Top tips before signing up to an online casino

There it is, on the side of your screen… the ad you’ve seen three times today already, and it’s just calling your name, whispering promises of bells, whistles and giant wins. It’s a brand-spanking-new online casino and it’s promising insane sign-up bonuses. It’s too good to miss! You click the link, you fill in the forms, you check the box that says you’ve read the Ts&Cs…

You did read the terms and conditions, right? I mean, everyone knows you absolutely, positively, without question, have to read the Ts & Cs for any new online casino. Right?

Guys, this is how people lose their life savings and get caught in phishing scams! Any astute gambler knows that for every legitimate operator out there, there’s uncounted illegal scam operations. And, unfortunately, in many cases, the onus is on you to make sure you’re dealing with a legit online casino in South Africa. But how do you even go about that? Well, it does take a little effort, but we promise, it’s worth it in the end.

Here are our top tips for what to do before singing up to an online casino:

Tip one: Read the terms and conditions

Obviously it’s our first tip – we weren’t joking about Ts & Cs up there!

Terms and conditions for any website you transact through are critically important, and that includes shopping websites, internet banking, online casinos and even your PS5. These are the legal boundaries within which you and the company are allowed to transact, and they have to abide by both local and international law.

But why do you need to read every single online casino’s Ts & Cs? Surely, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all? That’s a big NO. First of all, an online casino might be registered in more than one jurisdiction. That means legislative terms have to account not only for SA law, but also for the country where the casino is registered, and anywhere else it operates.

Terms and conditions don’t just cover the legalities of playing in an online casino; they also include all the specific ways the casino treats playing, betting, winning and banking. These can vary significantly. Most importantly, the Ts & Cs will include how the casino manages wagering and bonuses. Which brings us to…

Tip two: Scrutinise the bonuses and wagering requirements

Online casinos love them some welcome bonus action. It’s a fantastic way to attract new customers, and players relish the chance to cash in some ‘free’ money. Except it isn’t quite that simple.

Welcome bonuses, weekly bonuses, extras of all kinds, come with wagering requirements. This means you have to spend a certain amount of money playing certain games before you’re entitled to that bonus. Requirements can vary widely between casinos and can be complex. Even if you fully understand the wagering requirements of one casino, another might leave you asking, “what the frick did I just read?”.

If this whole section has you asking “huh?”, we suggest checking out our guides to welcome bonuses and wagering to familiarise yourself with this critical online gambling feature.

Tip three: License and registration, please!

Whatever you do, do not sign up to an online casino if you are unable to verify their registration, jurisdiction, domicile or any other licensing they may have. Legitimate casinos will display the domain of their registration on their website, usually in the small print at the bottom.

Tip four: Read more reviews

Yes, we have a fantastic review section that you can visit here to check out the best online casinos in South Africa, and you should definitely use it. That doesn’t mean you should read just one review and be done with it. While we go to pretty great lengths to provide accurate, detailed and in-depth reviews of online casinos, it’s never a bad idea to read at least two or three reviews to make sure you get a range of professional perspectives.

Tip five: Let the games speak for themselves

Illegal operators can run pretty sophisticated operations, and their sites can look and feel like a legitimate online casino. But who is powering their games? Especially when it comes to things like live dealer games online, it can pay to see who the online casino is using as a service provider for these. If it is a recognised provider (check out our provider reviews here), the chances are good that the operator is legit, while knock-off games by fly-by-night designers are a little more risky.

You can also get an idea of whether signing up is worth your time and money by taking a look at their game selection. If they have just a few games, or nothing that strikes your interest, it may be worth choosing a different casino to spend your time on.

Conclusion

Online casinos are terrific fun, and you stand a chance to win big every time you play. By taking the time to carefully vet an online casino before signing over your bank details, you can be assured of more enjoyable, profitable play time and less worrying about scammers.