Benefits of New Online Casinos
New online casinos, whether recently established or simply new to a particular state, offer a range of benefits in order to make them more appealing to players in a new market or jurisdiction. For example, a new online casino might offer you a no wagering or no deposit bonus when you sign up in order to compete with the bigger brands, which presents fabulous opportunities for new players.
Once a casino brand has become well-established, there is often less need for them to make concessions to prospective players. That’s not to say, however, that bigger casino brands have less to offer. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Although some new online casinos can offer exciting new promotions, the bigger brands often provide dedicated mobile apps and all the best games from the iGaming industry’s top software providers. There are also many casinos, of course, that offer the best of both worlds, and we endeavor to find and recommend these to our readers.
Pros and Cons of New Online Casinos
Are Online Casinos Legal in the US?
Online casinos are not to be confused with online sportsbooks, which are legal in a much higher concentration of US states. At the time of writing, online casinos are legal in the following states:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
If you’re not in one of these states and are tempted by gambling at offshore online casinos, please bear in mind that, though offshore gambling is technically not illegal in the majority of US states, we cannot verify whether an offshore casino is licensed and therefore safe to use. On this page, we will only recommend new online casinos that are licensed and regulated in states where online casinos have been legalized.
How We Choose Our Featured New Online Casinos
To reassure you of all the things we take into account when reviewing the best new online casinos, here’s a list of what we consider to be the most important aspects of the top new casino sites.
Licensing and Safety
As touched on previously, the first thing we look for when reviewing new online casinos is whether they hold a valid gaming license for their active jurisdictions. Licenses from governing bodies such as the MGA (the Maltese Gaming Authority) or the DGE (the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement) ensures that a new online casino is held to strict regulatory standards of player security, fairness and ethical responsibility. We simply won’t review or recommend a casino site that is not licensed and therefore cannot provide these assurances.
The next thing we look at in a new online casino, which is also likely to be the first thing you’ll see as a potential customer, is the welcome bonus. Welcome bonuses reward players when they first sign up to a new casino site, giving them bonus funds or free spins with which to explore all the games and features on offer without having to spend too much real money.
We expect the best new casinos to provide all of the most popular casino game types, including slots, table games, live dealers and poker. However, we don’t just look for variety when reviewing games libraries, but also check the quality of the games on offer. One of the ways in which we do this is by looking at which software developers are represented in the lineup, hoping to see established names like NetEnt and Evolution Gaming alongside some exciting new up-and-comers.
There are many different ways to make online payments these days, and as such the best new online casinos should be able to support a wide range of payment preferences. Whether you like to pay by debit card, credit card, e-wallets, prepaid cards or cryptocurrencies, the best online casinos should accommodate you.
Today, mobile functionality is essential to the success of new online casinos, and when writing our reviews we test mobile performance across a number of different devices and operating systems. Whether via a dedicated mobile app or a mobile-optimized site, we expect the best casinos to be able to offer a complete mobile experience.
Round-the-clock customer support is especially important at new online casinos, where users can likely expect to encounter a slightly higher number of problems than they might at a more established and experienced online casino. With that in mind, we like to see 24/7 support available via live chat, or, failing that, a helpful and responsive email account or phone number.
Bonus Offers at New Online Casinos
In order to stand out from the competition and attract new players, new online casinos are often able to offer unparalleled bonus offers. To help you get to grips with what sort of offers you can expect to see, here’s a list of the most common bonus types for both new and existing players.
- Matched Deposit – A matched deposit bonus, which is perhaps the most common type of welcome bonus, means that a casino will match the value of your first deposit and return that amount to you as bonus funds, up to a certain amount.
- Free Spins – Free spins are another popular type of welcome bonus, and will either come on their own, or as part of a matched deposit offer. As you’d expect, free spins allow you to play on specified slot games without spending any money.
- No Wagering Bonus – More often than not, matched deposits and free spins will come with wagering requirements. These determine how much you will have to spend before you can make cash withdrawals from your bonuses, effectively making it extremely difficult to convert your bonuses into real money. A no wagering bonus is one that comes without any wagering restrictions, meaning that any potential winnings will be yours to keep.
- Cashback – Cashback bonuses, which are usually ongoing, will return a percentage of your net losses back to you, usually on a daily or weekly basis. This percentage seldom exceeds 10%, but is a nice boost when the chips are down.
- VIP and Loyalty – VIP and loyalty schemes reward players for their loyalty. These systems are usually tiered, allowing players to progress up the ranks by accumulating loyalty points, thereby accessing more premium bonuses and benefits such as free spins and faster payouts.
- Sportsbook Bonus – Plenty of top new online casinos in the US also offer sportsbooks. If so, there will be a number of different sportsbook bonuses available alongside their casino bonuses, such as free bets. Check to see if you can qualify for a separate casino and sportsbook welcome bonus when you sign up.
Terms and Conditions
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as an unconditional offer at new online casinos. Despite the newest sites tending to have more favorable terms and conditions, you can still expect there to be restrictions placed upon your bonuses. As such, always make sure you’ve read through all of the T&Cs when opting in to a casino bonus, and in case you come across anything you’re unsure about, here’s a list of the most important terms to be aware of:
- Wagering Requirements – Wagering requirements refer to how many times you will have to wager the value of your bonus before converting them into withdrawable cash. For example, if you’ve received $30 from a matched deposit bonus, with wagering requirements of 15x, you would have to wager $450 ($30 x 15) before you could withdraw any real money from your bonus funds. With free spins, however, wagering requirements work slightly differently, as they are applied to your free spins winnings rather than value of the bonus itself.
- Minimum Deposit – Almost every sign-up bonus will require a minimum deposit. Most of these will stand at $10, but they can go as low as $5 and as high as $30. With a matched deposit bonus, the more you deposit, the more you will receive, but the amount of free spins you receive usually stays the same as long as you satisfy the minimum deposit requirement.
- Time Limits – All bonuses will have to be used within a specific time period. This can range from anywhere between three days to one month, so it’s vital that you know how long you have to use up any bonuses or clear your wagering requirements before they expire.
- Winnings Caps – Most new online casinos will place restrictions on how much you can win from your bonuses. This is often the price to pay for small wagering demands, so check to make sure you’re not clearing wagering requirements for nothing.
- Payment Exclusions – Certain payment methods may be excluded as qualifying deposit methods for your bonuses. This usually applies to e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill or Neteller, so we recommend you make your first deposit with a debit card to be on the safe side.
- Games Restrictions – Free spins bonuses will usually only be usable on specified slot games. Sometimes they only apply to a single title, so make sure you try out a demo of the game in question to make sure you like it before you opt in for a free spins bonus.
Games at New Online Casinos
There’s a whole bunch of different games available at the best new online casinos. Just in case you’re new to online casino games, or fancy trying out a different kind of game, here are some quick summaries of the most popular game types at new online casinos.
You’ll be overwhelmed with slot titles when you enter a new online casino site, but different slot games will suit different players.
If you’re a high-rolling player, you’ll probably want to look for games that are highly volatile, which means that although the payouts may be comparatively infrequent, the jackpots should be more considerable. More casual players, on the other hand, should look for titles that have low volatility and a high RTP (Return to Player) rate. RTP rates refer to how much of the total money wagered on a particular slot is returned, with the very highest coming in at around 98% or higher.
Of course, there are no guarantees with these figures, as they are calculated over millions of spins and have no bearing on your individual experience, but they are useful guidelines for helping you pick your slots. Otherwise, playing the games from the best slot software providers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt and Play’n GO, is a good way to get started.
Table games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat have been played at land-based US casinos for many years, and are now among the most popular games at online casinos.
Blackjack and baccarat are classic card games that are alike in a number of ways. Both, for example, are played against the dealer, and have similar aims. In blackjack, the object is to get as close to the 21 without going bust, while in baccarat you bet on which hand will get closer to 9: the player’s or the dealer’s.
Roulette, on the other hand, is another game entirely. It is played on the roulette wheel as opposed to the card table, with players betting on where they predict that the roulette ball will land on each spin of the wheel.
While blackjack requires a little bit of intuition and skill, both baccarat and roulette are games based almost entirely on chance, so check out the titles on offer and decide which type of game suits you best.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games are streamed from live studios and casinos from all around the world. These constitute the most authentic and immersive gaming experience available at online casinos, and we’re seeing more and more of these exciting titles pop up at the newest sites.
Table games like blackjack and roulette – which will be presented by real-life professional croupiers – are currently the most prominent types of live dealer games, but top live dealer games providers like Evolution Gaming are also continuing to produce high-budget live game shows that feature huge maximum jackpots.
Video poker is a classic game that can be found at the majority of new online casinos. It combines slot mechanics with poker to produce a fun amalgamation of two of the casino’s most classic and beloved games. Here’s how it works:
- Click ‘deal’ to reveal your five-card hand;
- Select which cards you want to hold or discard;
- Click ‘draw’ to re-deal the cards you chose to discard, revealing your final hand;
- The hand is then paid out according to the paytable, which resembles the traditional ranking of poker hands.
If you like the idea of combining the luck-based nature of the slots with a little bit of poker expertise, give video poker a try.
Sign Up at a New Online Casino and Claim
As you can see, there’s lots to get excited about at new online casinos, from plentiful bonuses to exhilarating new games. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out our reviews of individual online casino sites, and once you’ve picked the best new casino and welcome bonus for you, click through to sign up and get playing.