Seasoned pros know what to look for in an online casino. Even when they stray from one of their favorite hotspots, knowing the good from the bad is often second-nature for them. However, someone new to the industry might not have the same instincts, and it can be tough to know which ones are safe. So, before you place a bet, consider the following six questions. 1. Do they accept players from your country? Sometimes, a software developer will elect not to accept players from specific jurisdictions. When this is the case, it’s usually due to the region’s laws, whether they have an outright ban on Internet gambling, or simply have unclear policies. Many of the larger software firms have built-in bans, which don’t even allow their games to launch when an IP address is recognized from a specific area. Other times, the casino itself prefers to work with players who are in certain countries. Again, many of them will automatically block play from those who try to log in from a region they don’t serve, but this isn’t always the case. There are a few that don’t provide notifications outside their terms of service listings. Unfortunately, some of them will gladly accept deposits and wagers, but will balk when a player tries to collect winnings. Always verify your country or jurisdiction is on the website’s permitted list ahead of time to avoid complications later, even if they accept your money and let you wager. 2. What licenses do they hold? Even if an online casino allows you to register and play, they still might not be licensed. Again, many of the well-established websites will post their licenses at the bottom of their home page, because they’re proud to be operating honestly and fairly. Some companies might also list their licenses in an “About Us” section, within the guidelines, or on a “Terms of Service” page. However, don’t take their word for it, as some rogue casinos have been known to spoof certifications. Take note of which licenses the website holds and then cross-reference the information directly from the licensing agency. 3. What is their withdrawal process? Every online casino will have a slightly different policy when it comes to collecting winnings. Be sure to verify they allow payouts in your preferred method. While some will transfer funds directly to your bank or debit card, others might mail checks, deliver to an online wallet, to PayPal, or through another source. The length of time it takes to receive a payout will also vary. A few of the really good ones will process immediately upon request, but it’s not uncommon to have to wait a few days. Some will only process payouts bi-weekly, monthly, or on another schedule entirely. While this decision may not be a large determining factor in whether you wager at a particular casino, it’s nice to know what to expect before you win. 4. What is their reputation? Perhaps one of the greatest factors of them all is the reputation of a casino. Online casino reviews can be a wealth of information, and they often take many of the other things on this list into consideration. Not everyone is going to have a great experience, and some people become especially jaded when they don’t win, so a few negative reviews isn’t usually a cause for concern. Try to look for the overall tone reviews provide, and take recurring themes into consideration. Online forums are great for this as well, because you’ll see average people talking about places they’ve actually visited. 5. What is their RTP? If you’re only playing for pure entertainment value, the return-to-player ratio might not be hugely important. This is the amount of money a casino pays back to players, out of the funds it takes in. Each game will have a different RTP, but the casino, itself, may have an overall RTP as well. Some sites that offer top-notch games will have a lower number, and that’s to be expected since the total gaming experience is better and costs them more to run. 6. Do they offer bonuses? Although availability of bonuses has no bearing on the reputation of a casino, they certainly make playing a bit more fun. Check for a welcome bonus and see what you have to do to cash in on it. Many of the reputable firms will automatically add a fixed amount to your available funds or will multiply your first deposit. However, sometimes you have to enter a specific code or perform some other task. Additionally, you may find bonuses available for returning players, which can vary by the week, day or month. A few casinos also offer loyalty programs, which allow you to trade in points for free games, cash, or prizes. Once you’ve verified everything else, reread the site policies another time. Occasionally, a website will have an odd policy worked in that says you can’t win real cash for free games or something similar. You’ll have to use your own judgment on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but as you gain more experience, you’ll become familiar with standard rules. Most importantly, if something feels wrong to you about a site, don’t use it. You can always post to a general forum and ask about a specific site or policy to see if it’s legit. Knowing you’re on an honest and fair website makes game play much more enjoyable.