. Jurisdiction regulations set the standards that online casinos are expected to meet.
Better regulation translates to higher quality and reputation. A site whose license demands fair games, auditing, player protection, and independent arbiters of disputes is likely better than a site whose license requires only a license fee.
Top jurisdictions include the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Alderney, and Gibraltar.
Jurisdictions of lesser reputation include Malta, Kahnawake, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles), and Antigua.
Other jurisdictions like Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, and Anjouan set no standards for online casinos. Depositors beware!