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Online casino – What You Really Need To Know
Thanks for stopping by. Take a seat and I’ll tell you a story.
You probably arrived here expecting to read about online casinos. I could ramble on about what they are and why they exist – “online casinos are casinos you’ll find online, offering a range of gambling”…STOP! No More! I can tell you’re getting bored already.
I certainly am. Everybody already understands, and nobody cares.
There’s plenty of robotic, formulaic casino information out there, giving a broad overview but totally missing the point. Is it just me, or is it so dull to read the same obvious stuff, time after time?
I’m here to tell it like it is, to give you the cold, hard truth about online casinos and everything you need to know to get ahead of them.
Screw The Casinos, Before They Screw You
First things first, casinos are not your friends. Forget the snazzy marketing and the cuddly graphics. They’re out to do their level best to take all your money, no questions asked. Are you happy to let them get away with it? I’m not.
And don’t think they don’t want you to get addicted either. The truth is, gambling addicts represent big bucks for these casinos, and they simply do not care who it effects, or the damage it does to them personally. They actively try to make their games as addictive as possible, and many will even rig the numbers against you so they simply cannot lose.
So do you still feel bad about ripping money out of these casinos, given half a chance? When the opportunity presents, wouldn’t you love to stick it back to them, and walk away with pockets full of cash at their expense? I know I did, and that’s why I got serious about online gambling.
This is a strange business, one where both customers and operators have an incentive to beat the other and take as much of their money as they can. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Vegas casinos or online casinos. Be under no illusions – they want you to lose, big style.
If you’ve decided to take a gamble, you need to maximise the benefits. This means focusing on cashing in as much as possible, and taking no prisoners – no remorse, no guilt, just winning.
No Remorse, No Guilt,
Luckily for you, I’m here to share the inside track. Choose the right casino, the right bonuses and the right games, and you’re already ahead of the pack. Follow my advice, and you’re on to a sure winner.
Come with me and I’ll show you the simple tricks that will leave the pit bosses crying out for mercy and your bank manager jumping for joy. Don’t believe me? That’s your loss. Ready to get started? Here’s my story.
I’ve been gambling online for a while now, I guess since around 2007. I started my career as a dealer at a land-based casino, before moving to their online operation. I was part of the support team, before joining the marketing team, and eventually becoming a senior manager in the company. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not easy building a good casino from the ground up, and morally, it feels pretty bad. I mean, how can you get job satisfaction when you spend your days conspiring against ordinary players to make a fast buck for someone else? I realised this wasn’t the road I wanted my life to go down, and thought about how I could give something back.
I quickly realised the best way to help casino players was to become an independent third party – a trusted source of truth, no-BS information about online casinos and how they operate. And so, this website was born.
They can afford to employ teams of people to conspire against you – it’s only fair that players have some chance to stick it back to them. That’s why I’m here to fight your corner, and to help you get one over on these casinos.
When you come across casinos on this site, you’ll see a gold shield marked ‘DG’. No fool – it doesn’t stand for Dolce & Gabbana. It’s my deposit guarantee. If you come across this shield, you know that we vouch for this casino, and provide a deposit guarantee of up to $10,000. If you’ve registered with this casino through our site, made a deposit and got screwed over, I’m here to give you a dig out. You’ll get compensation straight away, and I’ll take it up with the casino directly. I’m here to do business, and they won’t get one over on me.
I’ve set aside $100,000 in an insurance fund, and 10% of my profits from this site are reinvested into that fund every year to give my players solid protection. It’s kind of like the Mafia – stick with me, and you’ll be fine. If you play at a casino that carries the DG shield, you can rest assured you’ve got that protection at your back. And I won’t get cheated without a fight.
Online Casino Bonuses
The casinos are so eager to reel in new players that they’re offering fistfuls of cash, in the form of online casino bonuses. They vary from site to site – anywhere from no deposit offers and free spins right up to the most generous welcome bonuses. You’ll find them all over the place, designed to catch your eye and encourage you to sign up and make that first deposit.
These can be a good deal, but how do you know you’re getting the best value? I realised there was nowhere online where you could compare different bonuses at a glance, so I created this comparison tool you can use.
To tell you the truth, I don’t always recommend going for the highest bonus. If it smells too good to be true, it usually is – especially with online casinos. I prefer going for bonuses with low wagering requirements, because I’ve found these to be the most profitable.
And I know some casinos are laughing about wagering requirements behind your back – I used to work for one. They pick a big number and set a ludicrous wagering requirement – 50x or 100x that you simply cannot ever hope to trigger profitably.
I prefer to stick to bonuses with 30x wagering requirements or lower. 20x is better, and anything around 10x or less is fairy-tale territory. I’ve only seen bonuses this low a couple of times in the last decade so they do exist, but I didn’t take the plunge. These were on sites I hadn’t come across before, and I don’t like making deposits unless I’m absolutely sure about the site and how they operate.
By the way, it’s a good thing to be cautious about gambling online. Well, if you want to take their money, that is. Being a gambler myself, I understand how players like you think, and I’ve channeled that into making this site the best place on the Internet for finding good, legit casinos you can take for all they’re worth. Any casino you’ll find listed on my site I can vouch for – both as a player (having played there myself), and laterally as a partner. I don’t recommend dodgy sites.
Here’s a captivating way to pass the time. Punch in the size of your deposit and the bonus percentage below, and you’ll find out at a glance how much you’ll get to play with. Cool, huh?
My Favourite Casinos Online
Like your mother, I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve sunk my teeth into hundreds of different online casinos to figure out whether I like them or not, and to find out whether I can win decent money. When I made this site, I decided to only work with my personal favourite casinos. I offered them a partnership, and they agreed – that’s why you’ll find them here.
I don’t deal with any casino I wouldn’t recommend or play myself. When I make my decision, I pay attention to a few key details like the design, selection of games, support, and fast withdrawals. That last one is very important, actually – honestly, there’s nothing more frustrating than losing your winnings because you couldn’t cash them out in time. It’s yet another way some casinos try their best to screw the little guy. I get pretty angry with things like this, and I guess I’m not alone.
Below you’ll find the top 10 casinos that I personally vouch for. They really are the best, and you won’t find any of the ‘fun and games’ that comes with holding up withdrawals.
They have a good atmosphere, friendly support, fast and convenient withdrawals, good bonuses and are above all legitimate, reliable operators. In my opinion, these are the best of the best, and I constantly keep this list under review in case any of them try to get smart with their customers.
Goodwin’s favourite online casinos
What games can you play at the casino online?
When it comes to games, there’s not really much of a difference. You’ll find all the same selection (and usually more) in online casinos than land-based casinos. I prefer gambling online, but only because I worked for so long on the casino floor – visiting a land-based casino for me brings back bad memories. It has its upsides – you can enjoy the ambience, meet other players, and even play on credit if you’re a VIP player.
On the other hand, there’s surely nothing more pleasant than playing at home, surrounded by your own comforts. You can pour single malt after single malt from your favourite chair, without the eye-watering bar tab, smoke cigarettes freely without being kicked outside, and even call up a live game with a pretty dealer, straight to your front room. And you don’t have to go outside. What’s not to like?
I could go on for hours about the different types of slots games and my preferences here, but it’s not for this page. If you’re interested in learning more about slots, the best games (in my opinion) and how to win them, you can visit the slots page for more information. Slot Review
One of my favourite things about online casinos is sitting opposite pretty girl dealers. Some might even be drawn to the boys, but that’s not for me. The stories I could tell about live casinos and beautiful girls…makes me blush just thinking about them. But perhaps we’re best to leave these out for the time being. If you want to read more about these live casinos (plus some of the stories from behind the scenes), you can check them out here: Live Casino.
Things have moved on so much since I started online gambling. Back when I was first getting involved, we were on the first generation iPhone. Can you imagine that? Almost like a prehistoric world. ‘New’ technologies like mobile and touch are now the norm, and any casino that hasn’t kept up the pace isn’t worth the time of day. It’s got to be mobile compatible.
I love being able to gamble on the go. When I’m out and about, or travelling by train. The beautiful views zooming past the window, the slot reels spinning on my tablet – what a time to be alive.
How To Use A Mobile Casino
Charge your phone. Go find the charger and plug it in. Full charge or bust – you’re gunning for the house and you don’t want a dead battery getting in your way.
- Come back to Godwin. Once you’re charged up, get your ass back here and I’ll send you to the best casinos. Don’t go it alone. Haven’t you read the warnings? They’re out to rip you off, so get yourself to a Deposit Guarantee mobile casino on this site.
- Whip out your credit card. Get that first deposit made and take advantage of your bonus. Remember – I’ll show you the best bonuses with the lowest wagering requirements. Don’t hang about – the longer you leave it, the less time you’ll have to spend your winnings.
- Choose your weapon. Slots, blackjack, roulette. Pick your poison. There are plenty of games and plenty of ways to win, so pick one, get to know it, and you’ll be ready to take on the odds.
- Send the casino staff into a panic with your winnings. Start winning and do not stop until I tell you to. Make the pit bosses cry, and have them talking about just how you do it at head office. That’s when you know you’re a mobile gambling rockstar.
You can check out more information about mobile casinos and casino apps here: Mobile.
A Few Facts about Online Casinos
A bit of background data for you casino nerds. If this isn’t your cup of tea you can skip forward, but it’s pretty interesting to me.
Pop quiz: When did online gambling first start? 2010? 2005? 2000? All wrong.
It actually started back in 1994, a lifetime ago in the age of the Internet. Carribean Antigua and Barbuda passed online gambling laws in 1994, becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to provide online gambling licenses. At the same time a small company called Microgaming started developing software that would pave the way to online casinos as we know them today. And if you’ve not heard of Microgaming already, they’re doing pretty well – they are still one of the major handful of names developing top-notch games for the industry, and now a massive company with global reach.
In 1996, the Kahnawake Gambling Commission was set up in the US, tasked with regulating gambling in the Mohawk territories. Once it decided to grant online gambling licenses, the scope of its regulation exploded, spawning a new generation of online casinos from across the world.
The mid-90s was where it all began for online gambling, but the real boom period started at the turn of the century. In 1998, online casinos were doing some $830 million in worldwide revenue. By 2015, this had exploded, up to $41 billion globally and counting.
UK Casino Licensing and Regulation
In the UK, the online gambling market is regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. Drawn up in partnership with the UK Gambling Commission, this legislation enables online operators with appropriate licensing to provide gambling services to the UK market.
Now before you all fall asleep and scream ‘who cares?”, it’s worth mentioning why this is so important. Casinos aren’t your boyfriend, remember? They’ll happily steal your money, particularly if you have the misfortune to end up playing at an unregulated casino. That’s what these laws were set up to protect against, and it’s up to you to take it seriously if you don’t want to be a loser.
The UK gambling laws were set up to:
- Protect online gambling from crime, or being used to support crime
- Ensure the online gambling industry is fair and transparent
- Protect underagers and those with gambling problems from exploitation
Before you can even think about opening an online gambling service in the UK, you’ll need a license to:
- provide facilities for playing Bingo
- make gaming machines available for use
- operate a casino
- provide facilities for betting
- provide facilities for pool betting
- promote a lottery, etc.
A remote gambling license doesn’t allow terrestrial gambling. Moreover, a license may permit more than one of the gambling activities. Thus, a gambling operator that offers online casino games along with sports betting could have only one remote gambling license with both these services.
The 2005 Gambling Act obliges remote gambling software providers to have a gambling software license. The whole process of getting a remote operating license is rigorous and thorough. The applicant for the license must:
- Specify the activity he wants to be authorized by the license.
- Specify an address in the United Kingdom at which the documents issued under this Act may be served.
- State whether the applicant has been convicted of an offence, etc.
All this stuff can be really boring for your average player – it’s not light reading. But if you are an interested in casino regulation and licensing in the UK you can find The Gambling Act 2005 on the official website of the Gambling Commission, where you’re free to read it cover to cover.
UK Gambling Stats
The UK Gambling Commission conducts regular surveys into participation, to help build an accurate picture of the market. The stats are quite impressive – if you’re a numbers bod, you’ll love this.
In 2015, 15.4% of the UK population gambled remotely, up from 9.7% in 2008. Extrapolated across the full population, that’s just shy of 10 million remote gamblers in the UK. Broken down by gender, 58.1% men gambled remotely in 2009, which had fallen slightly to 57.4% by end of 2014. 49.6% of female gamblers do so online, and this number appears to be growing. In total, some 53% of the entire population took part in gambling of some form – a massive percentage, showing just how popular a pastime this is for UK citizens.
Slot machines have seen the biggest increase among UK gamblers, with participation up 61.7% over the 7 years of the study from 2008 to 2015. It joins poker, roulette and blackjack in the top tier of the most popular games enjoyed by UK players. It seems UK gamblers are turning their focus to online and mobile gambling for the convenience and flexibility, and there has been a corresponding decrease in players attending physical casinos and arcades.
Top 10 UK Casinos, According To Godwin
Players regularly ask me for the low-down on the best casinos for UK players. Here are some of the most popular that come highly recommended.
- Betfair Casino
- Bgo Vegas
- Mr Green
- Betway Casino
- 888 Casino
- William Hill Casino
- Bet365 Casino
Canadian Casino Licensing and Regulation
Online gambling in Canada has always been a little less clear cut than in other places. It was staunchly anti-gambling until the 70s, and law reforms since then have made it more acceptable for Canadian players, as well as operators, to ply their trade in Canada. Today, each Canadian province regulates its own gambling activities, save for the Kahnawake Gaming Commission which provides licensing to online operators.
Online casino operators in Canada have to comply with the regulations as laid down by the KGC, in addition to the relevant sections of the Criminal Code. While no player has ever been brought to task for any kind of online gambling in Canada, some operators have been fined for falling foul of the requirements, with the Kahnawake Mohawk gambling reserve fined some $2 million for failure to adhere to the rules.
The specific laws and regulations surrounding Canadian gaming vary depending on the province in which it is regulated. Rather than bore you to death with the detail, you can find out more on the KGC website at gamingcommission.ca.
Canadian Gambling Stats
Like the UK Gambling Commission, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada provides the regulatory framework for operators based there. Over 75% of Canadians have gambled in the last year according to stats from the University of Calgary – an even greater percentage than the UK, and a number that has been on the rise for years, thanks to the growing prominence of online casinos and mobile betting.
Among men, 78% gambled, while among women, the figure was closer to 73%. Some 4 in 10 of those surveyed gamble on a weekly basis, with poker, blackjack and other skills games still the preference. Among women, games like bingo, lotteries and slots remain most popular, with female gamblers statistically preferring games of chance to games of skill.
Who’d have thought gambling was so popular in Canada? It’s just a shame most of them will never read this site, and so won’t be equipped with the many tricks and tips available to help you walk away a winner at the end of the day.
Top 10 Canadian Online Casinos, According To Godwin
If you’re in Canada, you’ll probably appreciate a tailored list of the best sites for Canadian players. Here’s my top 10 recommendation.
- Betway Casino
- Jackpot City
- Royal Vegas
- Spin Palace
- 888 Casino
- Winner Casino
- 32 Red
- Casino Room
- Slots Heaven
- Leo Vegas
Remember, there are no friends in this game. Everyone out there is willing you to lose, and hopes you’ll pile in with even more money to try and win it back. But it’s up to you whether you play or not. Before you get all depressed and preach that gambling is wrong, remember it’s your choice. It’s your life. If you choose to gamble, you accept the risks and you need to do it responsibly. If you choose to walk away, that’s your choice too, and sometimes it might even be the best option. As an ex-dealer and casino staffer, I can tell you the best advice there is – learn your game thoroughly, inside out, back to front. Knowledge is power, and your best chance to playing the odds to your advantage. That is responsible gambling!
The casino is for fun and entertainment. But it’s a hell of a lot more fun when you’re winning. If you lose, understand that’s all part of the process. Most people do. But it’s those who embrace the challenge, hone their skills and understanding, and benefit from that sprinkle of good luck that go furthest and become the envy of their pals.
Online Casino Jackpots
Responsible gambling is one thing, but there’s nothing that will keep you coming back more than a massive jackpot win. Honestly, take it from me – I’ve won jackpots myself, and I’ve seen other gamblers win them. It can be a crazy time. The biggest online jackpots go around every couple of months, with more modest jackpots dropping much more often. If you want to know how to win these jackpots (not for weaklings!), and how to find the hottest jackpots around, you can learn more here: Jackpots
How To Compare And Choose Casinos Online
I’ve also come up with this funny thing – it’s a Casino Chooser. You set your parameters with the filters below, and this tool will find the most suitable casino based on your preferences. It might be you’re looking for certain games, or a certain payment method – just punch it in and the Chooser will do his best to find you the right result.
Good luck on your online casino journey. Remember, it’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part. I’m kidding of course. It’s all about winning. Become the Chuck Norris of the online casino world and slay them left, right and centre. Make a killing and don’t stop!