How to choose an online casino from the myriad of options? Many online casinos are safe to play. Others are not. Which ones to trust?
On this page, you'll learn how to choose the best online casino. The best here stands for the safest, most engaging casino you can enjoy.
In short, these are the three things to consider:
- Does the online casino accept players from your country?
- Is the online casino reputable?
- Are the games you wanna play available?
Without further ado, let's start from the top.
Ensure the Online Casino Supports Your Country and Language
First things first. Check if the casino accepts payments and players from your country.
Some online casinos admit players from certain states only. Others process payments from specific regions. The worst-case scenario is to be able to play but not to withdraw winnings.
Country-specific legislation often means that online casinos can't operate in your country. Many states ban online gambling. For instance, you're not allowed to play in Singapore and Japan.
Others don't allow online gambling activities but don't ban websites. Either way, most reputable online casinos won't accept residents from a no-gambling country.
How can you know you're allowed to play? There are three ways to go on.
One way would be to scrutinize governmental websites for information. Laws and regulations are transparent. Besides, most countries have dedicated gaming commissions.
The other less time-consuming option is to look up your country here. Our reviewers research and update regulations sections. When pressed for time, you can rely on these pages.
Most importantly, you'll know which brands are safe to access from your region.
Take Austria, for example.
These are the top-rated platforms displayed to a player accessing from Austria.
If you see an "X" on the brand, that means one of the three scenarios:
- The website is blocked in Austria. You couldn't access it even if you wanted to.
- You can access the platform but won't be able to deposit.
- You can access and deposit but won't be able to withdraw your winnings.
Here's the catch. Accessing doesn't guarantee the casino accepts players from your country. In the third scenario, during the KYC process, you'll find out that you can't withdraw. You can win but can't get paid. Make no mistake. These platforms will welcome your deposit regardless of your location.
TCS saves you time by signaling a brand is a no-go from your whereabouts. Whichever the scenario applies, you should avoid the brand marked with an “X”.
Some countries don't regulate brands licensed from third-party auditors.
The examples are Germany and Austria. They regulate online gambling markets but with a twist. Their attitude is, "We have our own licensing system. Other regulators' licenses are not under our umbrella. Access them at your own risk."
That may mean a lack of governmental support to claim damages.
For the EU players, the exception would be Malta Gaming Commission-licensed websites. As long as the licensing body is from the EU, you should be fine. But you won't get help from those outside of Europe like Curaçao.
Learn more about the licensing below.
Suppose you still prefer to conduct your own research. Where should you look? Enters the third way.
The terms and conditions of the gambling platform usually contain this information. Like here:
Exercise caution, though, as the rogue casinos may be dishonest about this information.
When in doubt, contact customer support. If they okay the transactions, verify the wagering requirements for no bonus deposits. If it's 1x, make a small deposit and try a small withdrawal. If the withdrawal is successful, you're good to go!
Only Play at Reputable Websites
What's the most critical factor when choosing an online casino? Its reputation. You only want to play at reputable casinos.
Even scientific studies prove that players deem reputation crucial for selecting.
“Reputation is the most important factor in choosing an online gambling site.”
Many online casinos seem fair at first sight. Their nice-looking website features many titles from reputable providers. But does that suffice? No! In the online casino world, looks may be deceiving.
So, what "bad" do these platforms do?
Some, for example, try to prevent players from making withdrawals after winnings. They may claim the winning message was an error or accuse you of bonus abuse.
There are many ways to prevent players from accessing their funds. But there is only one to ensure that an online casino will pay your winnings. To choose an online casino you're 100% positive is reputable.
How do you do that? As mentioned, you can select an online casino from our website.
Any online casino ranked 4 and above is a reputable one that will pay out winnings and do so fast.
To be clear, to cater to diverse players preferences, we feature many online casinos. If a player wants to deposit via an exotic payment method, we'll provide them with the best options to do so. But the best option for a certain deposit method doesn't mean that a casino is a good option to play at. That's why we recommend you stick with the 4+ stars casinos.
And that's why we always point out if there is a better alternative to the one you're considering.
So, what is a "reputable" online casino? Such an online casino has:
- a valid license from a recognized regulator. More on this later.
- a proven track of positive reviews
- a safety policy with cutting-edge security protocols
- a transparent and understandable policy enshrined in Terms and Conditions
- a clean slate - no ongoing legal disputes
- a comprehensive games portfolio from reputable software developers
- a responsive, swift and multilingual customer support
- a variety of secure payment methods
Most of these you can check yourself. Note that we did the homework for you and weeded out the bad ones. Pick any of these platforms.
Online Casino Reviews
Read reviews online if you want to research more. There are many review websites, including TopCasinoSearch. And if you see many bad reviews of a particular online casino, stay away.
Remember that some reputable and honest casinos also receive negative reviews. Try to assess whether the majority of reviews are good or not.
Again, we scrutinize the forums for expert opinion to save your time.
Then again, reviews may contain bias. Some experts are on the brands' payrolls. It sucks, but that's the reality.
Reviews are but one side of the coin. Community feedback matters, too. You may want to dig deeper and read what players like you think.
Again, we keep track of the complaints and update our scores accordingly. If they increase, we lower the casino's rank... or remove it.
Note that honest brands may be under attack for no good reason. Like this.
To sum up, only a combination of users' experience and expert opinion gives a clear picture.
Licensing is an integral part of online gambling and gamblers know it.
In fact, the license is among the four key criteria for a single account owner to choose the website.
Online gambling laws and regulations differ across the world. One thing is pretty straightforward, though. Reputable online casinos have a license to operate within your country.
Now, there are several types of countries.
As mentioned before, some regulate the gambling market. Their governments issue licenses to online casinos. The United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands are among such.
Other countries ban gambling altogether.
Does that mean you can't play online casino games from those? Not really. Citizens of countries that restrict online gambling typically can gamble with many operators. However, they must do so at their discretion. Sometimes, they will have to use a VPN to access platforms.
The rest of the countries neither prohibit online gambling nor regulate the market. These are still deciding how they should proceed. The good news is that players can play freely with thousands of operators while they take their time. These should still have international licenses, as outlined below.
Types of Licenses
In addition to diverse regulation policies, there are different license types. In general, they come under two categories based on the issuer. There are:
- Official state licenses
- International regulatory body licenses
The former are usually associated with Ministries of Finance or dedicated gaming commissions. The government-issued licenses assure two things. The casino follows the host country's laws. The games are fair, not rigged.
So, if a casino has a state license:
- It's not a rogue one.
- You may get legal support if there's fraud.
- The license issuer can take legal action against the casino.
- The casino sticks to safety standards, like responsible online gambling tools.
- The games are random and safe, ensuring fairness in outcomes.
Apart from local ones, international regulators issue permits, too. These bodies oversee casinos worldwide. They check if the casinos follow standards, play fair, and protect players everywhere.
Who are the well-known regulators? Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). We recommend online casinos with their licenses for a simple reason. These regulators can help you in case of a dispute.
The other household names are:
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
- Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
- Curaçao eGaming
Look for either of these. All brands you find here have one or more.
Finally, there are many other gambling licenses. Costa Rica, Panama, Seychelles, and Anjouan, for instance. These will not be able to assist you. And many rogue online casinos get their permits from them.
That's why you need to consider potential disputes when selecting a casino.
International Regulators and Disputes: Whom to Trust?
You can distinguish international regulators based on their actions in dispute situations.
What's the key measure here? The amount of effort the regulators will invest into solving your dispute.
On these lines, these are the three categories.
The 'No Chance' Category
Regulators in this category give you no chance to win against a casino in a dispute.
What countries do these regulators come from? Costa Rica, Panama, Seychelles, and Anjouan. Avoid online casinos regulated by international regulators from these countries.
The casinos will get away with pretty much anything. Irrespective of disputes, they will keep their licenses. Of course, they will have a horrible reputation. And that's precisely why you must rely on the casinos' reputation. Especially when pondering the "no chance" license casinos.
Note: If you see an online casino with a flawless reputation for years, go for it. The licensing in such cases doesn't really matter.
The 'Slim Chance' category
The good news is that regulators in this category will check into your dispute. On the flip side, they will take forever. Given the sufficient number of complaints, they may revoke the license. But they won't put many resources into helping players.
Among these countries are Curaçao and Gibraltar.
Again, many reputable websites have licenses from the two. These won't risk their reputation simply because they can get away. Nope, they will take every single dispute seriously.
'The Safe Haven' Category
You guessed right. These are the respected regulators that will help you in case of a dispute.
Where do they come from? The UK, Malta, Alderney, and the Isle of Man. With either, you have a good chance of proper help. Regulators from these areas will check every single dispute. They will most likely bring you justice if your claim is valid.
International vs. Domestic License
Which licenses are more credible? Depending on the state, international licenses can mean more credibility. But usually, local regulators are safer, though less exciting. Still, there are globally licensed better options than local ones. This applies especially to safety standards.
Having both types is the best. Such casinos are 100% legit.
No license doesn't mean a casino is rogue, but it raises the chance.
How can you tell a rigged casino from a legit one? Look for regulator logos or license numbers. You'll usually find them in the casino's homepage footer. Like this:
Single-account gamblers choose casinos based on regulation jurisdiction and licensing.
Online Casino Games' Variety
Studies show that games matter when selecting casinos. Number and variety of available titles are among top criteria, reports claim. That's why our ranking depends on the brand's portfolio. As vital as it is, licensing helps little if the games you prefer are unavailable.
Another important thing is the playtime you can have on a specific website. The more different games you want to play, the more time put into research will pay off. Ideally, you'll find a reputable option with all the games you want to play. Plus, the games will be from renowned gaming studios.
By now picking the right casino must seem like a hurdle. Checking all we list is taxing. That's why TopCasinoSearch does the groundwork for you. Plus it makes navigating the casino landscape easy.
Now that you know the key factors, here are a few extra considerations.
Many online casinos have multilingual interfaces to accommodate players from different countries. For specific preferences, make sure your language is available.
Understanding terms and conditions is essential for playing casino games online.
Next comes interaction with the agents. Check the availability of customer support in the language of choice.
Responsive and Communicative Customer Support
When the money is involved, having customer support is a must. Play on websites with 24/7 chat support. What's better? Waiting several minutes by the chat or waiting for days to get a follow-up on your email.
When reviewing an online casino, we contact customer support before depositing. This way, we know how quickly they respond. The faster they are, the better their rank. Do the same with every new casino you want to try.
The Best Bonuses and Attractive Promotions
Two-thirds of gamblers select casinos based on promotions.
Indeed, online casinos offer amazing bonuses and promotions to players. That is, unless they're lying. Some will advertise bonuses with no intentions of following through.
So, going for the online casinos offering the best promotions is a double-edged sword. Here's what happens.
Attractive offers may tempt you to play at a casino whose reputation is terrible. Know you may never be able to withdraw winnings. If the offer's too good to be true, it probably isn't true.
Refer to the licensing to learn what casinos are safe to play. Or, if you're into researching, compare bonuses from more and less reputable brands. If the difference is huge... you smelled a rat. Even if it means choosing a lower bonus, go for the reputed brand. Better safe than sorry.
Remember that all casino bonuses come with strings attached.
Terms and conditions apply to all promotions. If bonuses matter to you, scrutinize this section. High wagering requirements may prevent you from claiming a win. Such a scenario may spoil the fun.
This section should be crystal clear. If not, find an alternative. Plenty of fish in the sea.
Is the casino's interface intuitive?
Playing on a website that is hard to understand can be frustrating. An excellent online casino should have natural navigation.
But there's more. The design also conveys the general feel of the brand. A well-designed online casino website will make you feel comfortable. Scientists proved that such a setting positively affects players. The better the design, the more pleasure and arousal.
It's no surprise that experienced players and pro gamblers consider user interface vital. It's on par with the number of betting options, available games, and swift payouts.
Apart from the feeling you get, you can test the interface by asking simple questions. How much does it take to get the information you're seeking? All relevant content should be at most three clicks away.
Most reputable online casinos have excellent designs and easy-to-navigate websites. But, don't rule out a casino only based on design.
The leading brands have both sleek design and good reputation. But in some countries, these top picks may be absent. You may have to compromise. And while the design is relevant, reputation matters more. The same goes for the availability for the games you want to play.
Mobile Casino and Multi-Platform Support
Last year (2023), 80% of online gambling was mobile gambling.
Unless you're a desktop-strictly player, mobile support should be a must. If so, find mobile-responsive casinos on our dedicated page.
How can you check if a casino is mobile-friendly? By launching it on your phone, you'll know. Say, you can't check. You're using a desktop, and your phone's out of reach. You can still find out.
For Safari and Chrome users, just right-click anywhere on the website. Choose "inspect," and the responsiveness menu will present itself. Here, you can even pick the type of phone you have and experience the website.
Most casinos will have a responsive design today, anyhow.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
In general, three factors matter here:
- Available, secure methods
- Processing times
- Deposit and withdrawal limits
Let's start from the top.
Available secure methods
A great online casino will let you choose secure payment methods.
That's why you should always head to the cashier section and check what's on the table.
Experienced players deem fast payout rates critical, and you should, too!
There are hundreds of deposit and withdrawal options. Some payment methods are swifter than others. Wire transfers usually take around seven business days for deposits and withdrawals. Credit cards are generally fast for deposits but take longer for withdrawals.
The table below presents the rough outlook.
|Withdrawal Times (No Verification)
|Withdrawal Times (With Verification)
|2-5 business days
|3-7 business days
|E-Wallets (e.g., PayPal, Neteller…)
1-3 business days
(Usually within 24 hours)
|2-5 business days
|Bank Wire Transfers
|1-5 business days
3-7 business days
|5-10 business days
|Prepaid Cards (e.g., Paysafecard)
|Instant to a few minutes
|Not available for withdrawals
|Cryptocurrency (e.g., Bitcoin)
|Instant to a few minutes
|Usually within 24 hours
Filter out online casinos for any specific payment method using our filter system.
Deposit and withdrawal limits
It's pretty simple. High withdrawal limits allow you to withdraw big wins.
Some online casinos place low withdrawal limits because they can't pay big wins.
Low withdrawal limits are a red flag, and we recommend avoiding online casinos that can't pay out big wins.
But there's a catch. Poor-reputation casinos often place no limits on withdrawal, hoping no one wins big. If someone does, they face bankruptcy. And the players never receive the winnings anyway.
That wraps it up. Ready to play? Hand-picked casinos await here.
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