New Online Casinos in 2016
New online casinos are being created all the time. These not only provide fresh venues for you to play at – they also provide some competition for the bigger established brands. While some new casinos are simply ‘skins’ of existing ones (the same software, just new colors and branding), others are genuinely innovative. When deciding whether to play at a newer outfit, you need to weigh up the benefits and decide how these compensate for the natural lack of a track record and long-term trust.
This page covers new online casinos from several different angles. First, below I have looked at the benefits for players willing to play real money games at new casinos. After that you will find some of the potential drawbacks. What to look out for in the bonus terms (particularly for the big ‘headline grabbing’ bonuses new casinos will offer) comes next – as well as some advice on simple background checks to make sure a casino is reputable.
Benefits of Playing at New Online Casinos
When a new casino starts up it will usually kick-off with a big marketing effort. The task of attracting new players and getting the brand known requires money – which is usually given out in the form of bonuses. Often you will see a big headline grabbing matched deal (for example 100% to $1000+), along with some free spins on slots, or extra chips to enjoy live casino games or mobile compatible ones. These incentives need to be generous enough to generate interest. What you should keep in mind is that it is easy for casinos to dilute the benefits using the terms and conditions.
New casinos will often try to innovate in terms of the games on offer or their approach to offering them. A great example of the last generation of new casinos is that instead of sticking with a single software provider (like the older established brands), operators took the best games from several different software houses. Some casinos take this to extremes – offering 100’s of different games and slots.
Other innovations include access to live dealer casino games, new deposit options (for example Bitcoin casinos) and fresh branding which has moved away from the more serious feel of the older brand names.
Potential Drawbacks of New Casinos
Before you rush out to deposit at the latest casinos, it is worth looking at whether there are any potential drawbacks. The main one is that these operators will not have had a chance to establish a trusted track record. This is particularly important for casinos licensed offshore. A good record of prompt payments and solid customer service can take several years to accumulate. Once a casino has a reputation, you can be sure that they will work hard to keep it – word gets around very quickly among players if payments start getting delayed! There are exceptions – sometimes a company with a track record in place will start a new brand.
When you decide to play at any casino which does not have a track record, then your ‘due diligence’ before you deposit needs to be that bit more thorough. Below I have explained some things to look out for in the bonus terms and background checks before you play.
Due Diligence – The Bonus Terms
Big bonus offers which are common when casinos start up, are only as good as the fine-print allows! For example, a $5000 welcome deal can seem impressive, though if it requires a 100x play-through, weights games at 10% and is non-cashable, then you might as well look elsewhere. Our casino bonuses page explains in more detail the kind of terms you should look out for.
Similar terms come up for free spins, look out for play-through requirements for any profits you make – and caps on the amount that can be withdrawn. Free play on live casinos, slot tournament entries and mobile casino offers should be examined in the same way. Look for play-through’s which are in the 30x to 40x region.
Due Diligence at New Casinos #2 – Licenses and Testing
The checks below only take a few minutes. They should be carried out whatever the age of the casino you choose to play at – though are even more important for new operators.
First, never play at any casino without an operating license. These are issued by a small number of recognized authorities around the world (find out more in our casino licensing guide). If you find a casino licensed by one of the bigger European regulatory bodies, that is a positive sign – these are more selective in the casinos which they license. Jurisdictions to look out for include Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney and the Isle of Man. For offshore US casinos the licensing jurisdictions are island states in the Caribbean or countries in Central America. Look out for Antigua, Netherlands Antilles (Curacao), Panama, Costa Rica and also the Kahnawake Gaming Authority (a sovereign native land inside Canada).
Second, never play at a casino which does not show certification that their games have been tested by a trusted 3rd party for fairness. Names to look out for here include iGaming Labs and Technical Systems Testing.
You can also look out for contact information (phone numbers and physical addresses are good, simple web forms as the only way to get in touch is not so good). Finally, search online to make sure that the owners or new casino brand has no outstanding issues.
New online casinos can be generous and innovative – a few quick checks will make sure that your experience of playing real money casino games at them is a positive one!