Everyone knows about regular casinos. Fly to Las Vegas and visit the strip or drive to your nearest local casino and you can play whichever game you like best.
However, there are now options for online casinos. Like most industries, casinos have found a way to deliver their product online. The number of online casinos has grown in the past decade, and today online casino sites are easily found on the internet.
As a result, online casinos are increasing in popularity and are worth a look.
Short History of Online Casinos
Online casinos started in 1994. Reportedly, the government of Antigua and Barbados passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, which allowed casinos from other countries to apply for licenses to open online casinos. As a result, Microgaming and Cryptologic built the first online casino gambling software.
In 1995, Microgaming launched the first online casino, The Gaming Club. In 1996, the first real money was gambled on InterCasino, and the company had 18 games in 1995. Also, in 1995, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established in Canada to issue online casino licenses.
Today, online casinos are a multi-billion industry, and it is estimated the market will grow to more than $80 billion by 2025.
How Do Online Casinos Work?
There is little difference conceptually between regular casinos and online casinos, and the games are the same. You can play online slots, roulette, craps, blackjack, etc., depending on the state. Money is bet by gamblers and won or lost. In general, you need to be more than 21 years of age to legally gamble real money in the US today, whether in a physical or online casino.
However, some states allow people 18 or older to gamble in certain situations. For example, in some states, poker can be played at age 18. In addition, sports betting sometimes has a lower age requirement depending on the state. In other countries, the age requirements vary.
Pros of Online Casinos
However, online casinos offer convenience in that you do not need to be present at a casino to gamble. You can also play for as much or as little as you want. This fact makes it convenient if your bankroll is small and you want to play longer. One significant advantage is you can learn to play for free on many online casinos. Then, once you are ready, you can switch to real money.
A recent innovation in online casinos is live dealer games. This innovation is a combination of online and in-person gambling. The games are hosted at a regular physical casino, and a live dealer is on a camera. So, for instance, you can play blackjack over the internet with a live dealer.
Online casinos use bonuses to entice gamblers to play and keep playing. Bonuses include welcome bonuses, free spins or credits, deposit bonuses, and loyalty bonuses.
Welcome bonuses are also known as sign-up bonuses, and the is extra money is deposited in your account to sign-up with an online casino. Welcome bonus amounts vary depending on the casinos. For example, Red Dog Casino offers up to $12,250 for new players, while Ignition Casino offers $3,000. Welcome bonuses can be smaller, and many online casinos offer only a few hundred dollars.
Some online casinos have conditions for the welcome bonus. For example, both Bovada and Café Casino require an initial deposit in Bitcoin to earn the online bonus. At the same time, Red Dog gives a 20% boost if you deposit in Bitcoin or Neosurf.
In many cases, you must play for a particular time, a specific number of games, bet a certain amount of money, or deposit a certain amount of money to earn the bonus. Read the fine print and terms and conditions when you sign up and take the welcome bonus.
In addition, online casinos offer free spins in slots and credits for tabletop games.
- Deposit bonuses are given when you deposit more money into your account.
- Loyalty bonuses are paid to gamblers who play a certain amount of money. This type of bonus is often tiered.
Which States Have Online Casinos
In the US, online casinos are not available in all states. States that have legalized online casinos will have regulated casinos. New Jersey was the first state to approve legal online gambling and thus casinos. You can choose from regular physical casinos with online operations to pure online casinos.
New Jersey has more than 20 operators of online casinos. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware, and Connecticut have approved online casinos since 2020. States with bills introduced include New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Louisiana. More states have legal sports betting than online casinos.
Unfortunately, you must be physically located in a state with legalized online gambling to play for real money. It does not matter if you live in a state and are traveling or temporarily residing elsewhere. However, you can sign up from anywhere and plan to travel to a state with legal online gambling.
Many other countries besides the US have online casinos, and each country has its own rules and regulations. Online gambling is prevalent in Europe and Asia, and some of the oldest online casinos are licensed and operated in the UK and Canada.
Types of Online Casinos
Online casinos are not all the same. There are three types of online casino formats: download software, web browser-based, and mobile apps.
When online gambling first started, the internet was slower than today. One way to get around the slow speeds was to download and install an online casino program. This method was the primary format once disk installations were obsolete for those who played video games before broadband was widely available.
Once installed, the program would connect to the casino servers. The advantage is that graphics were cached locally on your computer and did not have to be downloaded. Although dated, there are still online casinos that still offer this format.
Web Browser Based
Accessing an online casino through a web browser is probably the most common method for gamblers to play. In this case, the graphics and games are served through the internet. Speed is dependent on your internet connection and the casino's server speed.
The advantage here is that you don't need to download unknown software onto your computer. A second advantage is that you can log in from any device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
The third method of accessing online casinos is through an app on your smartphone or tablet. The speeds can be faster than accessing the casino by a web browser. The concept is similar to downloadable software, and you can only use the app on one device. Most of us are familiar with downloading an app from the Apple App Store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android devices.
Criteria for the Best Online Casinos
The world of online casinos is complex and rapidly growing. Therefore, what qualifies as the best online casino may differ for each person. However, you can consider the following criteria for determining the best online casino for you.
The first criterion is a bonus. If you are all about getting free money, then take a look at the welcome bonus. Bonuses change often, so it pays to check a site after reading a review. As mentioned above, there are requirements to earn a welcome bonus.
You cannot just sign up at an online casino to get the welcome bonus and leave without ever playing a game, and casinos would quickly go bankrupt if that were the case. Look at the dollar value and what you get, and how you need to earn it. The headline dollar value may be impressive, but the average bonus may be lower.
Convenience is a requirement, especially for gamblers that play often. You can use a web browser-based online casino or downloadable software if you play on your desktop or laptop.
Questions you need to ask yourself are related to speed, navigation, and ease of installation. But if you want to play anywhere, then a mobile app-based online casino may be a better choice.
You can find mobile app evaluations on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and this fact is important because the games need to be optimized for a smaller screen.
Number and Quality of Games
Online casinos differ in the number of games they offer. For instance, Red Dog Casino offers more than 200 games. On the other hand, if you like slots, Ignition Casino has more than 200 slot machines, and Slots LV has more than 3,000 slot games and 70 3D slots. In addition, super Slots has more than 30 video poker games.
However, the number of games alone is not enough for an excellent online casino. You need to ask yourself about the quality of the games. Are the graphics superb and seamless? Is the sound quality good? How about the animations?
Not all online casinos have the same customer service level, and however, this criterion is difficult to evaluate unless you play and interact with customer service. Check some websites that consider customer service for an idea about it before you sign up.
How is your money secured, and how easy is it to withdraw your winnings? What are the deposit methods: credit card, cryptocurrency, wire transfer, check, or other methods? Note that credit card deposits may have fees. In some cases, unlicensed casinos may have higher deposit fees.
Return to Player
Lastly, most gamblers are concerned about Return to Player (RTP) percentage. This metric is the percentage of wagers that a specific game will return to the player over extended periods. For example, if the RTP is 90% in a slots game, you will most likely lose 10% of your money over time.
Best Apps to Win Money Online
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While not a casino or slot app Mistplay is worth mentioning as you can earn real money playing mobile games.
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Best Online Casinos
You may be a conservative dividend growth investor or passive index fund follower, but everyone likes to have some fun now and then. Below are 25 online casinos with different games, welcome bonuses, deposit methods, age, and fees.
Larger companies with several sites often operate many online casinos. Some casinos are not licensed, which is riskier for gamblers, but we include them here since they have been established for many years or are part of a larger corporation. As a result, the list is not comprehensive, and there are dozens to hundreds more online casinos.
6. Red Dog Casino
Red Dog Casino appears on several highly rated lists due to the RTP, bonuses, payout speed, and the number of games. Red Dog was launched in 2019 and is licensed and located in Curaçao. This medium-sized casino has more than 200 games and offers up to $12,250 for new players as a welcome bonus.
This online casino does not offer sports betting, Bingo, or jackpot games. Red Dog has a live dealer casino for blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. The withdrawal limit is $10,000 per month. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, Neosurf, and gift card.
7. Ignition Casino
Ignition Casino is another popular online casino. The larger casino is licensed in Curaçao but based out of Costa Rica. Ignition Casino is owned by a larger casino operator who owns Slots LV, Bovada, and Café Casino. Players from certain states and the UK cannot play on this site.
The casino offers slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, Bingo, jackpot, and live dealer games. Players can receive up to $3,000 in bonuses. In addition, Ignition Casino has a live dealer. Ignition Casino is differentiated by the use of Bitcoin for deposits. However, you can also deposit money by credit card, check, and bank wire.
8. Slots LV
If you love slots, Slots LV is probably the best online casino for you. The casino is licensed in Curaçao, although some review sites say it is not licensed. There is a Curaçao gaming commission symbol on the website. Slots LV has been around since 2013, and hence we include it on this list.
The primary attraction is Slots LV has more than 3,000 slot games. Players receive up to $5,000 in welcome bonuses and $7,500 if they use Bitcoin. The main attraction is the lack of a withdrawal limit. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, and bank transfer in Canada.
Bovada is an online casino, but it is better known for sports betting. This casino has live dealer games, and it is well-known and was launched in 2011. Bovada is reportedly not currently licensed but is operated by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group.
We include it in this list due to its age and amount of internet traffic. Bovada has a welcome bonus of up to $3,000. One attraction about this online casino is the high withdrawal limit of $225,000. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, Venmo, or check.
10. Café Casino
Café Casino was only established in 2016 but has rapidly grown since then. They have 200+ games, but no sportsbook, and their mobile app game selection is less than the web browser version. Café Casino is not licensed, and there is no information on the website about the license or owner.
The welcome bonus is up to $5,000. The main attraction for Café Casino is it does not charge deposit fees when using a credit card. There is a $10,000 monthly withdrawal limit. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and check.
11. Super Slots
Super Slots is known for online video poker and has live tabletop games and more than 200 live dealer games. This smaller casino was only launched in 2020, and reportedly it is licensed in Panama.
Still, the operator has run online gambling since 1991 and operates the Bet Online and Sports Betting sites. You can play on mobile apps and a web browser, and the welcome bonus is up to $6,000. In addition, you can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, check, and bank wire.
12. 888 Casino
888 Casino was launched in 1997, making it one of the oldest online casinos. The casino is based in the UK and licensed in Gibraltar, UK, Malta, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Delaware. The parent company is publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This older casino has many online casino games and live dealer games.
You can also play on a mobile app. The welcome bonus is low, though at only up to a few hundred dollars and 25 free spins. The 888 Casino offers deposits by credit card, checks, PayPal, and specific cryptocurrencies.
13. Intertops Casino
Intertops Casino is another older casino established in 1996. However, the casino is smaller and reportedly operates without a license, and the website does not have easy-to-find information on the license.
We include it in this list due to its age. This online casino is smaller and does not have live dealer games, a sportsbook, or Bingo. The welcome bonus is up to $5,555. You are only allowed one withdrawal per week, and it has a monthly withdrawal limit of $10,000. You can deposit money by credit card, cryptocurrency, wire transfer, and check.
14. Mansion Casino
Mansion Casino has been around for over a decade, established in 2004. The casino is licensed in the UK and Gibraltar. This online casino has many tabletop games, slots, and an extensive collection of live dealer games.
The welcome bonus is $5,000 or GBP 5,000. Mansion Casino also has a VIP section that may interest some gamblers. The Mansion Casino offers deposits by credit card, checks, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. One inconvenience is that this casino has a monthly withdrawal limit.
15. Gala Bingo Casino
Gala Bingo Casino is known for its large selection of Bingo games. However, you can also play slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games. There is a mobile app and web browser-based gaming.
The casino was launched in 2002 and is licensed in the UK and Gibraltar. You can deposit money by credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, and a few other methods. There is a daily win limit but no withdrawal limit for Euros.
16. Las Atlantis
Las Atlantis is another casino showing up on many lists of the best online casinos. The site launched in 2020 and is licensed by Curaçao. Although new, this casino is part of a larger group. This new casino has over 250 games with an underwater focus. Las Atlantis has slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games.
Since the casino is new, it offers all three formats for gaming. It probably has the largest welcome bonus of up to $14,000. In addition, there are free deposits and withdrawals up to $10,000 per month. You can deposit money by credit, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Neosurf.
17. Jackpot City
Jackpot City is one of the oldest and largest online casinos, having been around since 1998. The casino is now part of a larger group. Jackpot City is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. However, the online casino seems to focus on gamblers from Canada and Australia.
The primary attraction here is the jackpot prizes that range from $40,000 to millions of dollars. Jackpot City has slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games on a web browser or a mobile app. The welcome bonus is only $1,600. You can deposit money by credit, check, cryptocurrencies, and numerous other ways.
18. Spin Casino
Spin Casino is another relatively new casino launched in 2019 but has become one of the largest online casinos in a short time. Spin Casino is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.
Spin Casino has slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games on a web browser or a mobile app. The welcome bonus is a paltry $1,000, and you can deposit money by credit, e-check, and cryptocurrencies.
19. LeoVegas Casino
LeoVegas Casino is another prominent online casino with a European focus and was established in 2012. LeoVegas is licensed in the UK, Malta, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden.
This online casino has a large section of slots, video poker, tabletop games, jackpots, and live dealer games. The welcome bonus is only $1,000 and 200 free spins. This casino is one of the few online casinos with no withdrawal limits. LeoVegas offers deposits by credit card, checks, debit, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies.
Casinonic was established in 2019, and it has a European focus, and Curaçao licenses the casino. Casinonic has the usual games, but it is differentiated by many live dealer games and progressive slots.
The welcome bonus is only 1,200 Euros, and the withdrawal limit is $15,000 per month. LeoVegas offers deposits by credit card, debit, PayPal, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and other methods.
21. SportBetting.ag Casino
If you are more into sports betting than slots or other casino games, then SportBetting.ag Casino may be for you. This large site was established in 2003 and reportedly licensed in Panama. This online casino is available in all 50 states, and you can play on a web browser.
Although focused on sports betting, this casino offers all types of games. The welcome bonus is only $1,000. However, there are some withdrawal limitations. You can deposit money in multiple ways, including credit, check, Bitcoin, bank wire, Ethereum, and other methods.
BetOnline has operated since 2004 and moved to its current domain in 2012. The casino is licensed in Panama, and this site is known for its sportsbook and accepts players from all 50 states. BetOnline also has more than 400 casino games, including slots, tabletop games, video poker, Bingo, and live dealer games.
The welcome bonus varies depending on which game you are playing. There is a withdrawal limit depending on the game and deposit and withdrawal fees. You can deposit money by credit card, bank wire, check, money orders, and cryptocurrencies.
23. Wild Casino
Wild Casino is a relatively new online casino founded in 2017 and operated by a larger company that owns BetOnline and SportsBetting.ag. The casino is licensed in Panama and operates internationally. Wild Casino has increased since its launch. You can play by a web browser.
Wild Casino has 400+ games, including slots, tabletop games, video poker, Bingo, and a live dealer. The welcome bonus is up to $5,000. There are some withdrawal limitations. You can deposit money in multiple ways, including credit, check, Bitcoin, bank wire, Ethereum, and other methods.
24. El Royale Casino
El Royale Casino is a new casino launched in 2020. The casino is licensed by Curaçao but accepts gamblers from around the world. El Royale has a large selection of slots games, tabletop games, live baccarat, and live blackjack with a 99% RTP. El Royale has a web browser and mobile app options.
There are multiple welcome bonuses, but the largest is up to $12,500. Some of the bonus options give you free spins. The other nice thing is that there are no withdrawal fees, but there is a $10,000 withdrawal limit per month. You can deposit money by credit card, bank wire, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Neosurf.
25. Genesis Casino
Genesis Casino is a relatively new online casino established in 2018 but owned by a larger group. The casino is licensed in the UK, Spain, and Malta, and it is popular in the UK but accepts players from many countries. Genesis Casino has many slots, video poker, tabletop, baccarat, and live dealer games.
It does not have a sportsbook or Bingo. The current welcome bonus is $1,000 and 300 free spins, and the withdrawal limit is a healthy $22,000 per month. There are numerous deposit methods, including credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, bank transfer, and other methods.
BetUS is an older casino established in 1994. The casino is licensed by Curaçao and is popular with US gamblers. The primary focus of BetUS is sports betting. However, this online casino also offers slots, tabletop games, video poker, baccarat, Bingo, jackpot, and live dealer games, making it an all-in-one choice.
You can play games in multiple formats, including 100% compatibility with iOS and Android. The current welcome bonus is up to $5,000. The withdrawal limits are based on the game played. You can deposit money by credit card, check, bank wire, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other methods.
27. Casumo Casino
Casumo Casino has been around for almost a decade after launching in 2012. It is a large online casino popular in the UK and Scandinavia, and the casino is licensed in Sweden, Malta, UK, and Denmark. Unfortunately for US residents, you can't play online on Casumo Casino.
This casino has sports betting, slots, video poker, baccarat, Bingo, jackpot, and live dealer games. The current welcome bonus is only a paltry 300 Euros and 20 free spins. There is no withdrawal limit in Euros. You can deposit money by credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, debit, bank transfer, and other methods.
28. Sports Interaction Casino
Sports Interaction Casino has been around since 1997 and moved into online gambling in 2004. The Kahnawake Gaming Authority and Jersey license this online casino, which only accepts players from Canada. As the name suggests, the focus of this online casino is sports betting.
However, Sports Interaction also offers slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, jackpot, and live dealer games. The welcome bonus is only $100 in free sports bets, and there is no withdrawal limit in Canadian dollars. You can deposit money by credit card, debit, e-check, and other methods.
29. BetNow Casino
The BetNow Casino was established in 2015. Curaçao licenses the casino, and it is open to players from around the world. However, gamblers from New Jersey, Hawaii, France, and Australia cannot gamble on the site. This casino has sports betting and online casino games.
The games include slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, jackpot, and live dealer games. The welcome bonus is small at only $500 for the sportsbook and up to $1,000 for the online casino. The withdrawal limit is decent at $20,000 per month, but some methods have fees. You can deposit money by credit cards, bank wire, Bitcoin, and Zelle, and there are no fees for deposits.
30. BitStarz Casino
The last casino on our list is the BitStarz casino, which was founded in 2014. Curaçao licenses this larger casino. BitStarz is popular in Europe. In addition, BitStarz has won gaming awards. The online casino has numerous games, including slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, jackpot, and live dealer games.
Unfortunately, BitStarz does not have a sportsbook. The welcome bonus is the doubling of your deposit up to one Bitcoin plus 180 free spins. There is no withdrawal limit for US dollars. You can deposit your money by credit card, debit, Neosurf, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and other methods.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.