The first online casinos opened in 1994, so the online gaming industry has been around for almost three decades. Over the course of that time, thousands more online casinos have been launched, but the market still shows no signs of slowing. On the contrary, we here at TheCasinoGuide see new Canadian online casinos being launched month after month.
The regular arrival of new online casinos is good news for anyone who enjoys playing casino games online, but not all new casinos are equal. In this article, we'll tell you how we review new casinos to sort the wheat from the chaff. We'll also take a look at the kinds of bonuses that new casinos tend to offer, discuss how new casinos compare with more established venues, and more.
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How We Review New Casinos
Our procedure for reviewing new casinos is very similar to the one we take when reviewing established venues. We assign a member of our review team to spend some time at the casino and assess it from a player's perspective. We pay particularly close attention to how the venue performs in seven key areas:
- Legality and Regulation ✔️
- Security ✔️
- Game Range and Diversity ✔️
- Bonuses and Promotions ✔️
- Banking Options ✔️
- Customer Support ✔️
- Mobile Friendliness ✔️
Let's take a quick look at each of these areas in turn so that you have a good idea of exactly what we consider as we carry out our assessment:
1. Legality and Regulation
The most important thing we look at when reviewing a new casino is its legal and regulatory status. We never publish reviews of illegal or unlicensed casinos, no matter how good they are, and we don’t encourage anyone to spend their time or money at such places. To proceed, we see if that casino is legal for players in Canada and holds a current license from a regulatory body such as the Malta Gaming Authority.
It should be noted that Ontario now has its own online gambling laws and licensing requirements which are quite different from the rest of Canada. To help those of you in Ontario stay on the right side of the law, visit our dedicated page exclusively for Ontario Casinos.
Ideally, new Canadian online casinos should be protecting the data of their players with the best security technologies available. We want to make sure that venues encrypt personal and financial information, process payments in a secure manner and store data behind firewalls so that you can play at them with complete confidence and peace of mind.
3. Game Range and Diversity
Next, we look at the range of games that are available. Here we want to see a balance of quality and quantity because it’s no good offering 2,000 games if they aren’t very good. The online gaming industry has plenty of superb providers, so we prefer it when a venue works with at least a couple of them and doesn’t just provide games from obscure studios.
We also prefer casinos to have something for everyone. That means live casino games and table games such as blackjack and roulette, as well as slots. It’s perfectly normal for a casino to have more slots than anything else, simply because there are a lot more of them around, but a total focus on slots isn’t good for fans of other genres.
4. Bonuses and Promotions
There are so many online casinos offering bonuses and promotions to new and regular players that we see no need for anyone to play at one that doesn’t. We look at what bonus offers are given to new players and also for long-term existing players.
While bigger bonuses are generally better than smaller ones, we also take into consideration the wagering requirements that come with them. We want offers to be genuinely worthwhile and fair to players and not simply look good on the casino’s marketing banners.
5. Banking Options
How easy is it to make deposits and withdrawals? That’s the question we ask when we look at the available banking options at new online casinos. It’s our position that players should have a choice of methods by which they can make deposits, and the wider that choice, the better. All of the options should be safe, transactions should be secure, and if we can make deposits with Canadian dollars, that’s even better.
6. Customer Support
Customer support isn’t only needed when something goes wrong. Sometimes you simply need an answer to a question or advice on where to find something. That’s why we like to see customer support being made available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week wherever possible. If that isn’t the case, the more hours in which support is on hand, the better. We also rate support according to how friendly and helpful it is. Even 24/7 customer support is only ideal if the staff are polite and know what they are doing.
7. Mobile Friendliness
Finally, we consider how mobile-friendly a new casino is. Tablets and smartphones are central to the lives of many of us, and playing our favourite casino games on those devices is now viewed more as an essential requirement than a desirable perk. New Canadian online casinos that make it easy to play all of their games on mobile will receive a higher rating than those that don’t.
Types of Bonuses at New Online Casinos
The bonuses given to new and regular players at new online casinos come in all shapes and sizes. That said, there are three main types that are most common:
The Deposit Bonus
As you’ve no doubt guessed already, the deposit bonus is one that does require you to make a deposit of your own cash. These bonuses are commonly offered to reward a new player making his or her first deposit, or an existing player reloading his or her account. In either case, deposit bonuses are normally worth a percentage of the deposited amount, up to a specified maximum value. For example, a casino might offer a bonus worth 100% of your deposit, up to $200.
The No-Deposit Bonus
A no-deposit bonus is so-called because it doesn’t require you to make a deposit of your own money. Instead, you simply need to carry out the action that the bonus is designed to reward, such as signing up for a new account or signing in to play on a certain day.
Because the requirements of no-deposit bonuses tend to be so few, the bonuses themselves won’t be particularly big. You might be offered a handful of free spins, or a small amount of bonus cash to play with. Whatever the case, since they require no investment of your own cash to claim them, no-deposit bonus offers from reputable online casinos are always worth taking advantage of.
The Cashback Bonus
This type of bonus will provide you with some degree of compensation if you suffer an overall loss over a stated period. The cashback value will usually be described as a percentage of your losses, up to a maximum amount. For example, you might be offered 25% cashback, up to $100. This would refund 25% of your overall losses, up to a maximum of $100.
Comparing New and Established Casinos
Both new online casinos and more established venues have their advantages, so it would be a mistake to think that new online casinos are always better than those that have been around for a while. To prove our point, here are just some of the advantages offered by each type:
Advantages of New Casinos
- New casinos will usually make a bigger effort to attract players because they don't have much of a reputation to shout about. This often translates to bigger bonuses than you might find elsewhere.
- You will usually find that new online casinos make good use of the very latest technology to protect your data and will also offer the very latest games. That's because new venues want to be seen as being on the cutting edge, and not base themselves on relics from the past.
- New casinos are often mobile-friendly right out of the box. Because modern players value mobile gaming, the creators of new casinos see mobile compatibility as an essential feature rather than an optional one.
Advantages of Established Casinos
- Established casinos will have a reputation among current and former players and reviewers that give you an insight into how good they are.
- Casinos that have been around for several years or more and continue to operate have proven that they have what it takes to succeed. That implies that what they offer is something that players appreciate.
- Established casinos tend to offer a wider and more varied range of games than newer venues because they have had time to develop relationships with more providers.
Pros and Cons of New Casinos
New casinos have good benefits, but like anything, they also have a downside. Here are the key Pros and Cons of playing at a new online casino:
Conclusion: New Casinos Drive Innovation
New online casinos are always looking for ways to bring something new to the table, and this helps to drive innovation right across the industry as a whole. It is this desire to push boundaries that gave us web-based casino gaming, live casinos, mobile gaming, and now augmented reality and VR gaming. Quite where the industry will go next is hard to say, but we're confident that new online casinos will play a big role in leading the way to a future that offers even more excitement for their customers.