Do you have your mind set on joining a brand new online casino?
Well, before you do that, I suggest you read every word of this page. Because that casino might not be as great as it looks from the outside.
New online casinos are often a catch-22.
On one hand, they’re exciting. They could have new games. Massive deposit bonuses. A rewarding VIP program, and a bunch of other stuff you’re eager to check out.
But many new casinos have a dark side too. A side naïve and unsuspecting players don’t think about or realize …until it’s too late.
Don’t worry, we’re going to tell you what you need to be aware of. The signs you need to look for which will tell you if the casino you’re about to join will stay afloat …or if it’ll sink like a rock.
But before we get to that, what you’ll find immediately below are our brand new, top-rated casino sites for 2018. We’ve already scoped them out, and we’re confident you’ll have a good time at any of them.
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Now back to the dark side.
Many new casinos end up here because they ultimately become flakes. Even those who come out strong out of the gate, end up in hot water for a variety of reasons.
The most common reason why is from a lack of funds. And this can happen for a variety of reasons:
And so on.
We’d say the majority of new casinos start off on the right foot, with good intentions. But for one reason or another they fall behind.
And instead of owning it, or even (temporarily) pausing deposits to regroup, they continue as normal, thinking they’ll dig themselves out.
What happens, though, is they continue to pay themselves and their staff. And they pay their players with other players’ money. With no reserves on-hand, when the cash flow stops, they’re unable to pay each of their customers back. And not just their winnings, but even their bankrolls.
The casinos sink further and further into debt. Eventually, they get so deep they can’t get themselves out.
That’s the majority.
The minority set out on the dark side. They plan to scam players from the very beginning. They take deposits with no intention of every paying it back. Then they give them the runaround, or flat-out tell them to get lost.
That’s the general idea of what happens. For now, let’s focus on the majority – those who start off with good intentions. We want to ask one important question.
We think it’s because of a lethal cocktail consisting of these three mistakes:
We don’t think all new casinos start off intending to scam people. But instead are blinded by greed and optimism. Then they get in over their heads.
It doesn’t help how easy it is to start an online casino, either. It’s far easier than a brick and mortar casino.
Offline, you have to worry about building the casino. Obtaining building, gambling and alcohol permits. Hiring and training employees. Getting all your licenses. And then paying for all this stuff.
Especially since so many software companies offer white label solutions. These are basically casino businesses in a box. They come with everything you need to get started; you get the software, payment processing, merchant accounts, customer support, marketing and so on.
It’s not nearly as expensive to start either. You can get started for a five or low six figure fee. This is nothing for a new business, let alone a business capable of doing millions of dollars, or more, per year.
Online businesses have less overhead, too. If the software company takes care of all the things mentioned earlier, the new casino may only need to add staff, website hosting and maintenance.
The bottom line – it’s easy to be overly optimistic when the process of launching a casino site is so cheap and as simple as having someone set it up for you.
Another mistake new casinos make is they fail to establish what makes them different. They fail to answer this question: why should someone choose me over one of the 100+ online casinos.
This is called having a USP, or unique selling proposition. Without this a business struggles to become anything more than a commodity.
For online casinos, this means resorting to offering huge bonuses, progressive jackpots, tournaments (with overlays) and other big promises.
This can get casinos in trouble too. They offer lots of free money offers. But then they use up money they’d otherwise use to pay withdrawal requests.
Ultimately, failing to have a USP doesn’t lead to money troubles. Not by itself. Not having enough money leads to money troubles.
But when a casino fails to establish their USP, they resort to tactics like offering big deposit bonuses, when instead that money would do a new casino more good stashed away in their reserves.
After all that, explaining how and where so many new online casinos screw up, you might be wondering why you’d bother with a new casino. Why not simply stick to the tried and true, proven, existing casinos?
It’s a fair question. You take on a fair amount of risk when you join a new casino.
But humans like new things. Shiny things. We do, and you probably do too. So here are some reasons why we like new casinos:
There are lots of reasons. But it usually comes down to something new (novelty) or improvements in software or banking.
Whatever your reason, here are some tips to help you get started.
If you’re set on checking out new online casinos, we recommend using the following 8 tips to do everything you can to avoid joining the sucky ones.
Casino blacklists are lists of casinos who have done shady things or screwed up so bad it’s recommended you avoid them. This can be for a variety of reasons including non-payment, screwy terms, bad games, and so on. If a new casino’s already on a blacklist, then they must’ve really screwed up.
In other words, don’t be one of their first customers. The reason why is simple. Think about new drugs – people who’re often the first to try them get sick …sometimes even die. Someone has to, otherwise how would anyone know if they worked or if the formulas need to be changed? It’s the same for new casino sites – let someone else take the risk and wait to hear about their experience.
Usually we’d recommend our readers make as big a deposit as they can afford to. Because most casinos only let you deposit once to take full advantage of their new player deposit bonus. But we don’t recommend you do that with a brand new casino. Make a smaller deposit instead, like 10 or 25 percent of your total bankroll. That way you’re not out a lot of money if the casino turns out to be a rotten apple.
A normal deposit bonus might be a 100% match up to $1,000, or even $2,500. But a casino offering a 400% match bonus up to $10,000 should set your warning bells off. These types of offers are signs of desperation and/or a scam.
Licensing – by itself – means little in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t stop rogues from scamming people, especially with how lax some jurisdictions and regulators are. But we still recommend checking for it anyway. It’s still a barrier of entry that will keep the lowest of scum out.
You can find this information at the bottom of a casino’s website or on the casino’s about page. You can also double check this against the licensor’s and gaming tester’s website. They will usually post when they licensed or tested a casino, and if their approval is current and still valid.
Many companies – often shady ones – will launch a new casino when their existing casino has worn out its welcome. You’ll want to double check their parent name or licensing info against the regulators database and against blacklists. This is also a way to see if an existing casino has been bought out by another company (and if that company’s reputation’s any good).
Some software companies, like jurisdictions and regulators, are more relaxed than others. One example is Real Time Gaming. There are several casinos they work with who’re above board. But then there are plenty of others who aren’t. While we recommend several RTG-powered casinos, even we can’t deny it’s easier to avoid them altogether. Otherwise, be prepared to do your research (starting with our casino reviews).
One good example is Lock Casino. If you only research the casino, you might not find anything bad enough to prevent you from signing up. But what if they owed their poker customers millions of dollars; wouldn’t that stop you from signing up? Which Lock did up until they finally closed up shop, proving how important it is to fully research whatever company you’re thinking about joining.
Our tips aren’t foolproof. There’s still a good chance of a bad apple or two passing under your radar. But they should eliminate 99% of the new garbage that enters the market.
Not that there’s anything wrong with new blood. It’s actually great for you because it pushes all the other (legit) casinos to step up their games; to come up with new offers, add new games and improve overall. Otherwise they run the risk of falling behind.
Just be sure you do your research first. And when you find a new casino you think is worth checking out, make a small deposit to minimize your risks in case you missed something.
That’s the safest way to join a new online casino in 2018.
Here are some common questions we’ve received about researching and joining new online casinos.
We suggest starting with ours. But it’s a good idea to check other blacklists to compare results. Some other blacklists we recommend include:
It depends. Some people complain about dumb things. They’ll claim a casino’s rigged when they lose (fairly). Or, they’ll scream “scam” if a casino takes 24 hours to respond to their email (instead of 24 minutes). You should ignore this stuff.
The same goes for review sites. Many sites are biased. They get paid when they refer new customers. Some don’t get about the reader (you) at all. They’ll recommend shady sites because they pay more, while not recommending the legit ones.
This isn’t always the case, of course. But if you’re determined to join this new casino site, you need to be able to distinguish the unreliable reviews and complaints from the legit ones.
But if you want our honest opinion – if you’re just not sure about a new casino, and the reviews and complaints aren’t making things easier, just move for now. Play somewhere else. There are so many casinos out there. There’s no reason to risk your bankroll.
Besides, you can always give the casino 3 or 6 months to see if their ratings improve.
We covered the important tips earlier. Those are your best bet if you want to avoid sucky new casinos. Other things you can do include:
That should give you a good idea if the casino’s worth joining or not. And you can do all this research in the space of an afternoon or two.
Have a question you’d like us to answer?